Comments on Classics: Dracula

Comments on Classics

Dracula – 1897 – Bram Stoker – 418 pages

In a nutshell:

Vampire hires lawyer to help him move to England,
danger ensues.

Welcome to my first ever classics review! I wanted to start with Dracula because it was the very first classical fiction novel I read entirely of my own volition. Why did I start with Dracula? I chose it for the obvious reasons. While it was written in the 19th century, it was about vampires after all, so how bad could it be? Of all the books I could have chosen, this seemed the safest bet as far as holding my interest. It’s been over a decade since then, so my memory of the book is a little sketchy at best, but I wanted to start my classical reviews with my first classical read, so I’ll do my best.

I think I was definitely right in choosing this as my first. While I assume most teenage girls would have chosen something more like Jane Austen, I think this was a better fit for me at the time. I was still really picky and impatient with books that didn’t grab my attention right away, and Dracula was better at keeping me focused. It was a challenge though. Being written over a hundred years ago, there was quite a bit of vocabulary to look up, especially names of things we don’t use anymore, like types of vehicles and objects. I was a complete nerd about it however, and kept a notebook where I wrote them all down and looked them up later. I still have all the words and definitions around here somewhere…I should really throw things out more often.

Now, about the story. The thing you have to take into account with Victorian literature is that what was exciting then, is nothing compared to what is considered exciting now. This doesn’t mean a Victorian novel is inherently dull or boring, but it is usually good to temper one’s expectations accordingly in order to appreciate it. What helped keep my interest in Dracula was that the entire story was written as a series of journal entries and letters, which made it more personal, and helped to break things up a bit. There was plenty of horror, danger, and adventure, more than I would have expected. I liked the characters and was surprised at the ending, which I thought would be horribly tragic.

If you’re looking to start reading some classical literature but you want something with a little more punch, this is a great place to start. With Vampires being so popular these days, it’s nice to read where it all began. For the record, Dracula didn’t sparkle. Until next time…

Happy Reading!

6 thoughts on “Comments on Classics: Dracula

    1. Nice, I read Les Miserables back in high school, and I remember caring about the characters, which was pretty rare for me when it came to assigned reading. David Copperfield is patiently waiting upon my shelf for my attention.

      1. It’s pretty cool when you get involved with the characters in a story like that.

        Les Miserables is pretty good. I got through the introduction of the bishop’s character.

        David Copperfield is good story-wise, but is very wordy. I found out later that it was a serial, where they got paid by the word, so that’s probably why. I’ve been told to read one of his novels, so my next Dickens read will probably be A Christmas Carol.

      2. Good to know. I read A Christmas Carol last year, it’s nice and short, and after seeing so many movie versions of that story, I found that those adaptations stuck really close to the original. In some cases it was word for word, which I didn’t expect.

  1. Nice review! Looking forward to your future classics posts.
    I have never read Dracula, for some reason or another. Perhaps I should give it a go sometime. And I like the fact that Dracula did not sparkle.

    I think the first classic I’ve read was Macbeth, which was way back in elementary school and I had to discuss it in front of the class 😆

    1. Wow, Shakespeare in elementary school? And Macbeth even. We didn’t start until middle school with The Taming of the Shrew, if I’m remembering that correctly.

      With all the hype about vampires over the years, it’s nice to see where it all began. Back when vampires were something to fear and possibly kill.

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