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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Riveting Tale!
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I, of course was expecting to read something similar to the movie 'Dracula' that I had seen. While there are some similarities, the book is immensely better. I guess that it would be hard to convey all the emotions of an individuals character 'on screen'.
This extremely well written tale is written in a series...
Published on July 7 2004 by Susan Shams

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To read for education, not for pleasure
Dracula wasn't either the first or the best vampire story, but it was the first that was wildly popular. There are many reasons for its popularity, among other things because it was pretty racy for the time. Also, the vampire theme was and still is a very compelling and manifold subject. However, I suspect there is another reason for its popularity. Stories like...
Published on April 26 2000 by samarand


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Riveting Tale!, July 7 2004
By 
Susan Shams (West Des Moines, IA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I, of course was expecting to read something similar to the movie 'Dracula' that I had seen. While there are some similarities, the book is immensely better. I guess that it would be hard to convey all the emotions of an individuals character 'on screen'.
This extremely well written tale is written in a series of diaries. Everything that we read is someones diary, relating all of the events that are unfolding. I found myself unable to read this novel at night, as I was 'fearful'. I do not think that a novel or movie has to be 'gory' to convey a message of 'horror', it can be done with suggestive words and the type of enviroment that a character is in.
Unlike the movie, we are not made to feel for Dracula. We see him for the bloodsucking fiend that he is. There is no love or romance between him and the dedicated Mina. The 'slayer' Van Helsing is as witty as ever as are all the rest of the important characters. This tale unfolds quite nicely and is very enjoyable.
If you are looking for an interesting and well written read, then I recommend this riveting tale.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "For the dead travel fast", July 25 2010
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Surprisingly "Denn die Toten reiten schnell" or "For the dead travel fast" is more than an opening line to this tale of love in the dangerous moon light. After watching several Drac movies and a few Nosferatu's, I pretty much though I had a handle on the genera. Little did I know what a wonderful world of mystery and suspense that Bram Stoker opened up for me.

The story is told mostly third party though the papers, diaries, and phonograph recordings (on wax cylinders) of those people involve in a tale so bizarre that it almost defies belief. The general story line is that of a Count that plans to move to a more urban setting (from Borgo Pass to London) where there is a richer diet. There he finds succulent women; something he can sing his teeth in. Unfortunately for him a gang of ruffians (including a real-estate agent, asylum director, Texas cowboy and an Old Dutch abnormal psychologist) is out to detour his nocturnal munching. They think they have Drac on the run but with a wing and a prayer he is always one step ahead.

Of more value to the reader is the rich prose chosen by Stoker as he describes the morals and technology of the time. We have to come to grips with or decide if we can perform the rituals that are required to eliminate vampires verses the impropriety of opening graves and staking loved ones. The powers in the book differ from the movie versions in that they are more of persuasion and capabilities to manipulate the local weather. At one point the Dutch Dr. Van Helsing, is so overwhelmed by a beautiful vampire laying in the grave that he almost for gets why he is there and may become vamp chow.

All in all the story is more in the cunning chase. And the question as to will they succeed or will Dracula triumph. Remember "For the dead travel fast."

Dracula
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloodsucking, March 4 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Dracula (Paperback)
"Dracula" was not the first vampire novel, nor was it Bram Stoker's first book. But after years of research, Stoker managed to craft the ultimate vampire novel, which has spawned countless movies, spinoffs, and books -- and here, his immortal story is enhanced by the creepy, jagged art of Jae Lee.

Real estate agent Jonathan Harker arrives in Transylvania, to arrange a London house sale to Count Dracula. But as the days go by, Harker witnesses increasingly horrific events, leading him to believe that Dracula is not actually human. His fiancee Mina arrives in Transylvania, and finds that he has been feverish. Meanwhile the count has vanished.

And soon afterwards, strange things happen: a ship piloted by a dead man crashes on the shore, after a mysterious thing killed the crew. A lunatic talks about "Him" coming. And Mina's pal Lucy dies of mysterious blood loss, only to come back as an undead seductress. Dracula has arrived in England -- and he's not going to be stopped easily.

"Dracula" is the grandaddy is Lestat and Jean-Claude, but that isn't the sole reason why it is a classic. It's also incredibly atmospheric, and very well-written. Not only is it very freaky, in an ornate Victorian style, but it is also full of restrained, quiet horror and creepy eroticism. What's more, it's shaped the portrayal of vampires in movies and books, even to this day.

Despite already knowing what's going on for the first half of the book, it's actually kind of creepy to see these people whose lives are being disrupted by Dracula, but don't know about vampires. It's a bit tempting to yell "It's a vampire, you idiots!" every now and then, but you can't really blame them. Then the second half kicks in, with accented professor Van Helsing taking our heroes on a quest to save Mina from Dracula.

And along the way, while our heroes try to figure stuff out, Stoker spins up all these creepy hints of Dracula's arrival. Though he wrote in the late 19th-century manner, very verbose and a bit stuffy, his skill shines through. The book is crammed with intense, evocative language, with moments like Dracula creeping down a wall, or the dead captain found tied to the wheel. Once read, they stick in your mind throughout the book.

It's also a credit to Stoker that he keeps his characters from seeming like idiots or freaks, which they could have easily seemed like. Instead, he puts little moments of humanity in them, like Van Helsing admitting that his wife is in an asylum. Even the letters and diaries are written in different styles; for example, Seward's is restrained and analytical, while Mina's is exuberant and bright.

Intelligent, frightening and very well-written, "Dracula" is the well-deserved godfather of all modern vampire books and movies -- and arguably among the best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So this is what a Vampire is!, July 7 2004
By 
Susan Shams (West Des Moines, IA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dracula (Mass Market Paperback)
I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I, of course was expecting to read something similar to the movie 'Dracula' that I had seen. While there are some similarities, the book is immensely better. I guess that it would be hard to convey all the emotions of an individuals character 'on screen'.
This extremely well written tale is written in a series of diaries. Everything that we read is someones diary, relating all of the events that are unfolding. I found myself unable to read this novel at night, as I was 'fearful'. I do not think that a novel or movie has to be 'gory' to convey a message of 'horror', it can be done with suggestive words and the type of enviroment that a character is in.
Unlike the movie, we are not made to feel for Dracula. We see him for the bloodsucking fiend that he is. There is no love or romance between him and the dedicated Mina. The 'slayer' Van Helsing is as witty as ever as are all the rest of the important characters. This tale unfolds quite nicely and is very enjoyable.
If you are looking for an interesting and well written read, then I recommend this riveting tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The vampire novel!, Oct. 15 2003
By 
Actually Dracula does not need a lot of explanation. Everybody must have experienced at least once the myth of Count Dracula in any form: film, television or book. No character has ever ignited so much imagination than the Chief Vampire of Transylvania. It is absolutely no surprise that this book is still read by thousands of people worldwide.
The narrative unfolds itself by combining letters, newspaper clippings, journal entries and even phonograph records. This certainly adds to the mysterious atmosphere that dominates the first half of the book, but turns a bit against the story when the action really starts. Simply by reading a letter written by Miss Mina Murray, you are already informed that Mina will survive the struggle described by her. Technically this method also puts extra constraints on the author. Knowing this, it is fun to see how many tricks Stoker needed to keep the flow of letters going. At one point in the story he has to send Doctor Van Helsing back home, just so he can respond with a letter. Of course, it would have been quite silly to have two people writing each other letters while they are living in the same house.
The story itself is very powerful, but to modern readers it is often perceived as being dense and overcrowded with details. This is typical to Victorian novels, in which the women are always tender and caring and the men brave and intelligent. It seems that these conclusions have to be underlined on every page of the book. Still Bram Stoker succeeds in winning the attention of the reader by supplying an unprecedented richness to the story. The plot is filled with unexpected twists, remarkable action sequences and rather eerie -sometimes almost erotic- confrontations with evil entities. No situation is left unused to heighten the mystery. Even for the spoiled modern reader, some lugubrious scenes can still be experienced as hair-raising; a treat that most modern novels can't claim so easily.
Keeping in mind that this is a typical Victorian extravaganza and that the story suffers a bit under its form, one can but only admit that Dracula must be 'the' classic vampire novel. Although there is a lot of 'derived' work on the market, no one can truly claim to know the legend of Dracula without having read Bram Stoker's novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars To read for education, not for pleasure, April 26 2000
Dracula wasn't either the first or the best vampire story, but it was the first that was wildly popular. There are many reasons for its popularity, among other things because it was pretty racy for the time. Also, the vampire theme was and still is a very compelling and manifold subject. However, I suspect there is another reason for its popularity. Stories like "La morte amoureuse," by Théophile Gautier, and "Carmilla," by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu, preceded Dracula by many years, and, from the point of view of literary quality, they both leave Dracula eating dust, but few people have read them. The fact is, these are pretty ambiguous stories: good and evil are not separated by neat and precise borders. They are not merely scary, they are disturbing. On the other hand, Dracula is very straightforward and simplistic. On the one hand, you have Dracula, a totally evil force, on the other, the "brave men" and Mina, who represent the forces of civilization and "therefore," they are perfectly good. In this picture, Lucy and Renfield are the most interesting characters, because they are the only ones that stand in a grey area. The "message" of the story is that you can always defeat the forces of darkness, as long as you have the right technology and the right money, and as long as the powers of civilized life are on your side. This is simply not the way it works, however.
Most movie Draculas are more interesting than Stoker's Dracula. In the movies, correctly I think, they have generally tried to make Dracula more seductive, and sometimes even charming. In the book, Dracula is more like a rapist, and utterly disagreeable. You might end up rooting for him, though, disagreeable as he is, because the good guys are so nerve-grating. They are more like caricatures than real people. Harker, Seward and Lord Godalming are Ye Olde Stolid Englishmen. Mina, the "New Woman," is too much like the "Old Woman," only typing instead of sewing. But we know that they all are wonderful, because they themselves tell you so, all the time. Let's say there are some books that are important because they are good books, and others are important because of their influence: Dracula enters in the second category. I think it is still necessary to read it, for educational purposes, but not really for pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing for its times, but tedious by today's standards., Aug. 22 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Dracula (Hardcover)
If you've always been intrigued by the Dracula phenomenon, then you'll enjoy saying you've read the book that started it all. But don't expect to enjoy actually reading it. It's nothing like the old movies, and that's not necessarily a good thing.
Stoker takes what was a bold and shocking topic in his time, and, after a riveting introduction that leaves the reader hoping for more dark excitement, turns it into a wordy, sappy Victorian story of bland idealism in the face of a vague, unworldly evil.
Stoker misses many of the fundamentals that provide the backdrop for a true epic. Just what does the Count look like? Where did he come from? What rendered him immortal? None of these topics are addressed in satisfying depth.
Stoker's presentation of the various characters' journal entries and personal letters in chronological order holds great potential for providing numerous unique perspectives on the Dracula saga. That potential is wasted, however, as each chapter is written in the same syrupy, grandiose Victorian tone.
Stoker has a poor sense of actual human speech, as the lead vampire hunter, a supposedly highly educated and worldly Dutch psychiatrist, nonetheless speaks English sans verb conjugations and tenses. And each male character launches at least once into a page-long homily that professes his undying, holy, chivalrous, and pure (...yawn...) love for the main female character, whom they have all sworn to protect.
By the end, I found myself just wishing that Dracula would die already, which he ultimately does, in the most mundane and least surprising way possible. The ending was, in fact, so predicable and so clumsily foreshadowed, that reading the last half of Dracula is really a waste of time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the blood is the life, July 11 2004
By 
I ain't no porn writer (author, "Crippled Dreams") - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dracula (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the most famous horror story of all. Based on the bloodthirsty Transylvanian ruler Vlad Tepes, otherwise known as the Impaler because of his practice of impaling enemy prisoners-of-war on stakes, "Dracula" is the tale of an evil count who is a vampire. The story has little to do wuth the historical Vlad, but that makes it no less spine-chilling.
This unusual novel is told entirely through diaries and letters of the main characters. Count Dracula buys a property in England through Jonathan Harker. The count seems to have a taste for English ladies' blood, and when he goes after Harker's fiancee Mina, she narrowly escapes, though her friend Lucy was not so lucky. Hunted and on the run, Dracula himself escapes back to Transylvania, hotly pursued by Harker, Professor Van Helsing, and others. This chase and its climax culminates in a thrilling show-down!
David Rehak
author of "Love and Madness"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the SCARIEST novels ever written, Oct. 16 2003
I will you, this has to be one of the scariest novels I have ever read...and reviewed! The beginning, for those who live on the '30's film, begins as JONATHAN HARKER, not Renfield,
goes to Trans. On a bussiness trip to Count Dracula's home,
he discovers the horrible truth of his host.
In the city of London, or Whitby, the effects are taking thier
place on Mina Murray, Harker's fiancee. Not to mention
her friend, Lucy Westenra falling ill mysteriously.
They call upon Van Helsing, and as John comes home,
The set out to exterminate the vampire,
but not before he takes another victim....
MINA.
Now the story is deep. Eventually, the kill him, (stake, etc.)
And after an Afterward by John, the book ends.
Truly scary. READ THIS BOOK, people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LETTERS PEOPLE, Sept. 7 2003
By 
Jorge Marcelo Cino (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dracula (Paperback)
OK, I want to say something original, as everything said by other reviewers (impeccable novel, interesting essays, etc)is VERY true.
A PLUS: The footnotes. I've found them to be "essential", in the sense that they illuminated the darker (historical references, imagery, sutile actions) paths of Stoker's book.
A MINUS: the tiny letters. This may sound foolish, but it took me forever to adapt to this type of letter. It is as small as it gets, and the lines are VERY close to one another. This should be corrected, because a good edition for readers is as vital as feng shui is to houses (stupid thought, I know, but worth the effort).
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Dracula
Dracula by Bram Stoker (Paperback - April 18 2000)
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