- Media: #Books #Books 2020
- Author: [[!Bram Stoker]]
- Date: 2020-07-17
- Tags: #vampire #historical #classic #horror #publicdomain
- Rating: ★★★☆☆
- Idea richness: ★★★☆☆
How can the vampire hunting portion of a vampire hunting book be the least engaging/exciting part? Dracula makes it possible.
Full disclosure: I am no vampire fan and honestly am a bit tired of them at this point. However, I wanted to go back to the source of all the spinoffs and see what could have inspired such a craze. All I can say is I was both captivated and disappointed.
Things I loved...
- The found footage style diary entries, letters, and newspaper clippings is a great way to tell the story (at least at the beginning. It gets more questionable in the second half).
- The first half of the book makes you understand why Dracula became such a sensation and spawned so many reinterpretations. Seriously, just turn off the lights and read the initial chapters following Jonathan Harker in Dracula's castle.
- The concept of chasing a bunch of coffins around the countryside is delightful (even if less so in execution).
- The ticking time bomb of (view spoiler) was nice and an idea that was new to me.
Things I didn't...
- More or less everything after the Lucy arc. This is when the true vampire hunting should kick in but instead the book becomes something of a slog filled with long diary monologues and poor decisions.
- Count Dracula himself. Seriously. I expected more from the legendary Count who has inspired so many writers since. The overall atmosphere did more to inspire the creep factor than the character himself. Not to mention his schemes did not seem overly cunning despite constantly being described as such. The three brides were decidedly creepier (and sadly under utilised).
- Overly dramatic characters, class + ethnic stereotypes, and fainting women. Most disappointingly Mina, who in the latter half could have evolved into the star of the show with her unique situation.
- Quincey Morris does not get enough attention. He feels more like the Van Helsing character you might expect from popular culture and on top of that, he was my favourite of the bunch. Cruelly done by, if you ask me.
Read the first half, at least. It's free in the public domain so there's no excuse to not experience the story that introduced Count Dracula into the public imagination
- "It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are the trains." --> Data viz of global tardiness of pub transport #idea
- I'm not usually a fan of gender bending stories but Dracula is a drama queen and would be amazing with genders reversed.
- "The real God taketh heed lest a sparrow fall; but the God created from human vanity sees no difference between an eagle and a sparrow."
- "Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand, and yet which are; that some people see things that others cannot? But there are things old and new which must not be contemplate by men’s eyes, because they know—or think they know—some things which other men have told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."
- "He meant that we shall have an open mind, and not let a little bit of truth check the rush of a big truth, like a small rock does a railway truck. We get the small truth first. Good! We keep him, and we value him; but all the same we must not let him think himself all the truth in the universe."
- I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; --> ==Town that collects superstitions== #locations
- They call by a name meaning “word-bearer"
- “Denn die Todten reiten schnell”— (“For the dead travel fast.”)
- ==This castle is old and has many memories.== Sleep only in your own chamber. Bad dreams for 'those who sleep unwisely' #locations
- Old man in fantasy world who thinks its all superstitious nonsense #characters
- Ghost dragging their tombstone #creatures
- "Ye see the tombsteans all run away with, and the place as bare as a stubble-field." ==Graveyard with all the tombstones missing== #locations
- Dead man steering in abandoned ship. Tied his hands to wheel with crucifix. IN his pocket is a note in a bottle. "The coastguard said the man must have tied up his own hands, fastening the knots with his teeth." #fragments
- Creature preying on children who say they have been with a “bloofer lady.”
- "That one great spider lived for centuries in the tower of the old Spanish church and grew and grew, till, on descending, he could drink the oil of all the church lamps?" #creatures
- Toads shut up in rocks for thousands of years, since the youth of the world #creatures
- They learned his secrets in the Scholomance, amongst the mountains over Lake Hermanstadt, ==where the devil claims the tenth scholar as his due.==
- Chasing monster's phalactery/coffin. It has 50 boxes and scatters them around + decoys as it races to escape heroes.
- "There have been volcanoes, some of whose openings still send out waters of strange properties, and gases that kill or make to vivify."
- ==Camping with friend who is becoming a vampire. Drawing ring around them with wafers and holy water so they can't attack others in sleep.==
- Racing vampires and wolves in the snow to mountain top castle to stop coffin arriving.