Saturday, 20 February 2010

Dracula

by Bram Stoker

After watching an entirely dumbed down and uninteresting programme on the current vogue for vampires, was inspired to give away my battered old copy (with entertainingly hammy cover of Frank Langella as the Count.)

Dracula is a genius, gripping, over the top, bad-taste, page-turning, Gothic, technically brilliant tour de force. It's written as an epistolary novel, through the letters and diaries of all the different characters, and reads like a compendium of late nineteenth century millenial neurosis - women getting outta control and sexy! Syphilis! Contagion! Disease! Invasion by furriners! Losing control of the Empire! As well as the very real possibility of being ravished and bitten by the Undead on a trip to Transylvania.

One of the things I love about it is the spooky invasion of Whitby by a ship carrying a dead captain tied to the mast, a terrifying log detailing the strange events on board, and the gradual disappearance of the crew due to a malevolent prescence. If none of these images give you chills, you must be a bit undead yourself.

We visited Whitby once (where Bram Stoker wrote the book holed up in a hotel room) and you can see how the drama of the landscape must have inspired him.

8 comments:

  1. Is he not lashed to the wheel, rather than the mast? I thought he tied himself to it so that he couldn't be compelled to leave his post.

    Feel like I ought to go and reread it now.

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  2. You're right, must have been getting him confused with Odysseus.

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  3. Ah, the Whitby! What larks, eh?!

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  4. The only time the written word has given me vertigo! The castle.
    A bloody marvelous book....oh everybody step away from the tv and read the only vampire story you will ever need.

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  5. Oh yes. Have you read the Twilight ones? I haven't but they seem very teenie, by all accounts.

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  6. Hello, I'm new to blogging, and I am a budding writer as well. I've been reviewing different blogs and kinda wanted to jump in somewhere to get the feel of it. I have read Stephenie Meyer Twilight series, multiple times. I am half a century from being a teenie, but have become addicted to the exotic notion of the story line; eternal love, beauty, and the God's forbidden shadow world. Its compeling and makes you almost feel young for a little while, while you are absorbed in the books or watching the film version. The films so far have taken some liberties as most Directors do when trying to capture what the writer wrote and what the Director feels will flow logically on the big screen. Anyway thats my two cents. Thank you!

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  7. Hi Bernie... I saw the first film, but maybe I should give the books a go. Good luck with the writing.

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