I was very excited when Bram Stoker's Dracula came up on my reading list at University; being a massive vampire fan, I thought it would be interesting to see where the theme originated from and what inspired the start of the phenomenon. I had the book lying around my room for years, along with other classics such as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but I never quite got around to reading it. I was more focused on reading modern texts in my spare time, however, after way too many texts from the 15th to 17th century on my course, it was nice to come across one that I had some previous interest in.
Before starting the novel, I didn't expect to be surprised by Dracula; I thought I already knew the story from word-of-mouth and general knowledge. I couldn't have been more naive if I had tried! The writing style is unusual and tricky to get started with, however the diary-entry layout soon becomes very important to strike a unique impact on the reader.
Personally, Dracula was a mixed read... I'm sad to say that if I didn't have to read it for my assignment I may not have persisted with it. With foresight, I now know that it would have been a mistake if I had left it unfinished. It is perfect if you want a book that you can read a few chapters a night, as I could easily put the book down and go back to the real world. Although I didn't yearn for it as much as the majority of the other books I have reviewed on here, it does stick with you long after you have finished the last page. Thinking back on the book now, I have a strange urge to reread it - the writing is just so clever, and the characters linger with you.
I have massive respect for Bram Stoker - the grandfather of vampires - after reading this book. He managed to create such a vivid and feared villain in Count Dracula, despite the character being infrequently present in the book. If you are expecting the modern vampire, then this may not be the book for you and you may be disappointed in the lack of vampire presence. It is not a light book, and it is definitely not one to be rushed, but if you have a passion for the classics then it is a must-read.
I hope that this review helps to bring the forgotten classic to your attention, either if it is to read it for the first time, or to rejoice in reading it again.