Since this is a classic, I’m going to skip the summary bit and get right to my thoughts. I should go ahead and put forth a disclaimer that I am far from a literature expert. So any opinions about this classic work are just what I’d think about any book I read. I don’t have the skills to dissect deeper meaning, lol.
First, did you know Dracula is written in letter and journal form? I didn’t know that before reading it, and I thought it was really neat! If you enjoy that kind of narration, it was done really well. The downside to it is that there is a lot of detail that is kind of unnecessary and a little boring. A lot of classics have that, but I think it was exacerbated in Dracula because it’s told through the characters’ personal journals.
That being said, Dracula definitely isn’t a boring book overall. The plot is fairly steady, although there is a slower stage in the middle. It starts out fairly eventfully and the end is exciting, if a little drug out. There is some horror spookiness going on, but also some mystery. For the majority of the middle part, Dracula is lurking behind the scenes, but never actually seen by the main characters. Which is spooky, but also interesting as the characters try to figure out what is going on.
The settings vary, but I enjoyed them all. It starts at a creepy castle, but we also spend some time at an insane asylum. So yeah, very appropriate for a gothic horror novel. But the real selling point was probably the characters. We start with people only peripherally related to each other, but they end up becoming this supportive team, and you really get fond of all of them.
A brief nod to the deeper themes: Dracula was pretty religious, with very absolute views of moralism. Vampires are evil, period. This was very different from modern vampire literature, and a little surprising for me. However, Stoker portrayed women as very strong characters, which I found a little unexpected for the era, but appreciated.
Note: I have the Word Cloud Classic version of Dracula, and it is gorgeous, for anyone looking for a relatively inexpensive copy.
No language, sexual content, or LGBT content. A fair amount of Christian religious content.
I enjoyed this one, although it was pretty long and wordy, so it took me a while to get through it. So I’m giving it 4 stars.