Today I was given a task of writing about what I thought of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
I thought the book was very slow and took a long time to build up. I also think that our 21st century view of Vampires may have influenced what I thought of the book!
How could Bram Stoker’s original version of a vampire be as appealing or exciting as Joss Whedon’s?
Dracula was first published in 1897, some 112 years ago.. During the book it sometime seems like its older than that and sometimes younger. The speedy telegram system threw me off on occasion.
I also felt that the ending was a slight disappointment, the slaying of the vampire didn’t have the electric atmosphere of Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer which I have come to love.
Two reasons I think, firstly Bram Stoker didn’t have access to zany special effects, hell, were special effects even around in 1897? Secondly I think what Bram Stoker’s book did was plant the original ideas of how Count Dracula survived and moved about. In the time since the books publication, the ideas that Stoker sowed the seeds for, had grown and were shaped into the ‘vampire’ we now are familiar with.
Why was it so scary then? Probably because the idea was new, we have television to develop the ideas for us and leave them on the screen for us where as with a book its the reader themselves who build up a mental image of the characters in a book.
Religion also had a bigger grip on society then than it does now in these islands! The thoughts of being undead or wandering the afterlife would have scared a lot of people.
I also think that as the book is written in diary form, the first person all the time though from different points of view, this would have given a more realistic feel. It gives the impression as the reader gets into the book that these are notes which were found, secret almost, that you shouldn’t be reading.