Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dracula by Bram Stoker

I didn't know so much what to expect. I have never read any "horror" novels before, frankly because I'm not into horror and gore. I like thick, intricate plot and good characters, but not so much blood and guts. But, for my offline book club we are read The Historian which, I heard, is a companion book to Dracula. I thought that this was as good a time as any to give Dracula a try.

I loved it. LOVED it. Found it completely en"gross"ing. Ha. Yes, it's bloody. Creates super graphic images in your mind - vampires really do chomp the neck and suck the blood. That part was gruesome and people die horrible deaths or "un"deaths and it's not a pretty picture. BUT, that being said, there is so much redeeming about the book. It is SCARY. I bet I put it down momentarily about 5 times because my brain just needed to take a break. I am sensitive, I admit, but Dracula is a seriously crazy dude with savage superpowers. I learned all about what vampires can and can't do at different times of the day - as well as the various ways to ward off vampires and how to kill one if you ever find yourself around one.. I do recognize that vampires are not real - but they seem such a staple of our cultural fabric that I am glad to feel a bit more informed now. The plot moved at a great pace for me and I like the journal/letter/newspaper article format - with several different narrators.

I also found that the book was WAY more Christian than I had anticipated. Not only do typical Christian symbols (crosses, the sacramental wafers) ward off vampires, but I felt like the discussion between characters turned so often to faith in God and faith in the eternal soul of man. The job of ridding the world of a centuries old vampire was terrifying and often it was only a faith in God and his will that helped the characters to keep attempting the task. I know the book is heavily symbolic with Victorian Era themes, especially about the role of females in society. But one thing I took away from the book, purely my own symbolism, is that of Dracula as a symbol of sin and Satan himself - how he can't come into a place without being invited and how in order for us to have eternal life with God, we have to erase him from our being (when a Vampire is killed, any scars he left on the living disappear). I could never recommend this book to my mother, but I really liked it.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I think I remembered that you wrote this and that you liked it (I think it was how it ended up on my list... though I don't always remember these things!). I suppose I registered the Christian aspect of the story, but I hadn't thought of the sin/Satan-Dracula comparison. Interesting.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...