WBN 52: Dracula

I don’t know if you already know this, but Dracula – both the person and the text – is really quite frightening! As a good friend of mine (@amytwoods) said: “Even when I re-read Dracula I need to read some Anne of Green Gables afterwards so I can sleep.”

I felt very much the same. I’m a real wimp, so it doesn’t take much to scare me, but reading at home, alone, at night did not help! My coping mechanism is usually to read ahead, to a calmer part to reassure myself that things are going to get better but in this case I was just too frightened! Instead I had to look up the SparkNotes to check what was going to happen. I know, that’s so lame…but I can’t STAND the suspense!

The book is divided more or less into three sections. In the first, a young solicitor named Jonathan Harker arrives at Count Dracula’s famous castle on routine business, only to find that things are more sinister than they appear. In the second, we join Harker’s beloved, Mina, inWhitby. While she is there, patiently awaiting her fiance’s return, Dracula (quite coincidentally, perhaps?) arrives undercover during a dramatic storm and begins to drink Mina’s friend Lucy’s blood, eventually turning her to a vampire. The third section follows Mina and Jonathan (now married) with a band of friends as they try to defeat the Count in a dramatic chase acrossEurope. (Well, it would have been a lot more dramatic if it didn’t take about 3 days to get anywhere.)

This is the first one of the 100 that I haven’t already read, and I’m really glad I have read it now. It’s definitely a great read and all the characters are really likeable. My only real criticisms would be that the ending is a bit anti-climactic (perhaps because of the narrative device of telling the whole plot through diary entries) and  that the Count isn’t really much of a villain. You want to hate him, but somehow…you don’t honestly care that much. He doesn’t really seem that dangerous.

This is also the first time in this challenge where I’ve read the book in a non-paper format – I actually read it on my phone. A lot of people don’t like reading on such a small screen but I don’t mind it too much. It was 1524 tiny little pages, which sounds intimidating, but I like feeling like I’ve read a lot when I knock off 100 pages in ten minutes!

Next I’m moving on to Brave New World. So far it’s creepy in a very different way. Meanwhile, I’ve you have any tips on dealing with scary books (or any insight as to why they are so scary when you can’t even see anything or hear anything????) then please share!

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