No, I'm not talking about the latest biography about Dick Cheney, I'm referring to the 1897 classic horror novel by Bram Stoker. Reading "The Historian" piqued my interest in the original Stoker novel as it is mentioned and referenced quite a bit throughout the story. As pervasive as "Dracula" or vampire lore is in our pop culture, how could I have never read the classic masterpiece? This is what I set out to do this week after receiving the novel as a birthday present.
The narrative is presented through a series of journals and letters written by various players in the novel as well as through newspaper accounts and clippings. All the classic characters are here: Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker, Renfield, and Dr. John Seward, to name but a few. In a nutshell the novel follows Count Dracula's emergence from Transylvania into 19th Century England and back again in a harrowing finish worthy of any modern thriller. Stoker's writing was extremely easy to read, in fact I was somewhat amazed that this book was written in the late 19th Century! If I were to find anything to pick on about the book, it would be some of the lengthy exchanges of friendship and admiration between the characters throughout the novel, which at moments are really over the top. A truly minor problem from an otherwise exceptional read.
I believe Stoker's "Dracula" is the definitive work on the subject. The closest representation of Stoker's work that I've seen was Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 movie "Dracula" which still took liberties which weren't necessary. Forget the "Twilight" series or anything Anne Rice has written. The original "Dracula" is infinitely superior to anything I've seen or read on the subject. Highly recommended.