Bram Stoker’s Dracula is set in Transylvania and London during the late 1800s. From a very young age, I was scared of and obsessed with vampires. When I was four or five, I was scared of Count Chocula and was convinced that Dracula and/or Chocula were going to sneak into the house and steal my blood. For awhile my mom had to tell me quite often to quit obsessing about vampires. I tried but I don’t know if I’ve ever kicked the fascination with vampires.
Although I have seen most vampire movies and read a few vampire novels, I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the first time this month as part of the Spooktober Readathon book challenge. Apparently, the movies based on Dracula are never exactly the same as the novel. Even Francis Ford Coppola adds a storyline about Vlad the Impaler and his wife, who looks exactly like Mina Harker.
So none of the romance between Dracula and Mina is in the novel. Well, he might be trying to control her mind and have her become one of his brides but I wouldn’t call it romantic.
Jonathan Harker was trapped in Dracula’s castle for many months after helping the count to move to England. He’s not the same but he faces his fears along with Van Helsing and a few other friends in order to save his wife, Mina. Van Helsing makes his first appearance anywhere in the novel. I know so much more after reading Dracula than I did in 1992 or at the beginning of my vampire infatution in 1978.
Mina Harker is a much more interesting character than I thought before. At the point when she stops typing her journal is when the book slows down. Things are still happening. Mina is being hypnotized by Van Helsing in order to track Dracula. So she’s either reading Dracula’s mind or she is sleeping. I wish that I had a typewriter like Mina Harker’s. Maybe I could write my own horror novels with a spooky vintage typewriter. Who wants to start a ghost story writing group? It could be the beginning of at least one good story, right?!
What can I tell you about Dracula that you don’t already know? Did you know that the same writing contest that Mary Shelley participated in was also where Lord Byron told the story of a vampire. Lord Byron’s story, “Fragment of a Novel,” later became the main influence of The Vampyre by John William Polidori. There was probably some sort of copyright issue going on but I don’t think anyone sued anyone else.
I mean, who won the contest in the end – Dracula or Frankenstein? It’s a question for the ages. Personally, I think Frankenstein won.
If you are a fan of horror novels, vampires or spooky things in general, you might enjoy Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Dracula and Count Chocula might not be fans of the novel. Do you think they get together and have a good laugh about all of the superstitions?