I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Monday, October 10, 2016

Dracula by Bram Stoker

This classic, just in time for the upcoming Halloween, is a book, I'm ashamed to say, I have never read.  I've always meant to, but now, I can happily say that I have.  It starts out with Jonathan Harker, a junior lawyer in a firm goes to Transylvania to give information about real estate and other matters the Count has hired his firm to set up for him.  Soon, he finds that nothing is as it seems and that his host has locked him inside the castle with three vampire women who want a taste of him.  Jonathan manages to escape but isn't sure that the things he wrote in his journal are true or his imagination.  He gives the journal to his new wife Mina to read if it becomes necessary.

While Jonathan is away, Mina's friend, Lucy, stays with her and suddenly starts to sleepwalk again, even going so far as to leave the house.  Lucy soon becomes ill and the three men who asked for her hand in marriage an American, Quincy, Dr. John Steward, who runs an insane asylum, and her fiancée Lord Arthur, all give her blood transfusions, which is rather funny, in today's realm when blood type is necessary, not the physical fitness of the giver.  Dr. Steward calls upon his old teacher Dr. Van Helsing for help and try as they might, they are unable to rescue Lucy.

When Dr. Helsing writes to Mina to tell her about Lucy's death, the two soon meet and compare notes with Jonathan's journal and discover that the Count is in London and must be stopped at any and all costs.  An interesting side note: there is no mention of sunlight being able to harm the vampire.  Time is not on their side, as the Count has taken a part of Mina and she is turning into a vampire herself.  The five men must race against the clock to get to the count before Mina turns into a vampire or he finds a shelter they are unable to penetrate.

This was a hard book for me to read, in that I have a hard time reading books written in journal/letter form.  I had trouble reading The Diary of Ann Frank and that is considered one of the top one hundred books to read.  I also had trouble reading Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice, which is quickly becoming a classic on its own.  That being said, I'm glad I read it.  In the end, it did hook me, even if it took me longer than it should have to read.  It truly is a classic worth reading that leaves you satisfied at the end.

 Despair has its own calms.

--Bram Stoker (Dracula p 47)
 How well the man reasoned; lunatics always do within their own scope.

-- Bram Stoker (Dracula p 77)
 For life be, after all, only a waitin’ for somethin’ else than what we’re doin’; and death be all that we can rightly depend on.

-- Bram Stoker (Dracula p 80)
 All men are mad in some way or the other.

-- Bram Stoker (Dracula p 128)

 Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/DRACULA-Wisehouse-Classics-Original-1897/dp/9176372162/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476104339&sr=1-4&keywords=dracula

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