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                                    BOOK REVIEW - BRAM STOKER Ė DRACULA 1897 Penguin Books 

 

Despite countless film, television and comic book adoptions, and many other vampire stories from the work of Anne Rice to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Stokerís book remains the definitive and genuinely scariest tale of the Nosferatu.Told entirely in the diaries and letters of the protagonists, to give the work a documentary feel, the tale remains as frightening as Hell.It begins when a real-estate agent, Jonathon Harker, is sent to Transylvania to close a deal with one Count Dracula, who has purchased property in London. Harker describes his journey through a land of mysterious, highly superstitious people who make the sign of the evil eye and warn against any visit to the castle.Harker makes the journey anyway, but his guide abandons him part of the way and Harker is lost in a forest surrounded by baying wolves. Suddenly, he has anew guide, a coachman who stays silent and drives him at frightful speed to a castle, where Harker is the guest of Dracula. Harker is appalled by the figure, clearly the same man who drove him to the castle. Dracula woní teat food or drink wine, and becomes eager to lick the blood from a slight cut to Harkerís finger when a glass breaks. Harker son finds himself a prisoner in the castle once the sale of the London property is completed. He has frightful dreams about baby eating demonic women (other vampires0 and sees Dracula climbing the castle walls like a lizard. Harker escapes the castle, half maddened and in a fever. His wife comes to his rescue. Meanwhile, Dracula has sailed for England. The last log-entries of the ship on which he has sailed describe the plague of death that wipes out the entire crew, captain and all, and the ship arrives half wrecked in Whitby, England. Dracula now travels to London, where he begins to prey on Harkerís friends, and one Dr. Seward, who runs a local lunatic asylum, notices the vampireís effect on a madman called Renfied.The heroes witness the vampirisation of a beloved woman, and summon a vampire expert, called Van Helsing who stakes the vampire girl through the chest. When Harkerís wife faces a similar fate, they. Hypnotises her to learn Draculaís whereabouts and give thrilling chase through the Snows of Europe to stake him before the sun sets and he rises again.Moody and atmospheric, with moments of genuine terror you can se why the work has never been bettered by any of its later imitators, and why Dracula remains so immensely influential on popular culture. http://www.litgothic.com/Authors/stoker.html

 

Arthur Chappell

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