Wow this was not the ordeal I was expecting it to be. I always automatically regard older books as something that won't interest me. I really don't know why. This was definitely one of the best books I have ever read. Yes the writing is a little bit difficult at times but when I say a little bit, I mean a little bit. After the first few pages the difference in the older style of writing barely registered with me I was so engrossed in the actual storyline.
Dracula is the original vampire book really isn't it? And since the literary world is over-run with vampire and paranormal themed books at the moment I though I should go back to the original that stemmed all the books that I adore. It didn't let me down one little bit. It's probably still the most original, the most scary and atmospheric than any of the vampire themed books I've read.
As I've said countless times before I love a book that deals in multiple narratives and this one does just that. All the characters are then well-developed and you get a personal feel for each and every one of them. Mina is a great strong female character and even though this book is over a hundred years old I felt she had her own very strong opinion and independence. Of course there's the obligatory minding of her by the men as she is just a 'weak woman' but I don't feel that this in any way went over the line of sexism, more just extreme chivalry. This actually surprised me. Also the men are all in all such kind and decent people you can't help but forgive them some of their comments about protecting Mina's innocence. By the way I did not know that Van Helsing was created in this novel.
The plot is fantastic and moves a long at a great pace. The problem with some older books is they can have pages and pages where nohing is happening but a character is having a long argument in his head about something or other. This does happen in Dracula but these seem to be contained to paragraphs rather than pages. Dracula himself is such an inherently evil and scary character that it makes the whole book more atmospheric just by him being in it. I also loved the character's surroundings at the different points in the book such as Dr. Seward's lunatic asylum and the castle in Transylvania. Try saying Transylvania without doing the accent, bet you can't!
Anyway to sum up this was one of my best reads, not just all year, but ever. I enjoyed it immensely and am forever indebted to Bram Stoker for creating a character so good it has survived through decades to live on in so many ways and forms, not just in the literary world but the film and tv too. Thank You!