I Vant to Suck Your Blooood! (Dracula by Bram Stoker)

October 17, 2013 Classics, Frightening, Vampires 45

Greetings, Bookworms!

That’s right kids. In honor of my Halloweenie reading binge I finally got around to Dracula by Bram Stoker. I’ve had this book waiting around on my Kindle since I got a Kindle… 3 years ago. It was the very first book I downloaded, and it’s just been sitting there gathering digital dust while I read a zillion other things. I am proud to say that I conquered the grand-daddy of all vampire lore!


Dracula is written in an epistolary format, meaning that it is composed completely of letters, journal entries, and newspaper clippings. (I don’t mean to insult anyone’s intelligence by defining “epistolary format,” but since I had to look it up for myself a while back, I figured I’d be nice and throw y’all a bone. Nobody likes to have to google things!)

Our hero Jonathan is sent on a business trip to Transylvania in order to instruct a wealthy gentleman (Count Dracula) on how to go about purchasing property in England. Unfortunately for Jonathan, the Count hadn’t planned on allowing his guest to leave the castle in possession of his vital fluids. Nevertheless, Jonathan manages to escape while his love Mina makes the trip to help him recover from his ordeal in a foreign hospital.

While Mina is away, her BFF Lucy has some wild times. At the age of 19, Lucy receives three marriage proposals in a single day. (Weird social convention alert: it used to be normal to propose to acquaintances on the regular, and 19 was “old” to have never received an offer of marriage. According to Lucy, at least.) Anywho, she has these three suitors, but only one of them sets her heart aflame. She lets the other two down gently enough that they’re still pretty devoted to her… Her fellows are in close proximity when Lucy comes down with a mysterious ailment. One of the suitors she spurned happened to be a doctor, so he recruits his former professor Dr. Van Helsing to come and treat Lucy.

After some sleepwalking and nightmares and the usual dastardly vampirey tricks, Lucy is in pretty dire straits. Events occur… Garlic, crucifixes, holy water… You know. The usual. Of course, it wasn’t the usual before this book was released. I had to keep reminding myself of how groundbreaking this novel was because this is the SOURCE of the lore. It’s all become so mainstream that it’s easy to forget how inventive Stoker was.

I was pleasantly surprised with the beginning of the book- I had expected it to be drier, but I had no trouble following it. I enjoyed the use

Some might argue Dracula is tragically misunderstood... (Image Source)

Some might argue Dracula is simply misunderstood… (Image Source)

of journal entries and letters in advancing the narrative. I loved the psychic connection Dracula was able to have with his victims, but toward the end, I found things dragging a bit. Mina spent an awful lot of time under hypnosis telling Van Helsing that all her Dracula brain could interpret was darkness and the sound of waves. I’m sure Stoker was trying to build the tension by giving the characters so much time to travel, worry, and be frightened before their final showdown with the Count, but for me? It didn’t build tension, just my desire to sleep. Don’t worry though, I muddled through. I don’t want to spoil things, but I put the proverbial nail in the coffin of this book. (I’m sorry, but I cannot stop myself from making terrible jokes. There’s a chance my mind is being controlled by the vampire formerly known as Dave Coulier.)

I always love when I get add a classic to the list of books I’ve read. I was pleased with Dracula on the whole, and found it a perfect edition to my Halloweenie reading list. What about you, bookworms? Have any of you read Dracula? Did you feel like you’d already heard it all before since the lore has become ubiquitous, or were you able to focus on Stoker’s ingenuity?


45 Responses to “I Vant to Suck Your Blooood! (Dracula by Bram Stoker)”

  1. Ashley F

    I loved Dracula. I thought the format with the letters and journal entries was a great way to portray the story. Frankenstein is another good one, so much more to the plot than what most of the cheesy monster movies portray.

  2. Megan M.

    Cut. It. Out. (Haha, couldn’t resist!) Is Grammarly free? I’ve always wanted to use something like Turn It In but can’t afford to pay any kind of fee, so I never have.

    I haven’t read Dracula. I tried to read The Historian, which I think was an homage to Dracula, but I couldn’t get into it. I didn’t know the Van Helsing thing came from Dracula. You learn something new every day! I find the history that inspired the story fascinating, though. Vlad the Impaler, Elizabeth Bathory… I love that stuff.

    • Words for Worms

      Coulier!!! Grammarly has a free trial period, but after that it’s a paid service. The Historian was very much in homage to Dracula, which is probably part of the reason I kind of felt that I’d read it before… I seriously dig the twisted history too. Not that I want to bathe in the blood of virgins to retain my youth or anything…

      • Megan M.

        Haha! My best friend has always looked much younger than her age, and I once joked that it was because she bathed in the blood of virgins. You should have seen the looks I got. I was like “What? No one watches The History Channel??”

  3. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    Great review! I haven’t finished the book yet — I’ve had a hard time being monogamous to any book this month, so yeah…. Hopefully I’ll get back to this one and wrap it up by the end of the month.

  4. Charleen

    Nope, haven’t read it, although it’s on my “someday” list. Not surprised it starts to drag, storytelling was just so different back then.

  5. Jayne

    I really enjoyed Dracula. I liked the epistolary format (thanks for teaching me a new word!) since you got to see things from different points of view and it actually made sense to have different people narrating. I’ve never seen an movie versions or spin-offs and I wanted to find something after reading the book, but from my research it seems there haven’t been any versions that really stay true to the book or even honor the spirit of Stoker’s Dracula. I found that disappointing, so I haven’t tried to watch anything yet.

    • Words for Worms

      🙂 I’m glad I could help a fellow bookworm’s vocabulary! If you liked Dracula, have you tried Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian? It’s sort of an homage, but very similar stylistically and story-wise. I recommend it!

  6. Nadia

    Dracula rocks! I love that book! So glad to see you enjoyed it so much 🙂 You actually make me want to re-read it. Great post!!

  7. parastoukhiaban88

    It’s one of the classics on my TBR – i got the pretty clothbound version for my birthday but haven’t gotten round to reading it yet.
    If you like Dracula – read Turn of the Screw, same gothic style (according to my friend who recommended both books) and really quite short. I’ve just finished it and it made me exclaim loudly on the train – so don’t read it anywhere in public!

  8. Wayne

    Reading Dracula was kind of a disappointment for me after seeing the great Bela Lugosi do his thing in the 1931 film directed by Tod Browning. Who can forget Renfield locked up somewhere in a lunatic asylum laughing like a maniac? But then again, I was a young boy when I first saw the film on the tube. The novel was just too Victorian for an adolescent. I was more interested in Mad magazine and reading *On The Road*.

  9. Erica

    I LOVED this book. But, I have to admit…I kept envisioning Mel Brooks’ ” Dead and Loving It” almost the entire time.

  10. Stephanie

    I loved Dracula because I am sucker for anything Victorian, Gothic and vampiric. In fact I just included this on my TTT list of books I think kids (as in teenagers) should be forced to read in school (rest easy – I am not in charge of any children) mostly because think of all the interesting discussion you could have on how this view of vampires contrasts with our modern view and all the great symbolism. Great review!

    • Words for Worms

      I think Dracula would be a good required reading book. Kids love vampires, and it lacks sex and naughty words. At least I think. In my old age I’ve grown immune to sex and profanity in books. I barely notice them.

  11. Allison @ The Book Wheel

    I still need to read Dracula! Years ago I picked up Frankenstein and thought it was Dracula and got halfway through the book before I realized it and had quite the vocal epiphany. In my defense, I was in a post-surgery haze but my husband still won’t let me forget it. So I REALLY need to read this one and finally be able to say that I have 🙂

  12. Rory

    “I put the proverbial nail in the coffin of this book”. Love it.

    Dracula is one of my favorite dark classics. Dracula and Rebecca if we’re getting specific.

  13. Wayne

    I’d rather read Ann Rice any day than Stoker’s Dracula. Although Stoker created one bloody genre (excuse the pun!) the writing is tedious imho.

  14. tinykitchenstories

    I read this for a class in my Master’s program, and found out that Stoker wrote this because he thought women were getting too uppity, hence all of Lucy’s shenanigans and punishment at the hands of Dracula. Mina was a good girl, but JUST–she used a typewriter, for goodness sake, and that was getting a BIT TOO MODERN for Stoker’s tastes! When you think about the book from the misogynistic angle, it is a lot different…it’s been years since I read it, about oh, erm, 17 years, so I can’t remember the specifics. I loved the movie with Gary Oldman, even though Keanu Reeves was horrible. Just….horrible.

    • Words for Worms

      Whaaaat? Oh man. I never even thought about the mysogynistic undertones. Boooooo Stoker. (And yeah, Keanu Reeves is just awful… In basically everything. Except Bill & Ted.)

  15. Leah

    I’ve never read Dracula, and I’ve never had any desire to. But your post makes it actually sound like a fun, interesting read!

  16. Melinda

    I also have Dracula on my kindle, for probably longer than any other book 🙂 I am not sure if it’s something I would read anytime soon, but because it’s a classic, I will give it a go!

  17. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    Not terribly long ago I bought a book that included Dracula, Frankenstein and ….crud can’t remember the 3rd title. (Another creepy story I’m sure.) Anywhooo, I really want to read this and it’s the perfect time of year to do so 😀

  18. Wayne

    Vampire movies not to see or rent: (1.) Blackula (2.) Nosferatu the Vampyre and (3) Kojak: The Night Stalker. You are warned. Definitely 😉

  19. Sarah Says Read

    I STILL haven’t read this, and part of it is because I kind of foresee it being one of those classics that’s pretty good but also putting me to sleep. I DO want to read it eventually… I should find a League of Extraordinary Gentleman challenge to attempt again, because this was one of the books. And because the idea of that challenge just tickles me, especially since I’ve actually SEEN that movie now.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.