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My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Listen to Them..Children of the Night

(Book 3 of 4)

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics (September 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 159308160X

Amazon: Upon its publication in 1897, Bram Stoker's Dracula was seen as nothing more than a slightly cheesy thriller, if an unusually successful one. Most such "shilling shockers" were forgotten within a year or two. But this one was different: Over the course of the next century Count Dracula, the aristocratic vampire, left his natural habitat between the pages of a book and insinuated himself into the world's consciousness as few other fictional characters have ever done. Now, more than a hundred years after his appearance in print, Dracula has shed the status of "fictional character" altogether and has become an authentic modern myth.


Admittedly, I am 64 yrs old and although I have seen the Dracula Movies countless times (however not for a long time now) I never read the book before. Last year when Carl had the RIP Challenge I noticed many chose to read Dracula by Braum Stoker, and again this year it appeared on many lists (pools)... I thought I'd bite the bullet and read it.

As I read I had a feeling that I had read it before, but of course I had not... it must have been those very old movies!

I didn't realize when I chose to read the book that it was in the form of journals and diaries. I did find the writing of the book in such a manner likeable, but at the same time, to be perfectly honest, I found that the book had no draw for me. The only reason I finished the book was that I was determined to be able to say that I read it and didn't give up. So, it's safe to say that for the most part, I was disappointed.

This may well have been a case of having grown up seeing the old black and white movies that (back then/ 1931) was made very close to the actual writing of the book. It didn't hurt that Bela Lugosi knew how to play creepy and evil ..heh.

As I said: the writing of this book is really good.. it just didn't grab me.

Let me leave you with a small quote from early in the book, made by John Harker as he visited Count Dracula in his home.

What manner of man is this, or what manner of creature is it in the semblance of man? I feel the dread of this horrible place overpowering me; I am in fear- in awful fear- and there is no escape for me; I am encompassed about with terrors that I dare not think of.....

19 Comments:

Blogger Rhinoa said...

I'm sorry you were disappointed by the book. I read it for the RIP challenge last year and had the opposite reaction! Hopefully your next pick will be better and you will continue to enjoy the multitude of Dracula films.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

I think maybe it's a book that you either love or you don't. I actually thought I'd already read it when it came to reading it last year, but decided I hadn't. I liked it a lot but can well see why others might not. At least you can now claim to have read it and that's book number three for you isn't it? Well done. :-)

10:04 AM  
Blogger Bobbi said...

I enjoyed this book, but then again, I love vampire stories. I read and reviewed this book for a classic challenge several months ago!

10:08 AM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

I agree with Cath. Sorry that this one didn't grab you, and better luck with the next one!

12:04 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

I have never actually read Dracula all the way through before. I tried but it just didn't grab me... which could be why I've never seen the old horror movies either.

1:33 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

rhonia: nany like the books which is one reason I decided to try it.

Cath: It makes me wonder why I liked the movie! weird. It had some "moments"..but too few, I found I was actually bored reading it.

bobbi: well I'm glad I tried. just didn't seem right reading for "halloween" for two years now and not trying to read Dracula.

Nymeth: guess my choices this year leave something to be desired lol

ladytink: the few movies I've seen (and I don't claim to jump at the chance to see vampire movies) have all been pretty good.. so I expected to at least like (not love) the book.

2:06 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I've never read the book either, Pat. But of course, I have seen the movie many times---though not in recent years!
Lugosi was a really WONDERFUL Actor and kind of got "stuck" in the creepy Dracula-Type Genre...It isc sad, because we never got to see him do all that was capable of...!

And in answer to your question...that plant of mine with those small lovely pastel flowers is NOT related to the Burrow Tail, though both are Succulents, that Beautious group of plants that are Fleshy and so very pretty, and produce such beautiful flowers.....! It's funny, I had a Burrows Tail in a Hanging Basket a long time ago, but after I moved it down below it did not do as well at all---And in fact, I lost it. And I never replaced it. But they are certainly BEAUTIFUL Plants and especially if they ARE in a Hanging Basket, where they really should be.

9:15 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

naomi: yes, it is a shame Lugosi was one stuck in type-casting.. unfortunately he isn't/ wasn't alone in that.

I've had burrow tails at one time or another and loved them, but they don't hold a candle to the colors in that succulant you took photos of!

3:03 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I'm a total vampire buff, and I've never read Dracula. I keep meaning to. I even bought a brand new copy. But I've just never gotten around to it.

Sorry you didn't love it. But it's not for everyone!

11:29 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

steph: I agree with you.. but I did think the writing would be better than the old Lugosi movies.. but actually, in this case I don't think it was.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

I am proud of you for sticking with it even though it wasn't grabbing you. I read it for the first time when I was twelve and it was an experience that has stuck with me all the rest of my life. It truly is my favorite book. I love everything about it and have read it many, many times. I have not seen a film version of Dracula that I have ever truly liked because none of them represents the story even close to the way Bram Stoker told it. I think one of the ones with Christopher Lee in it is the only one I felt came close (and I enjoyed it on some level) but nothing moves me like the book does. I just love the language and the atmosphere and the way it is told in journal form adds to the eerie factor for me.

I do agree though that novels like this can really be a love them or hate them kind of thing. Again, I'm proud of you for finishing it out.

12:56 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

carl: well, I didn't hate the book.. or I couldn't have finished it. And I did like the way it was told in journal and letter form. And I do like when a writer can take me to the "time and place" through their writing which Stoker did.. I have no idea why, but I just found it boring. .. and that surprised me very much.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

I'm sorry this one was a disappointment for you! But then again, on a totally selfish note, it gives me some reassurance. I read Frankenstein last RIP and was so disappointed that I didn't fall in love with it. (I didn't hate it, but I definitely didn't love it.) So many people just love that book, and I wondered what was wrong with me for not enjoying it more. If I'm disappointed in Dracula, at least I'll know I'm in good company!

12:40 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

Dracula is certainly one of those novels that I think can either suffer or be enhanced by both expectations and what a person brings to it. I have always loved it as much because of the romance and the chivalry in it as I do the scary parts. And when I read it at 12 it was very scary (even now though I find it eerie, but I can't help it after exposing myself to it at that age). So when I read it now I'm getting more out of the language, etc. It may be very boring, especially by today's standards. I'm no judge because it just isn't that way to me. I've heard people say they thought Stoker's novel The Mystery of the Sea was a bit slow and dull as well but I didn't find it that way at all. I'm just predisposed to liking his writing. I'm just glad you can say you've read it and am thrilled you are diving in to different stuff for the challenge! :)

2:14 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

debi: I don't know if I'll try Frankenstein or not one day lol.. I am reading the Historian right now and it's much more enjoyable (to me) than Dracula... and yet, it's still about Dracula.. go figure huh?! lol

Carl: I can imagine that at age 12 the book would be far more creepy to me than it is at my "advanced age" (hush up!) I guess I hoped that the movies didn't do the book justice, but, though others may not agree.. I think some of them did the book justice and did not waver from the book itself... could be that's why it seemed boring to me?

2:28 PM  
OpenID xicanti said...

I've tried to read Dracula three times now, and have had to abandon it each and every time. As you said, there just wasn't a draw. I liked the format and I found some of the writing quite engaging, but most of it just bored me. I've never been able to stick with it.

10:48 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

xicanti: it was a challenge lol.. I found it interesting enough to finish it but I can't say it was a book I'll ever read again!

7:43 AM  
Blogger Framed said...

I've never watched the movies so maybe that's why I liked the book so well. It was my first vampire book when I read it last year and now I've read several. The Historian is my favorite of the all that I've read.

10:49 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Framed: I could see where that could make a difference.. although I didn't feel fright or tension building as I read the book, which I expected

11:06 AM  

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