Sucks the life out of you
|Bram Stoker in 1897|
Modern vampires suck. Well, I suppose all vampires suck, but not in the sense of sucking blood. Rather, they excel at being crap, like the stupid sparkly vampires from Twatlight*. Apart from Kate Beckinsale, she’s the exception to the rule. The inspiration for reading Dracula was when The Boss started watching the recent Jonathan Rhys Meyers drama series, also named Dracula, where the audience is drawn into the world of Victorian England filled with characters baring familiar names, but half of them now being gay or lesbian to draw in audiences, I thought that it would be good to see what Bram Stoker’s original work was actually about.
The reason the television drama Dracula had to include overt lesbianism (and other kinds of isms) is pretty darn simple. Dracula is a really boring book. Its no wonder the show has to resort to the lowest common denominator to attract viewer interest. It’s one of the few books I’ve read that expound its story through the most unrealistic and possibly boring means: that of character diaries. The reason is that memories of events are never reliable, unless you have a perfect record keeping ability or an eidetic memory.
The book introduces us to the world of vampires, Victorian England and the various characters with the arrival of Johnathan Harker in Translyvania in order to help Count Dracula complete the purchase of a house in London. Once there, he realises he’s been trapped in the castle, and despite the good graces of the Count, realises that he’s not going to have a good end if he stays there. He tries to make good his escape from Castle Dracula. Meanwhile, his fiance, Mina Murray is concerned for the health of her friend, Lucy Westenra who suffers from sleepwalking and then a mysterious bout of anaemia. Simultaneously, she pines for Harker, who has mysteriously disappeared following his imprisonment in Castle Dracula.
I realise that the book was written over a hundred years ago in a different time and era, and though the atmosphere is very dark and conducive to horror, the characters themselves are only ever described in the nicest words and ways. Whether that is a deliberate device used by Stoker to contrast the good and evil in the world presented in the book, I’m not sure, but it sure is tiresome reading all the praise being heaped the characters from each other. There are also, unsurprisingly in a book about the evil undead, lots of references to God and the Christian religion. That’s also pretty tiring, and ironic too, because as the characters are whisking us through their adventure-by-recollection, they make fun of the inhabitants of central Europe as being superstitious!
I can see why vampires are such an unnerving, yet popular genre of fiction these days. I just wish that Dracula was far more exciting as a book to read. Certainly, not much happens in it, and a lot of the exposition is quite unnecessary. If, like me, you’re curious about the literary origins of Shovelface, Mouthbreather and vampires in general, Dracula is the best point to start. Just be prepared to be bored.
* May not be the actual title of movie and book.
Sucky. Really sucky.
Should I read this?
It’s about as boring and mindless as a zombie. Speaking of zombies, go read World War Z. It’s much better.