"Hysterical, campy fun!"
- Tony Brown, cleveland.com

"Full of suspense, romance, drama and lots of laughs!"

- Dan Shaurette, Out of the Coffin podcast

This extraordinary one-act drama deftly explores the evolution of the centuries-old vampire myth.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

"Dracula" by Bram Stoker

  /ʌnˈkæni/ [uhn-kan-ee]
1. having or seeming to have a supernatural or inexplicable basis; beyond the ordinary or normal; extraordinary: uncanny accuracy; an uncanny knack of foreseeing trouble.
2. mysterious; arousing superstitious fear or dread; uncomfortably strange: Uncanny sounds filled the house.

Spoiler Alert: There will be spoiler.

In spite of a protracted final chase sequence for which it was difficult for this reader (encumbered by matters of a domestic nature) to keep his eyes open ... for several nights ... and the conclusion, which by today's standards was a bit anti-climactic (he doesn't fight back? really? just lies there?) it was impressive to me the extent to which this novel clearly sets out a series of rules, regulations, and plot structure which have defined vampire adventures ever since.
1. Ordinary people are set upon by a creature of which they are ignorant.
2. Eccentric expert appears who knows exactly what it is and precisely how to kill it.
3. They chase down the monster and slay it, all is right with the world.
4. ... or is it?
Is this novel an indictment of Victorian values, or is this novel their champion? In particular I was delighted by Mina's final-act observation of how great it is to have lots of money - that if they did not, they wouldn't have been able to fight back against this villain at all, could not have afforded passage across the wilds of Europe, certainly not with any speed or comfort, they could not have kept warm or fed themselves. Still fresh in everyone's mind prior to the publication of this book, a serial killer murdered a number of prostitutes, and no well-funded heroes set out the avenge their deaths.

To understand any of what comes after in vampire literature, this novel must be read first. Or in my case, eventually.

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