I said last post that Dracula was incredibly long. The last fifty pages or so were the longest of all. They traveled. Didn't see Dracula. Traveled some more. It was incredibly tedious, just people traveling around not seeing anything except snow. Van Helsing was the only one to get even the tiniest bit of action, and that was at the very end of the dull traveling. The ending was kind of terrible. I have to ask the same question as everyone else- did Bram Stoker run out of paper or something? Why would he choose not to give us an epic final battle? I think he tried, but it was all over far too quickly for my taste.
Dracula is not a terribly well written book, nor is it a particularly good one. It's told in diary entries, which I felt really harmed the book (suspension of disbelief only goes so far- could so many people really have dispassionately written so long-windedly about events like that?), especially once it started switching between different people's diaries. I could understand Jonathan's desire to record everything to show Mina, but I don't get why Dr. Seward would ever stop for paragraphs about how someone just came in with an emergency message before responding to the emergency.
There were many attempts throughout the book to be poetic, which I thought was a pity. When Bram Stoker writes about vampires, the writing improves, the book becomes interesting, and I find myself eager to turn the page (well, press the next page button, my library system for some reason had just one paper copy of it) to see what happens next. Long descriptions of places are really quite boring, because Bram Stoker really just lacks the talent to make flowery writing beautiful rather than irritating.
This book's good points were that the vampire bits were actually quite good (as were the ones with the asylsum guy... Renfield, I think), and that the vampire bits were actually about vampires. No mention of drinking animal blood here. It's amazing how refreshing it is to see a real vampire for once. It was incredibly satisfying to see Dracula not show up in mirrors, turn into a bat (try that for being an attractive vampire, Edward), and run away from crosses, not to mention the inability to go near garlic.
It wasn't a great book, but it should certainly inspire more authors in the future. Vampires have really become quite pathetic in modern writing, and they should return as the bloodthirsty creatures of hell they once were. It was wonderful- no one even suggested that Dracula was in love with Mina.
Speaking of which, all the romance in this book was between couples who got engaged within the first few pages or were already engaged in the beginning, and between a married couple at the end. All of the men spoke of their great love for Mina, but no one had the slightest idea that it might have been romantic. There was a bit of a "we're all in love with Lucy" thing going on at the beginning, but everyone acknowledged that it was Arthur she was in love with and everything was good, no hard feelings at all.
Seriously, YA fiction authors. Learn from this.
So, it's a 2 star book because of the good parts and the real vampires.
Quick update about my bear, I haven't actually seen him but food is vanishing so I'm a little more hopeful than in the last post. Obviously without seeing him I can't know for sure about his condition, but if he can walk to the food bowl and has an appetite that's better than the last time I did see him. Unfortunately with school I can't wait up all night trying for a glimpse (and I haven't been able to see him even when I do) but hopefully if he is getting better he'll eventually feel well enough to come out regularly again.