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“Dracula” by Bram Stoker [English Review]

Hi everybody!

As my third review totally in English I’ve thought about a Classic that no one shall miss in his bookshelves: Dracula by Bram Stoker!

Title Dracula Author Bram Stoker Date 1994 (first published 1897) Publisher Penguin Books Format Paperback Pages 449

Dracula recounts the struggle of a group of men and a woman – Dr Seward, Dr Van Helsing and Jonathan Harker and his wife Mina – to destroy the vampire, whose sinister earth-filled coffins are discovered by Harker in a ruined chapel adjoining Dr Seward’s asylum. Cruel and noble, evilly and fatally desirable to women, Dracula possesses a terrifying lust for power and, like Dr Jekyll or Conan Doyle’s Moriarty, is one of the immortal fictional monsters.

While analysing a Classic, I’m always aware that I cannot precisely explain its value and all its meanings. This is far more true talking about Dracula by Bram Stoker. This masterpiece of the English Gothic deals with so many themes that it is impossible to approach them without keeping you here, reading, for at least a whole year. But this is just a review! Well… I adore Stoker’s novel and I’ve read it twice, falling in love again with the story and its characters. What I’ve loved the most is the idea that, even if it is talking about a creature which cannot truly exist in his age, Stoker tries to make it real, to adapt a mythological being to nineteenth century and be sure that it can frighten London society.

It’s well-written, full of interesting themes and connections with Stoker’s century, its contradictions and fears which are represented by a fantastic monster. The vampire is everything abnormal and obscure that characterises nineteenth-century England, with his hunters who are the most powerful examples of a new era bourgeoisie and of its values. But, and that’s the most clever aspect of this novel, the Count is also everything the hunters need to be if they want to be seen as successful and powerful members of their society. Made up by a collage of diaries’ annotations, letters and journals, Dracula is a hymn to modernity and its success, but it is also a critique to society, to its contradictions and to its paradoxes.

Unfortunately, I still don’t know when my next English review will be, but stay tuned, because maybe it’ll be sooner than you expected!

Tomorrow I’m back with my Italian classic reviews!

Bye 💋

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