Dracula starts off with Jonathan Hawker, an English lawyer, travelling to a foreign European Country to give legal advice to Count Dracula. The novel mainly follows his point of view, told in an epistolary format.
This encounter does not end well for Hawker and he returns to England bewildered over his stay with Dracula. Back in England, we meet Hawker’s fiance, Mina Murray, her friend Lucy Westerna, and three men who are in love with Lucy: Dr. John Seward, Quincey Morris, and Arthur Holmwood. Lucy ends up engaged to Holmwood, but the entire group stay friends and come together when Lucy starts exhibiting strange behaviour.
What follows is an account of how the group slowly come to realize that Dracula is wreaking havoc in England (and within their own group) and how they come together to stop him, with the help of Dr. Van Helsing.
This novel is an amazing horror novel. It’s incredibly atmospheric, and while there is a lot of mystery and intrigue around Dracula and what he is, knowing that he is a vampire doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the novel. The scenes depict the different ways that Dracula manipulates people and/or gains his strength, and they make for a very compelling and charismatic view of Dracula.
That being said, while the plot is amazing, the characterization is horrible. It’s hard to differentiate between the personalities of any the male characters, with the exemption of Van Helsing and thus the only memorable characters are Dracula and Van Helsing, both of whom seem to take the spotlight with re-tellings of this novel as well. Hellsing presented some very interesting conversations on belief and science, and he was definitely the most quotable character in the book.
My other gripe about this book is the ending because the ending was just… like what? that’s it? According to wikipedia, there was an ending to the novel that was cut off for whatever reason, but still. It was incredibly lack-luster.
Recommended Readings if you enjoyed Dracula:
This Book is part of my No Book Left Behind Project