This is it. The original. The one that started it all. The Vampire Book. Featuring : The Vampire.
I bought a paperback of this years ago and I could have sworn that I read it, getting rid of it later because of the campy cover. But when I read this again in digital text format it seems impossible that something this good would be forgotten. I remember I wasn't too impressed when I read it before. I'm baffled by that. This book is impressively good. Definitely reread material. So two things could explain my first reading: one, it never happened or two, I was in such a wrecked emotional state in the late nineties that the book never penetrated.
Anyway, I found the construction of the book ingenious. Stoker patches together journals, letters, and such to tell the whole inegmatic tale.
One thing though, I watched Coppola's 'Dracula' before I read the book - something which I slightly regret. Don't get me wrong the movie was good. Not as good as the book but it was good. Ideally, I should have read the book first then watched the movie. The way it stands now is that while I was reading the book I was visualizing the cast members. The whole movie was well casted except for Oldman as Dracula. But that's forgivable since Coppola's Dracula is not Stoker's Dracula. Coppola's Dracula retains something of humanity, Stoker's is a pure evil beast and therfore better. I don't care much for Coppola's insertion of a love story between Dracula and Mina. There is a love story already, a powerful one, between Mina and Jonathan. I do prefer Copolla's brilliant twist of making Renfield Harkers' predecessor in the real estate trade - it explains Renfield's mania. The book does not explain how Renfield came to know about the Count. Another thing that the book does not explain is the origin of Dracula; something the movie went into. I like the book's approach better. Keep it mysterious, forever unknown. Delicious.
In the end its impossible to dislike this. I'm a true monster fan and this is Dracula. Not just any vampire. Dracula by the man who brought him ot life, Stoker. Bram Stoker's Dracula. This is the book that launched a sub-genre. The book that stands as the foremost horror novel of its day. This is Dracula. A must read.