By Bram Stoker,

Book cover of Dracula

Book description

'The very best story of diablerie which I have read for many years' Arthur Conan Doyle

A masterpiece of the horror genre, Dracula also probes identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. It begins when Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London…

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Why read it?

21 authors picked Dracula as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Older than the rest and still one of the best, Dracula was my introduction to the epistolary format. My eleven-year-old self was pleasantly surprised when the diaries and letters never gave way to straight narration. Reading the book gave me the chance to see how much detail was left out of the various movie adaptations.

After a slow start with Harker’s travelogue, the book unleashed some gruesome and haunting imagery. I thought Renfield’s scenes were especially chilling. I can’t wait to check out the complete, uncut version of the novel, released in Sweden as Powers of Darkness, to see…

From Amanda's list on creepy epistolary horror novels.

As an avid reader-writer, picking a No. 1 was not easy. But I gotta go with the master here, and, as you can see, I really don't care when a novel was published.

This is one of the best suspense (more than horror) novels ever written, period. I read this book when I was quite young, 9 or 10, and it scared the sh** out of me. Reading this book as a much older man, I am amazed at its fluidity and mastery. Stephen King pales in comparison.

It's an absolute masterpiece of breathless anticipation, dread, and doom. Subtract the…

Another book I've read so many times and never tire of.

The structure is very clever, being told through the means of letters, diaries, and newspaper accounts - something I also like to incorporate in my own Victorian novels. Drawing on previous works that contain vampiric themes, this turns the genre into a rip-roaring sensation. It really is a masterpiece that deserves its success - as eternal as the vampire living across the centuries.

From Essie's list on inspirational and eerie Gothic.

The king of vampires, and arguably the king of Gothic, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is, at minimum, a classic representation of the Gothic. It is also an espionage tale underneath.

Although not elaborated in great detail (it is however, in the Swedish translation/interpretation of Dracula, titled Powers of Darkness), Count Dracula has a world domination plot he intends to enact. The details are vague but do seem to involve the numerous coffins he has placed around London. Are these all for him or for the legion of the undead he is creating, starting with female protagonist Mina Harker’s best…

From Wade's list on the Gothic-espionage connection.

I have to recommend this, it’s vampire law.

With no individual protagonist, Dracula follows Dracula’s attempt to move to London and eat people. As well as his desperate attempt to escape after discovery. This we know, but, did you know, the book is a time capsule.

Taking you from Victorian Whitby to Eastern Europe. It covers; the cultural importance of marriage, the growing influence of America on British shores, the medical practices of the time, at the dawn of psychology. And probably hitting at a time of renewed interest in vampires, as humanity made the leap from the old world…

Cheating slightly here since Dracula is clearly not set entirely aboard a ship, but the short sequence aboard the Demeter, the schooner that carries the count from his castle in Transylvania to Whitby, is memorable enough to count.

There’s something so terrifyingly ominous about the whole sequence, from the strange storm that blows up out of nowhere as the Demeter reaches the coast to the warnings in the ship’s log about there being something on board. As the ship gets closer to shore, the crew begins disappearing, and in England, Lucy suddenly begins sleepwalking.

From Amy's list on spooky ships.

Not the first vampire tale by any means, but the most iconic.

Stoker researched the subject for seven years and filled his novel with vampire lore combined with contemporary science and technology – all presented as an absorbing scrapbook of diaries, journals, letters, telegrams, and newspaper cuttings.

In doing so, he crystallized the figure of the aristocratic vampire, which rapidly became a hit on the silver screen through a succession of influential adaptations that played alongside a limitless appetite for new vampire fiction.

By the 1960s the vampire was a cornerstone of the horror cinema and comic books; come the…

From Nick's list on inspiring creativity.

I know what you’re thinking. Dracula isn’t unconventional. Well, at the time it was released, it was. Stoker did an excellent job of incorporating many genres into his vampire novel, including gothic horror and dark fantasy. Dracula is one of the reasons I write dark fantasy. The genre has changed so much over the years that if Dracula were released today, it would be unconventional once more, with Dracula being a true predator.

You didn’t think we would leave out the granddaddy of modern vampire fiction, did you? While John Polidori’s The Vampyre, J. Sheridan le Fanu’s Carmilla, and the penny dreadful Varney the Vampire preceded it, Bram Stoker’s epistolary masterpiece (and the film adaptations that followed) cemented our modern understanding of vampires, for better or worse. Some of Stoker’s assertions about the creatures are purely his own invention (nowhere in folklore do vampires turn into bats), but others he cobbled together in the ghastly figure of Dracula himself, who serves as a sort of harbinger of sexual decadence and xenophobic…

From Kurt's list on making you a true vampire scholar.

Perhaps I’m being biased, because I’m Irish and live in Dublin, where Bram Stoker’s famous work was written, but this masterpiece is simply that. Stoker stirs the senses throughout his hauntingly, tragic tale, which is set in Transylvania, evoking feelings inside us of uncontrollable power, eternal love (the Count’s obsession with Mina will have you torn), all married together by the fear of death—and the undead—and all masterfully done through the eyes (or fangs!) of his Prince of Darkness. If, like me, you’re a lover of the dark and depraved world of vampires, Dracula will turn your blood cold…

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