Dracula

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?

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

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…

Dracula is my all-time favourite vampire novel. There are so many things I love about this book: the epistolary form in which Stoker wrote it; the chilling atmosphere of Dracula’s home country, with its superstitious locals, its crumbling castles, and its howling wolves; the sheer menace Dracula exudes as he travels to England, slaughtering a whole ship’s crew along the way, with a view to spreading his plague of vampirism. Count Dracula is, without, doubt, one of the greatest, most terrifying characters ever created in horror fiction. I revisit this book many times, as I just love it so much.…

Dracula is a classic. There’s no getting around that. However, the truly interesting part of the story is not the powerful vampire but rather the woman he turns. Mina Murray is a tragic character that Dracula turns against those who care for her. They struggle and try to help her despite how unlikely salvation may be, and that is where the story actually shines.

From Frank's list on monster stories about humanity.

While not the first vampire novel, it’s the one most people think is. What made this interesting was that it was told, not through standard prose, but through letters and diary entries. Using different types of communication to tell the tale, as well as never seeing things through the titular character’s eyes, helped elevate this and create an air of mystery around the big bad.

From Matt's list on creepy stories told in unique ways.

Dracula was my introduction to fictional monsters. Vampires in folklore have been around forever, but Stoker was the first to put that folklore into a novel. I know the story’s been retold in movies and almost everyone is familiar with it, but reading it is different. I love how Stoker starts with what should be a normal business trip for Johnathon, takes it from normal to strange, to definitely weird, to frightening, to terrifying. Then he takes it back to weird as he moves the story to England, changes a few things up and then brings up the terror levels…

Yes, I know Bram Stoker’s Dracula didn’t really exist! But it is thought that Stoker based him on the fifteenth century Wallachian prince, Vlad III, known as Dracula (son of the dragon), of whom a thousand tales of cruelty and atrocity are still told in Romania today. My interest in the historical Vlad Dracula actually began with this book (and in fact I once took off with three friends to follow Jonanthan Harker’s route through Transylvania!), but I love it in its own right because it is such a wonderful Gothic horror story, deliciously atmospheric, and full of suspense, emotion,…

From Mary's list on controversial historical heroes.

Here, we have a contemporary novel—and that’s one of the confusing things about this foundational book. It’s set when it was written, in the 1890s, and revels in its then modernity, from pioneering blood transfusions to Dr. Seward’s phonographic diary. But viewed from more than a century later, it seems like a period piece, the apogee of gothic horror. Its influence is vast, affecting authors way beyond those of us who simply concoct tales of vampires. We all imitate Stoker, but who is paying the more faithful homage? Those who bring vampires into their own present day, or those like…

In high school, when I’d exhausted the full catalogue of Agatha Christie, read all the James Herriot books, and was looking for something different, I discovered Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This book is still my favourite book and it celebrates its 125th year in print this year and it’s never been out of print. I think that says it all.

I love how the entire story is told through journal entries, letters, and newspaper articles. A brilliant, innovative idea that has been copied many times since. I love the growing feeling of unease that builds throughout the novel, and I…

Dracula is the book that ignited both my love of historical fiction and my passion for vampires! The brilliantly brooding atmosphere and blood-thirsty story are brought to life through letters and journal entries. Dracula launched a thousand other stories of vampires – many of them total page-turners – but the original is still the best. I must have re-read this story ten times. I’ve studied it. I’ve watched adaptations on TV and film. I’ve written essays about it. And I’m still not bored of it!

From Kerry's list on letters that change someone’s life.

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