Publisher and Publication Date: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. October 2, 2018.
Genre: Fiction. Gothic horror fiction.
Audience: Readers of vampire stories.
Dracul, Stoker’s Dracula #1 is considered a prequel to the story Dracula that was written by Bram Stoker in 1897.
The Dracul story centers around the family of Bram Stoker. Bram, his sister, and older brother are the main characters. They live in Dublin, Ireland. The have younger siblings who are secondary characters.
When the book begins it is 1868. Bram Stoker is a young man in his early twenties. He is in a closed room in a tower. A dark force is trying to come into the room and subdue him. The story will reflect on Bram’s childhood. So, the story goes back and forth in time, between Bram’s current situation and how the “real” story began.
Gothic horror fiction is not the normal reading for me, but sometimes I like to do something quirky and unexpected.
It’s been several years ago that I read Dracula for the first time. About that same time, I read Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Frankenstein is one of my top five favorite books.
Back to Dracul.
The Stoker children are young when the memories of Bram take him back to those early years with their Nanna Ellen. I don’t like reading about bad things happening to children. I am glad the story did not show or tell me about the abuse of children.
A mystery element is added to the story with Nanna Ellen. Who is this strange woman. She holds a bit of intrigue and magic, but is she dangerous? Her character made a strong case for continuing to read the book. I had to know who is this woman?
Bram is young in this story. He is either a child or a young man. He holds an innocence and trust. The wisdom that comes from age has not yet taught him to beware.
This is not a sensual story. This is a good thing considering young children are the main characters. I bring this point up because the story Dracula certainly has a sensual element.
The beginning of vampirism is discovered and defined in Dracul. This first book does a solid job of defining.
The atmosphere of the story is dreary and gray. The setting is perfect for the storyline.
The chill (at least tepid) of the Stoker parents is not something I understand. For this time period and social status, maybe this was the normal. The children are drawn to a caring individual who is there for them.
The story held my attention from the first to the last page.
Bram’s siblings hold strong parts in the story: Matilda and Thornley. Thornley’s wife presents a wild scene on the dining table. Each of the siblings have careers that contribute to the whole of the story. For example, Thornley is a surgeon. Matilda is an artist (a keen eye for detail.)