Avox in Arcadia (perpetual) wrote,
Avox in Arcadia

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Ten Things I Didn't Know About Bram Stoker's Dracula, Although Maybe You Did, Who Am I to Say

1.) The story is told entirely through the format of letters and diary entries from various characters, plus the occasional news article.

2.) Van Helsing doesn't show up until a quarter of the way through. He's described as an old man, a professor and doctor, but he's the keeper of all the vampire lore that isn't acquired directly during the story's action.

3.) First stake through the heart, then chop off the head, then fill the mouth with garlic. Oh, and trim the stake so the tip stays in there. Yeah, you're gonna need to open up a coffin for this to work. The most useful thing for a vampire hunter to have on hand? Eucharist.

4.) If there's a main character, it's Mina Harker. She ends up carrying the team a lot, but doesn't seem to hold it against them.

5.) Aside from Dracula, Van Helsing, and the Harkers, there are a few other characters and I'd never heard of them. One is American!

6.) It's not scary, but honestly, most books aren't, are they? I never really read much horror so maybe I'm missing something. In any case, a couple significant character deaths do happen, and for its time, I imagine this was seen as gripping and terrible.

7.) This quote: "I have a kind of belief in a Winchester when there is any trouble of that sort around." Yeah yeah, you know the kind of Winchester he meant, but it made me smile.

8.) Also this quote: "Whilst they played wits against me, against me who commanded nations, and intrigued for them, and fought for them, hundreds of years before they were born, I was countermining them." See, here it occurred to me that I've never actually seen a screen adaptation of the original Dracula, because I recognized this line from its bastardization in, you guessed it, the movie that Billy Fordham lip-syncs to in "Lie to Me."

9.) The name of Vlad Țepeș doesn't appear. Wikipedia says that Stoker might not have even known the legend that well, and that he just liked the moniker "Count Dracula."

10.) Not only can he turn into a wolf (or bat, mist, etc.), but he has the power to command wolves. There aren't any wild ones on hand in England, so he goes to the zoo to recruit. That was my favorite part.

If you decide to read this book, it will probably be for the same reasons I did and not based on anyone's recommendation, but for whatever it's worth, I'd encourage you to go for it. The great thing is that, whatever classic status it's achieved over the decades, it was written for cheap thrills, and fun is fun.
Tags: a book i read, a show i watched, buffyverse

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