Friday, 17 April 2015

Review of "Dracula"

(image taken from Oxford University Press)

Dracula has been on by TBR pile for about seven years. As a fan of the Gothic I should have got round to reading this yonks ago, but I finally managed it a few weeks ago. And wow, do I regret not having done so before. This is most definitely sat in my top ten books of all time, possibly top five. If you haven't read it, I would highly suggest you got out and do so. There's everything you could ever want in there: love interests, underlying sex scandals, gore, the uncanny, well developed characters and incredible writing. 

Jonathon Harker travels from London to Transylvania to conduct a deal with a man living in a mysterious home. When he arrives, he realises it isn't just the fact the man's home which is a little odd. Count Dracula, Harker's host, soon displays worrying behaviour, particularly when he refuses Jonathon's entreaties to leave the castle. Having arranged for the Count to move to London, Harker soon begins to question what he has done when he encounters the count sleeping in a coffin ...

Thus begins a whirlwind of a hunt against time to save the woman of London from this vile predator. Who will win this ultimate battle?

There are so many issues raised about normative gender roles, the idea of a 'foreigner' and sexual orientation in this wonderfully deep novel. The image of blood runs throughout the text, and gets particularly interesting if you think about its relation to both menstrual blood and semen. Moreover,the corruption of sexually innocent women by this life-sucking European exposes a number of fears held by the British population during this period about immigration. The contamination of blood leading to disease also links to the concern about STIs (though not necessarily ones we would immediately think about). 

Have you read it? What did you think?
Steph x

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