“No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be.” Jonathan Harker ~ Dracula
I read my first Gothic Horror novel: “Dracula” by Bram Stoker.
I personally am not into vampires. I don’t like them; they have gone from creepy and disgusting to just plain annoying in today’s world! So, when my mother suggested I read the old classic “Dracula” I was naturally leery. However, Dracula is now on my “Favorites” shelf and I think that it throws any other vampire stories I have read so far “into the mud”. I also think it was one of the most Christian books I have ever read, next to anything written by Frank Peretti. It surprised me that Bram Stoker actually depicted the vampires as demons, with no heart or mercy or pure thought, inhabiting a human’s body. Try to find that in today’s vampire stories!
However, before I would recommend Dracula for reading I would give a warning: it is a horror genre novel. It has some very gruesome, morbid parts and it does suggest some very mild sensuality in some parts that would be somewhat disturbing to a few readers that I know. But, if you can handle watching the news on TV or if you have read any of Frank Peretti’s books, I can guarantee you will be able to handle Dracula.
So now that I have that said and done, shall we move on?
It took about three chapters of for the story to really get rolling, but I must give the author some leeway because “Dracula” was written in the late 1800’s and does not follow the guidelines of today’s modern fiction: begin with a KAPOW that grips your readers on the very first page! Dracula actually eases mysteriously into the story, which was a nice change from today’s fiction.
Once I got past the first couple of pages, the story became very intriguing. I was amazed at how well the author tinged the story with deep mystery, really arousing my curiosity in the plot. This kept me turning the pages through the first part of the book.
The book is written completely in first person, being a collection of diaries and memoirs from each character involved in the story. I was certain that the first person narrative was going to drive me crazy, as it did in Mobey Dick, but it flowed smoothly in this book and made the characters VERY realistic. Again I was amazed at the author’s skill as he was able to craft each of the characters with such different personalities! I generally pride myself in staying detached from fictional characters in a story, but Bram Stoker’s skill in the first person narrative made it impossible for me to remain indifferent to these characters. In other words, I became attached to the characters of the story very quickly.
One of my favorite characters was Abraham Van Helsing. Caring, gentle, intelligent, crafty, and humorous, Van Helsing has a right to be one of the main heroes in “Dracula”. He is a brilliant Dutch doctor who is in England, trying to help his friends smoke out and destroy Count Dracula. Because he is a Dutchman in England this causes some humor throughout the book as his English is sometimes a little shaky and he gets things a little mixed up.
Midway through the story it became practically impossible to set the book down! The plot grew intense as the characters started making discoveries and finding out their foe, and the story started to roll very quickly as Count Dracula tried to destroy them and they quickly learned how to fight the demon back.
The ending seemed a bit rushed to me, but it ended better than I thought it would. I expected everyone to die and the bad guy to live on, as in many horror novels, but it was not the case and all the mystery and puzzles presented throughout the book were wrapped up very well in the end.
All in all, it was a very good book that I would recommend to most people, and I like it much, much better than any other vampire literature I have come across. Thumbs up for Bram Stoker’s Dracula!
“I saw the Count lying within the box upon the earth, some of which the rude falling from the cart had scattered over him. He was deathly pale, just like a waxen image, and the red eyes glared with the horrible vindictive look which I knew so well.” Mina Harker - Dracula
I have a couple of books I would like to give you a review on today:
The Princess and the Kiss and The Squire and the Scroll Both by Jennie Bishop (click to follow her on facebook!)
Both of them are beautifully illustrated hard bound short stories. They are perfect to read to children of any age because the stories are short, but intriguing, and the gorgeous, vibrant illustrations are riveting for any little set of eyes. They are very nice books.
My mom bought the Princess and the Kiss in 2003 and the Squire and the Scroll not long after that. They have been read very often and have been very well loved by our family. Like, seriously well loved. You can see the love beginning to grow on the binding and on the page edges.
The Princess and the Kiss is the story of a princess who was given a gift from God: her first kiss. It was her choice to keep it or to give it away as she saw fit. The wise princess sees how precious this gift is, and determines to keep it safe until she finds a man that will cherish it as much as she does. Several suitors come and offer for her hand in marriage, and though she is flattered, she carefully studies and considers each one to learn if he would cherish her kiss and keep it safe.
It is a great story for little girls to teach them that God has given them each a precious gift that they should guard with wisdom.
"Mama," the princess asked "will I ever find a man so special that I will be able to give him my kiss?"
The Squire and the Scroll is the story of a young squire who goes with a knight on a dangerous journey to slay a dragon. As they travel, the squire learns that the words of the scroll, which he has memorized and put into practice, is the only thing keeping him and the knight from falling into the many deadly traps that accompany the journey to the dragon's lair. When he finally makes it to the lair, he must fight the dragon, and once again he finds that God's word is indeed sharper than any two edged sword!
It is a great story to teach those growing boys that the words of the Bible are important and to be greatly cherished, for with them comes wisdom to help them along the journey of life.
His parents were not people of great position, but they had clean hearts and honored the Lantern of Purest Light as the people of the kingdom did. They taught their son how to guard his pure heart by the words from a simple scroll.
I would recommend both books for any age group and for any household. The morals of the stories are good for both boys and girls to learn, the books are sturdy and gorgeous, and kids, as well as adults, love looking at them and reading the stories. I personally have seen little kids of 4 and 5 years old just sit down on the floor and look at the pictures.
Sheesh! I like to sit down with them and look at the pictures too!