So, I thought that today we might discuss that oh so famous of vampires: Count Dracula. I recently read the book, and I’ve seen the movie, so this is part book review, part historically significant.
About the Book
First, let me state right out that I didn’t like the book. I love the story, but reading it was a pain in the patooshka. If you like old-timey books and the paranormal, this one’s for you. Go for it, all the way. However, it’s written from multiple perspectives in a mishmash of styles. Honestly, I admire Bram Stoker for this POV, because I love it. But it is old-style writing and can be a little confusing.
The basic storyline is that Jonathan Harker goes to visit Count Dracula at his Transylvanian estate, and gets a little more than he bargains for. Dracula eventually comes back to Jon’s hometown and ends up meeting Mina, Jon’s fiancee. After a catastrophe with Lucy (Mina’s BFF), Dr. Van Helsing gets involved. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. There’s also a pretty important lackey of Dracula’s named Reinfeld, who’s locked in a mental hospital. In the end, its a full out vampire hunt for Dracula, who dies very tragically at the end.
The Historical Part
I’ve heard a lot of speculation about Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler, being the historical figure for Dracula. “Dracul” is supposed to be Romanian for “The Dragon” and dear old Vlad was part of the Order of the Dragon. Vlad the Impaler’s the guy who used to impale a lot of people, as in thrust a pointy stick up through someone’s nether regions through their guts up into the mouth and leave them screaming for hours while they died slowly. He’d do it to thousands of people at once. Freaking, ouch, dude.
Do that enough times, and nobody really wants to fight you anymore.
He was eventually overthrown and things got a little better. You can get some more details about Vlad here. But whether or not he was Stoker’s model for Dracula, well, I guess we’ll never really know for sure. But its an interesting theory that’s kind of taken the Dracula community by storm. Of course, there’s other theories as to the origins of the vampire myth.
But since the infamous telling of Dracula, why has it become a popular story? Well, it was one of the first vampire stories of its kind (not the actual first, but definitely the earliest famous one). I guess things have grown in the telling, and Stoker was a talented author, that’s for sure. Today, say the name Dracula and everyone knows exactly the evil, bloodsucking villain to which you refer. More stories and theories have flow about this single vampire story than an other I’ve ever heard of.
Finding The Story
You can find Dracula on Amazon, free for your eReader. Or, if you’d rather watch the movie and have at it, you can get Dracula for DVD or Dracula on Blu-ray. Or hey, just to show the far-reaching effects, there’s even a Dracula TV show (although, I haven’t seen it so can’t tell you anything about it).