Jenny Knipfer–Author

Historical fiction author, Jenny Knipfer, shares her books, inspiration, thoughts on life and writing, and book reviews. Purchase Jenny's books, read her blog, or listen to encouraging podcasts, highlighting the life of a writer.

This month I had planned to read some classic horror fiction titles, although horror isn’t my usual genre of interest, I do enjoy classic books. Dracula surprised me. It was not a God-less tale with nothing but gore and blood like I supposed. I found it almost poetic in parts and suspenseful in others, with the characters exemplifying a sense of holy ardor when combatting the powers of the undead. 

My Review:

A harrowing nighttime entrance to a Transylvania castle, leaves Jonathan Harker wondering what kind of place he’s been sent to. Working to manage some legal real estate transactions, Jonathon meets Count Dracula, a tall, thin pale man of dubious appearance and character. 

Dracula presents himself as warm and gentile to Jonathon until further study and observation reveals Dracula as some kind of monster. Kept as a prisoner in his room, Jonathon escapes out his window and encounters some morbid truths about Count Dracula and encounters three women, like fierce undead spirits of the night. He narrowly escapes with his life. 

Dracula plans to enlarge his kingdom of darkness. Transferring boxes of dirt from Transylvania to London, the count seeks out various properties on which to establish his realm of Vampires.

Jonathon discloses all to his fiancé, Mina Murray, who’s been staying with her friend, Lucy, and together they seek assistance to combat the count. From Lucy’s acquaintance they meet Dr. Seward, Lucy’s fiancé. Through a patient of Seward’s more about the count becomes known to them. 

“I start at my own shadow, and am full of all sorts of horrible imaginings. God knows that there is ground for my terrible fear in this accursed place! I looked out over the beautiful expanse, bathed in soft yellow moonlight till it was almost as light as day. In the soft light the distant hills became melted, and the shadows in the valleys and gorges of velvety blackness. The mere beauty seemed to cheer me; there was peace and comfort in every breath I drew.”

Dracula, Bram Stoker

But in the meantime, Lucy has taken ill, needing immediate intervention. Seward employs the help of his teacher Van Helsing, who recognizes that Lucy has been compromised by a vampire. Drastic measures need to be taken to end Lucy’s life and keep her from preying on living people. 

The remaining group makes a pact to seek out and destroy Count Dracula and his vampiric realm of undead. Studying folklore, books, newspapers, and documents pertaining to anything hinting of vampire activity, they soon form a plan and acquire the tools to combat such an evil. 

When searching for the count, they find that the whole crew has gone missing aboard a ship the count supposedly traveled on. The group work to find and destroy Count Dracula’s army, but discover than Mina has fallen prey to the count and grows worse by the day.

The pressure builds to destroy the count, once and for all. Finally, after much waiting, they intercept the count in transit to his home in Transylvania. But will their galant effort  be the final stake in the count’s coffin? And will Mina be purged of his influence?

Readers of classic fiction, gothic romance, and classic horror will in parts be kept at the edge of their seats as good forces battle evil in Dracula.

Much happens in the opening scenes of the novel, but toward the middle it sinks and drags along in parts. I had to do some skimming here and there. Finally, at the end a dramatic, conclusive scene plays out. 

All in all, I’m glad I read it. It’s hard to give a star-rating to a classic book, but here’s my attempt.

2/5 for sluggishness in parts of the story – There was WAY too much detail and backstory.

5/5 for drama and descriptive writing

4/5 for plot – I found the inclusion of the insane man unnecessarily complicated the story.

4/5 for character development, some were developed more than others

My final rating: 4/5 🖤

Happy Reading:

Tell me what you’re reading this week in the comments. I’d love to know, J

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