Category Archives: horror

Dracula: wrapping up

Thanks for reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula with me. If you enjoyed it, here are some other books you might find interesting:

The Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

The New Annotated Dracula by Bram Stoker (annotated by Leslie Klinger, forward by Neil Gaiman)

Hollywood gothic : the tangled web of Dracula from novel to stage to screen by David J. Skal

In search of Dracula : the history of Dracula and vampires by Raymond T. McNally

There are dozens of take-offs on vampire fiction, from science fiction- or fantasy-themed books to mysteries, romance and chick lit. What are some of your favorites? Leave your recommendations on great vampire books in the comments!

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Dracula: undead after all

Later this year, Dacre Stoker will publish Dracula: The Un-Dead. It’s a sequel to Dracula written by a descendent of Bram Stoker’s and based on the author’s notes on his plans for Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina Harker.

For more on the book and the author: The official website for Dracula: The Un-Dead. Can’t wait for October 2009? You can place your reserve on the book now, just click here.

After having read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, are you interested in reading Dracula: The Un-Dead? Why or why not? Are there any particular plot points from the original book that you hope get picked up in the sequel?

Dracula: the test of time

How well would you say that Bram Stoker’s Dracula holds up more than 100 years after publication? How does it compare with books like Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles series, Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Saint-Germain series? In what ways have modern authors built upon the vampire legend and in what ways have they changed it?

Dracula: themes

Over the years, many themes have been ascribed to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, including feminism, especially the place of women in Victorian times; sexuality; immigration; the struggle among folklore, science and religion; and social and economic class struggles.

Are there any scenes from the book or aspects of the characters that stand out in your mind as illustrating any of these themes?

What do you believe are the most pressing themes in the book?

Dracula: reliable narrators?

As you read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, it becomes apparent that the novel is told from several points of view, including Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray, and Dr. Seward. In your reading, do you believe that all of these narrators are reliable? Why or why not? Might any of them have a reason to not be totally truthful about the events that take place in the book?

Dracula: cultural influence

Found this question from the Random House UK discussion guide and think it’s a great one —

“Over the years different critics have claimed that Dracula and the figure of the vampire is an allegory for different forms of evil – from aristocratic greed, to male aggression, to female emancipation, to sexually transmitted disease. What does Dracula mean to you and what do you find most frightening about him?”

In addition, why do you think that vampires in general, but especially Dracula, have had such a long and pervasive cultural influence?

Dracula: Mina and Lucy

Consider Mina Murry and Lucy Westenra — how are they similar and how are they different? In what ways do these qualities influence their storyline in Dracula? Do you think Bram Stoker was making any commentary on women in his book? If so, what was he trying to say?