Friday, April 11, 2008

Bram Stoker

by Bram Stoker
Recommended Age: 14+

“I never”

If that line doesn’t bring a picture to your mind – a picture from a movie containing bats and holy water and wooden stakes and crucifixes – then you must have missed some of the greatest classic thrill-and-chill films of all time. All of those “Dracula” movies go back to this remarkable, experimental novel in which virtuous, Victorian-era values are pitted against forces of darkness, death, lust, and evil.

Dracula is a rich nobleman from a superstitious country infested with werewolves, succubi, and things that go bump in the night. He has sold his soul to evil, and now leads an endless life avoiding sunshine, mirrors, and garlic. But after giving a young British lawyer the fright of a lifetime, Dracula moves house to England – grave full of Transylvanian soil and all. Soon sweet, gentle young women near his new home are developing life-threatening blood disorders... and with the aid of an eccentric professor named Abraham Van Helsing, the young women’s suitors trace the cause of these problems back to Dracula. Now there is only one thing they can do to save the body and soul of the women they love – but how do you kill a man who is already dead?

You may be surprised to find that this story is told completely in the form of letters, diary entries, news items and other documents. It is a bit melodramatic, perhaps not to modern tastes, but the feelings of dread and terror that it creates are timeless. If you read this before going to bed... sleep with your window locked.

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