120 years later, Bram Stoker’s Dracula maintains plenty of bite

As a horror writer with a vampish MC, I’m ashamed to admit that I hadn’t checked Bram Stoker’s Dracula off my reading list decades ago.
My oversight and a big one.
Despite knowing the story inside and out from movies, reviews, commentary and tales by other imitators, it remains a riveting tale for any modern reader.
The storyline needs no describing here. We’ve seen it a thousand times but usually tweaked for the worst one way or another.
I am astounded by the depth of the detail, the characters, and the quality of Stoker’s writing. Published in 1897, the voice is as fresh and clear as any thriller today.
Stoker’s research, without aid of the Internet or even a phone, is astonishing. He draws from a vast knowledge of the era to lend his characters credibility, the historical, psychological, and medical.
His male characters’ Victorian-era comments about women as the frailer sex are interesting in today’s context because Mina proves to be every bit as and perhaps more capable than her “male protectors.”
Gillian Flynn surprised me with her use of a diary to unfold the story in Gone Girl. Had I read Dracula beforehand, I might have understood Stoker used the technique 120 years earlier.
Stoker’s masterpiece moves ahead almost entirely through journal and diary entries, letters, and newspaper clippings. The technique, in character for the times, increases suspense without logistical issues when the reader but not all the characters possess pieces of the mystery.
Absolutely a stunning work for fans of the horror genre.

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