What can you say about this book which hasn’t been said already? Well at least I can speak about this as a vampire.
I don’t often read vampire based fiction, however it seemed appropriate since I am now a vampire author to familiarise myself with the work of others.
The character of ‘Count Dracula’ is generally considered the benchmark by which vampire fiction is measured. It is also a prime source for today’s vampire mythology.
Written in a time when human society dearly clung to Christian ideals, it comes as no suprise that Dracula was portrayed as an Undead monster. His kiss may not only cause death, but forever put your immortal soul in peril.
Dracula could walk around during daylight hours, however, much weakened and without being able to use his Devilish talents. At night he could take the form of a bat, wolf or even mist. He could command the elements to hasten or hinder a ship’s voyage. He slept in a tomb and when away from home sought refuge in the soil of his homeland. His sanctuaries could be rendered useless to him with the use of communinion wafer or The Host. And of course garlic was abhorrent to Count Dracula.
This ‘original’ vampire has been the basis for several movie adaptations. And like most things Hollywood gets its hands on, ruined what was a great story. (Notwithstanding the falsehoods told about vampires)
Almost ten years after Nosferatu scared movie-goers witless along came Bela Lugosi as the infamous Count Dracula.
Many still argue that Bela Lugosi is ‘THE’ Count Dracula. However, Hollywood always ready to recycle and claim improvement has seen a couple more renditions of this chilling tale.
Again in 1958 starring Christopher Lee and once more in 1992 with Gary Oldman in the lead. I have not seen all of these movies, so forgive me if I forgo the opportunity to critique them.
Reading Dracula in the 21st century it can be hard to understand why this was considered such a horror story. We must remember the time it was written. Christian morals and religious ideals were more or less a ‘must have’ in human society. It was unthinkable in that day and age for anyone to admit they weren’t Christian.
And so, full of religious whim and notions, along came Count Dracula; ready not only to take your life but damn your immortal soul to Hell. Creating an Undead army to unleash upon an unsuspecting humanity. Unfortunately the idea of vampires being the hero was beyond any writer’s wildest imagination, our poor Count found himself defeated.
Fans of vampire fiction, certainly any writer who uses vampire characters, owe a debt of gratitude to Mr Stoker. Without him and his ground-breaking work vampire fiction would likely not exist today.