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Horror is not my cup of tea. I generally avoid horror films, though I’ve watched a few over the years and maybe even enjoyed one or two. But I don’t seek them, don’t rent them, don’t get into them around Halloween. Though I am fairly described as an avid reader, meaning I read and take a break to read some more, I have never read a Stephen King novel. Not my cup of tea.

But I just finished reading the original Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker. I read this because I was recently given a Nook for my birthday and on it discovered about 6 books installed for free. In this set was the eBook Dracula, a book now considered one of the classics. Since awhile back I decided to read a number of first edition classics I thought, “Why not start with the Count?”

It was a strange book, bloodier than I expected given the date and times in which it was written. For me, Stoker made his characters spend too much time traipsing through the woods or road to who knows where. I skipped some of these passages. But there’s no question the book is a classic for several reasons: original ideas applied to scary storyline, interposition of religion, the occult, and outright fantasy, sexual overtones that were at once twisted and common, a building run to the finish.

Dracula has been adapted, presented, and re-adapted in story and film. Vampires in general are enjoying a new run in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight Series” books and films, a storyline featuring youthful love and lust, vampires and wolves. And vampires lead the way in HBO’s “True Blood,” a television series that tries to outdo itself in picturing the occult, blood and gore, homosexuality or hints of it, fractured relationships, witches, other assorted odd creatures, and a huge dose of sexuality mixed in with all this in a manner that reaches beyond kinky to creepy.

As I said, horror isn’t my cup of tea. And I recommend Dracula only for those who want to experience a well-written story featuring distasteful topics. The Count is hateful and anti-religion. Indeed he is a satanic Antichrist archetype, and the book is filled with religious references, both respectful and disparaging.

I have no favorite characters in a book like this, even the heroes of the story. All in all, I can check if off my reading list and let the book, like the Count himself, vanish into dust particles and out of my life.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

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