Tag Archives: dracula

Halloween Thoughts

Last fall I read Dracula for the first time.  I have never been much of a horror fan, although I do like a supernatural thriller. And, of course, reading a classic is much different from watching a slasher flick.  Dracula,a in book form, wandered off the path of the movies I had seen, but the general scenes were the same.

This year I chose Frankenstein. I don’t think I have ever watched a Frankenstein movie, except for Young Frankenstein–who doesn’t love Gene Wilder? But when I think of Frankenstein, I have images (from tv, movies and cartoon references) of a dank, dark castle, a madman shouting “it’s alive!!” while Igor cackles obscenely and a mob with pitchforks march on the castle from the local village.

In book form, this is not even close to the movies. Frankenstein’s monster was created in a boarding house, and he had no help or shouting mobs.  There was no lightning bolts or mad screams.

In the book, I have a lot more sympathy with the monster than with Frankenstein himself. I won’t tell you why, because I think everyone should read it for themselves 🙂

I would suggest, perhaps, a dictionary. Mary Shelley is definitely a product of her era, both verbose and descriptive. Her characters have a strong enjoyment in nature, which was a surprise and an enjoyment as I read. I definitely would suggest adding this classic to your reading list, as it is atmospheric but not gory or sensational.

Now the question is, what classic horror shall I read next fall?

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Filed under quick thoughts

Tis the season….

      For Dracula, that is

I  recently decided to read the original Bram Stoker, and Iwanted to share a few thoughts.  I don’t know why I never have read it before, and  I think Frankenstein is next. Two classics for the season. I know I was supposed to have my cliché story done today, but I just don’t think it is ready.

So I thought I would write about the clichés spawned by Dracula. I was surprised, actually, that Dracula didn’t seem cliché from all the references and parts that have been stolen from it for the last century or so. I was very impressed with Stoker’s writing, his descriptive style flowed smoothly. The plot moves along from diary to diary in a fantastic way. The classic seemed original. Who knew?

Vampires are very popular again, and endless worlds and theories have been created to support each authors view. The clichés spawned by Dracula and Dracula wannabes are endless too. I have collected just a few. I particularly like the first one, it has a very good point, I think we would notice that many deaths.

Vampires must kill regularly to feed. Anne Rice does this, but consider — three vampires in New Orleans killing at least once a night for sixty years. That is over sixty thousand corpses! In a city with a population of less than a quarter of a million! The Civil War was less devastating to the city!*

Sloppy eaters. I love cioppino, for example. Love it. But when I eat it, only a few drops might end up on my lips and shirt. Why would vampires be any different? Or if you use the analogy of addiction — do addicts spill cocaine? Not deliberately they don’t! In fact they’ll go to great lengths not to!*

Bug-eating servants. Renfield was innovative in his day. Devouring live insects is no longer edgy, but cliché.*

Vampire males who mope about being vampires. Okay we get it, you don’t like biting people for your next meal but please don’t push undead angst to the limit.* – I always liked Buffy more than Angel. As much as I enjoy David Boreanz, he was a bit broody for me. Spike, on the other hand, was quite entertaining.

 

All vampires are beautiful. I get that they have been around long enough to figure out what makes them look good. And I suppose vampires, like the rest of us,  tend to be drawn to beauty, so they are more likely to turn attractive people. But all of them? Unearthly beauty? I don’t think so!

Weary vampire falls in love with human, manages to find true love. While popular, the many twists and turns it takes for the spunky human to capture and keep the vampire’s interest, not to mention the contortions the author goes through to make a reasonable ending where they get to live happily ever after; seem, well, cliché.

Money. Along with beauty, I find it difficult to believe that every vampire has the business smarts of Sam Walton and manages to amass a fortune through the centuries. It is more likely that they would be living in poverty, and highly likely they would be criminals. Mugging would get them a two-fer: dinner and a wallet.

And then there are the “sparkly” vampires. You don’t want me to get started on those. Not to mention the movies and tv shows taking Dracula’s name and legacy in vain. I think that might be another post! Meanwhile,

for anyone looking for more vampire lore, check out Louise at Baby Gates Down and her series Vamps A-Z

 

*weird things

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Filed under Cliches