Author: Bram Stoker
Book takes place in the country: YES
Author is from the country: NO (but he did live there for awhile)
I have visited: YES (twice)
This is my 20th read for 2019. I finished it on 2/13/2019
I know not a soul pays attention to what I have reviewed and what I haven't, but I will say - this is my second review for Great Britian this year. If you do remember, my first was Harry Potter. That will remain my favorite series from Great Britian, HOWEVER - I didn't really want a series book for my shelf. So I added another in its place.
ALSO - this was not my original 2nd choice for Great Britian. I actually had Dracula on my list for Romania. Because....Transylvania. But then I started to read it and actually only about 50 pages of this book take place in Transylvania, and the rest take place in Great Britian. So.....Great Britian it is!
We actually got to see where Bram Stoker used to work in Dublin, Ireland this past fall when we visited. (Dublin Castle) We got to look at the window he peered from when he first started to develop the novel as he worked as a clerk. We also visited Trinity College where he went to school.
The story opens with Count Dracula in Transylvania. Young Jonathan is visiting him there because the Count would like to buy a house in England. While Jonathan is visiting, he witnesses strange behavior by the Count that he cannot explain. And he realizes he is Dracula's prisoner because he cannot leave the castle. He wonders the castle which seems largely empty, and he meets 3 women vampires called "the sisters" whom he realizes are vampires. He starts to put together that Dracula is too. He barely escapes with his life.
Dracula, meanwhile, is on a ship heading for England. He has boxes full of soil that he must have in order to survive. He wants to go to England to make more vampires.
While Jonathan is gone, his wife, Mina, is staying with a friend named Lucy. Lucy falls ill, and Mina notices she has two small pin prick marks on her neck. Concerned, Mina sends for Lucy's betrothed (Arthur) plus two other men who care deeply for Lucy named Dr. Seward and Quincey Morris to try and figure out what is wrong with her. Lucy continues to grow weaker and weaker, and it becomes apparent to the reader the Dracula is somehow involved.
Enter Professor Abraham Van Helsing who is a good friend of Dr. Seward. He immediately figures out what is wrong with Lucy, but by that time, it is too late. Lucy dies and is buried by her distraught betrothed, Arthur.
Once Lucy is buried, young children start to disappear from the area. Van Helsing figures out it is Lucy who is luring the children to the graveyard so she can feed on them. Van Helsing convinces Arthur that they will have to cut off Lucy's head and stab a wooden stake through her heart so that she is no longer a vampire and can truly rest.
Jonathan, Mina, Dr. Seward, Arthur, Quincey Morris, and Van Helsing all join forces to drive Dracula out of England and also to eventually kill him. They research his powers and his weaknesses and develop a plan. Dracula gets wind of that plan and soon bites Mina 3 times so that he can control her. It changes her, but she never completely becomes a vampire. Instead of her giving herself over completely to Dracula, she uses the connection to help the team find him and kill him.
This is a GREAT book. I won't give away the ending, but I am sure most people know. The writing was superb, and easy to follow, even though it was written over 120 years ago. Just excellent. I don't know how I have never read this classic novel, but I am so glad that I did. I really did enjoy every word. I definitely want to add other books by Stoker to my TBR list once this challenge is over.