Saturday, March 16, 2013

I'm beginning to get a little annoyed with "Dracula"


As noted before, I decided to finally dive into "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. Long have I favored vampire novels; it was time to see where the craze started.

Sadly, there have been no explosions in this book. Maybe a few deaths. There's been some blood. If you love lofty British manners, however, this is the book for you! Because, when you start out to kill a foe, just remember: be as polite as you possibly can -- kill 'em with kindness!

I'm beginning to have issues with "Dracula." This is a bit sad for me. I was hoping this horror classic would open doors for me and leave me craving other strange tales of the late 19th and early 20th century. Sadly, it has not.

I'm not sure if it's Bram Stoker's fault or the narrator -- you see, I'm listening to it, not reading it. That's a discussion for another day.

I'm fine that Dracula is some dark prince, and that he's "commanded nations, and intrigued for them, and fought for them hundreds of years..." This is to be understood. I mean, he can morph into fog and bats and be old and young whenever he wants to.

Like, who wouldn't want to live forever and age-morph? Be old for Goodwill's 20% discount one day, and then eat for free Tuesday night at Fazoli's the next? A free meal? Now, that's real power.

(Although, when you're an immortal blood-sucker, the last thing you want is marinara sauce. I guess you'd go for that other red sauce. And if that's the case, I don't think people who eat at Fazoli's are the best clientele for such a meal.)

So, how can a bunch of random Brits (and one American and one Dutchman), who just happen to cross paths with this, uh, man, just decide to take him down?

"Dracula" is an epistolary novel, written through various points of view using letters, journal entries and newspaper clippings. One of the characters, the beloved (and annoyingly meek) Mina Harker puts together everyone's months-long experience with the Count into chronological order and that becomes the "book" that they decide gives them the edge to kill Dracula.

So, um, you've only known about this crafty-killer-bat-man-fog-guy for one summer and one fall, and all those notes you've taken is enough?

Please.

Stoker needed to give these characters years.

Sure, all bad guys have a weakness, but in the spell of two months the main characters in this book have come together and decided to end Dracula. They act like it's this daunting task, like it's going to be all hard and stuff. Stoker tries writing it like it's this crazy master-minding that they're doing, but, if you just look closer...it feels a little coppy-outey. I mean, the house of one of the characters is right next door to Dracula's house.

Instead of killing the vampire right after they 'sup at noon, they are obsessed with finding boxes filled with dirt, then they meet up each night in the sitting room over brandy and cigars to talk.

Face to palm.

Um, guys, Dracula moves around at night, he obviously knows you're after him, and worse, he lives next door, and what are you doing? Oh, that's right -- having brandy and cigars and talking about him while he's upstairs drinking the blood of Mina, your girlfriend that transcribed all your notes.

Such action.

But, whatevs.