Is Bram Stoker's Dracula really that good?

Fair Warning : There will be some spoilers regarding characters in the book so if you haven't read it and you're planning on reading it then i advise you to stop reading this.

This is my first post so it is kinda pretentious of me to speak for a big part of this community especially since i've seen many different oppinions being expressed on many subjects but,it would seem that a good lot of you agree that this book is indeed pretty good.I want to find out why.

Now to give you a bit of backstory;i read this book in its original version or at least the closest i could get to the original version,after being prompted by some posts i saw discussing books.

I gave it a go and though i found it to be an engaging book i was just not impressed.
Most of the scenery described is nice,but that all goes away after the first few chapters and we only see glimpses of it by the end,the characters were all shallow (with the exceptions being Dr.Seward and his patient)and the story just seemed to go in a loop towards the end before coming to an abrupt stop.

All in all i was left dissapointed and i want to know what other people find so good about it.
For me it was neither horror (though that might partially be because pretty much everyone knows about vampires to an extent so it kinda takes away from the mystery behind it)nor action for it was moving pretty slowly with gradual progress being made only towards the end.

Define "that good". I find that there is a significant portion of people who are praising yet have never read it. Or even seen the movie(s) (also, neither have I seen them, by the way). And they are praising it in relation to Twilight (or something). Which is somewhat stupid, I guess. Is it good? Depends on your standards, I suppose, and your standards are probably affected by the length of time it passed since then, as you observed - it's not really that horrifying, because, come on, we have scarier things in some cartoons nowadays. It's not that action packed, because our media has been overflowing with action for several decades now, and at any one point, there are a dozen works trying to one up each other and everything else when it comes to ACTIONZ! ans stuff.

So it's not action or horror because you've been exposed to way more of them than there was a century ago. As I understand it, for its time it was pretty scary. And no shit, you can observe that by comparing it to actual legends - it's a legend come alive, yo! ...or written down. Legends, folk tales, scary stories have been around and have kept people up at night and then somebody writes this book where this all is not only picked up but elaborated on, expanded and brought into modern day. Of course now that happens in every third or fourth thing you pick up - book, movie, song, gane, whatever - you can have zombies, hellspawn nightmares, monsters and shit crawling all over your back yard in full HD in real time. But think back to when you first saw a scary movie - doesn't even need to be a horror one - I myself got really freaked out by Darth Vader. But yeah, think about a similar experience, since that's more like what it would have been.

It all comes down to what were you expecting from Dracula? I find this often a problem with people - they set their expectations too high and then end up annoyed when something fails to reach them. So is Dracula good? Yes, no, maybe - take your pick. What did it have to achieve to be good? Have more lore than the Lord of the Rings? Then probably not. Have a vampire? Then probably yes. Have a vampire that does cool stuff? Then maybe, depending on what's cool for you.

Well it started off being pretty promising with good landscapes being described as he went to the castle and then the stuff that was going on in the castle was very good.i expected something similar throughout but the only hint of it was the patient.
Also it is irritating how interesting characters lose all potential and focus when the other,less interesting ones come into the scene and the fact that the book literally repeats itself without any of the aforementioned characters noticing it.

I haven't heard anyone compare this to twillight and to be honest i don't see why one would do such a thing since (personal oppinions aside)they only have vampires in common.Maybe what you say about the myth is true to an extent in that,people coming into it with a clean slate might find some appeal in the horror it has to offer but what i find strange is that people who know at least something about the thing and read it tend to praise it as much as i've seen it being praised.

Mind you i don't think it is a Bad book in a sense that "i can't keep reading this",i just don't find it to be a Good book.It's just A book and seeing how it didn't live up to its praise (for me at least)i want to know what people found praiseworthy about it.

My favorite part of Dracula is when Van Helsing and friends ambush Dracula in his house while he's trapped in human form. Just something about a group of middle-aged men beating up Dracula in his own house puts a smile on my face.

OT: I liked Dracula. I found it to be a very good read, if a bit dry at times. I didn't go into it with inflated expectations, though. I never do when it comes to books. Better to be pleasantly surprised than let down. It does get way too much praise from the general populous, though. It's a good read, nothing more.

Wrath:
Well it started off being pretty promising with good landscapes being described as he went to the castle and then the stuff that was going on in the castle was very good.i expected something similar throughout but the only hint of it was the patient.
Also it is irritating how interesting characters lose all potential and focus when the other,less interesting ones come into the scene and the fact that the book literally repeats itself without any of the aforementioned characters noticing it.

I haven't heard anyone compare this to twillight and to be honest i don't see why one would do such a thing since (personal oppinions aside)they only have vampires in common.Maybe what you say about the myth is true to an extent in that,people coming into it with a clean slate might find some appeal in the horror it has to offer but what i find strange is that people who know at least something about the thing and read it tend to praise it as much as i've seen it being praised.

Mind you i don't think it is a Bad book in a sense that "i can't keep reading this",i just don't find it to be a Good book.It's just A book and seeing how it didn't live up to its praise (for me at least)i want to know what people found praiseworthy about it.

People compare Twilight to everything. Well, everything but other shitty teen romance novels anyways...

It's a good read. I was made to read it for university and it was a bit dry and a bit dull at times, but it is really cleverly put together. Try not to set your expectations too high for it though, horror was very different back when it was written. It was very scary for the people of that time.

I like it because it introduced Dracula.

Let's be honest, Vampires weren't a big "thing" back in 1897 when it was penned. Also, a book from 116 years ago may be a bit lack luster by todays standards of horror.

If you are looking for something old about Vampires then i'd suggest Carmilla. It predates Dracula by around 25 years give or take.

And some people compare Twilight to everything with Vampires in ... which pisses me off to no end. Considering there are no Vampires in Twilight (and no, just no, sparkle sun fairies do not count as Vampires) it's pretty hard to compare.

Overall though, given the era it dates from, I think it's a pretty decent book.

Rawne1980:
I like it because it introduced Dracula.

Let's be honest, Vampires weren't a big "thing" back in 1897 when it was penned. Also, a book from 116 years ago may be a bit lack luster by todays standards of horror.

If you are looking for something old about Vampires then i'd suggest Carmilla. It predates Dracula by around 25 years give or take.

And some people compare Twilight to everything with Vampires in ... which pisses me off to no end. Considering there are no Vampires in Twilight (and no, just no, sparkle sun fairies do not count as Vampires) it's pretty hard to compare.

Overall though, given the era it dates from, I think it's a pretty decent book.

So they don't count as vampires because lolsparkle? I didn't know "not sparkling" was what made a vampire a vampire. And here I was, thinking it was the whole drinking blood thing.

Wrath:
I haven't heard anyone compare this to twillight and to be honest i don't see why one would do such a thing since (personal oppinions aside)they only have vampires in common.

Funnily, that's how they are being compared. Usually people point at Dracula as the way show vampires "right". And they are completely hilarious when they fail

"Yes, he is a vampire. Vampires, as they should be, are hideous predators that only seek to feed on humanity. The so called vegetarianism' that is present in Twilight offers no sustenance to a vampire. Also, when they go out in the daylight, they burn, not take a bath in a vat of rhinestones."

(emphasis mine)
This is taken from NotAlwaysRight and I just hope it was put on the website as a making fun of on both the girl and the guy who said this. In case other people read this and don't know what I'm talking about - Dracula does not burn in sunlight. This has never been any part of him (well, maybe in a movie, dunno - not the book though) - he is weakened in sunlight, yes, but that's about it - no actual harm sustained. For some reason, variants of this are too often repeated in Twilight discussions. It makes me sad.

Wrath:
what i find strange is that people who know at least something about the thing and read it tend to praise it as much as i've seen it being praised.

*sight* Ok, so this is another "overrated" thread. What praise ahave you actually heard? That it's the best thing everz? I never heard anybody call it that. What I've heard people people praise Dracula about is for kickstarting the entire vampire craze. All of it. One book. Without Dracula we wouldn't have had

This is what I've seen Dracula praised for, not for being a literary masterpiece or a must read classic anything near (let's face it - how many times have you encountered it as the book suggested for everybody to read, next to Kafka, Paradise Lost, and the like? I myself - never). What did you hear about it, though? I'm curious.

I haven't read it for a good few years, but I remember it was interesting at the start and at the end, but there's a lot of boring in the middle.

i've read the original (i think) and several versions or bastardizations and seen the movie (winona rider version)

it's just of a different era if you ask me
back when i was a kid i had a huge book of victorian ghost stories and although the theme varied greatly in each one (from church to school to house to town) you could sum up every story with the same blurb:
"someone shows up somewhere. shit happens. turns out they were dead all along. ghost"
the fact that there existed 20 or so so called classics with basically the same story shows a lack of originality and why something like dracula would have been considered special

i just think ppl expected less from books back in those days. considering it was a large source of entertainment you could draw comparison to how we now watch honey booboo or the fact we have about 15 reality shows dedicated to making cupcakes. exactly what will that make us look like in a hundred years time?

Of course it's THAT GOOD! The fact that its still such a enduring character and story in the popular culture today is a testament to that.

Personally I thought it was really cool, I remember reading it a point when I was trying to read alot of well known "classic" titles to see what all the fuss was about and I was really interested in how alot of supernatural/fantasy stories from way back then always seemed to want to make themselves appear like true life stories.

Take Dracula as a specific example, this book is written as a series of diary entires and newspaper articles seemingly assembled together by someone long after the fact as though the whole story actually happened. I really like that touch, especially at the beginning when it states how "the significance of the order of these different papers will become clear upon reading them" or something like that...

I mean come on, how cool is that? It's like an 1800s version of one of those "found footage" films such as "Paranormal Activity" or "The Blair Witch Project" maybe this another less obvious influence Dracula has had on popular culture?

P.S. To anyone who is actually a fan of Dracula or even just vampires in general I would recommend to read this book, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

wintercoat:

So they don't count as vampires because lolsparkle? I didn't know "not sparkling" was what made a vampire a vampire. And here I was, thinking it was the whole drinking blood thing.

Standing in sunlight and sparkling ... yep, you are perfectly right, that's how the Vampire legend began.

Or not.

Rawne1980:

wintercoat:

So they don't count as vampires because lolsparkle? I didn't know "not sparkling" was what made a vampire a vampire. And here I was, thinking it was the whole drinking blood thing.

Standing in sunlight and sparkling ... yep, you are perfectly right, that's how the Vampire legend began.

Or not.

It also didn't start with vampires bursting into flames in sunlight either. The only qualification needed for being a vampire is drinking blood. Not even the whole undead thing is a necessity. Hey, take a guess what the vampires in Twilight do? They drink blood! But fuck it, they sparkle in sunlight, therefor they're not vampires!

It's an epistolary novel, which is a style that has fallen waaaay out of fashion in modern times. It also suffers from early installment weirdness, because it predates the vast canon of vampire fiction.

As a book, I never thought terribly much of it. I think the basis of its popularity is that it has long since fallen into the public domain - nobody needs to license anything to make a Dracula movie or write a Dracula book. Same with Sherlock Holmes.

Really, the whole thing is a thinly veiled metaphor for foreign people coming and seducing our frigid Victorian wives to turn them into bloodlusty sluts. Kind of tasteless, really.

*sight* Ok, so this is another "overrated" thread. What praise ahave you actually heard? That it's the best thing everz? I never heard anybody call it that. What I've heard people people praise Dracula about is for kickstarting the entire vampire craze. All of it. One book. Without Dracula we wouldn't have had...

I don't think i really need to go into much detail but i can easily say that i've heard it (and seen it for that matter)being praised as one of the books everyone should read on several occasions as well as being praised for being an excellent read something i find odd.Now i wouldn't say that going into a book with these expectations gives it much of a chance but if a book has been getting so much praise as to be called a Must Read then one might expect something out of it and that would only be natural.

The fact that so much of our culture,be it modern or not so,is based arround this book doesn't really seem to prove much beyond the fact that people are willing to expand upon a material that has potential and that would be even more disheartening; the potential lost with this one.It could have been a revolution at the times plus something that would hold up and influence modern culture In Addition To being a great all-arround book and it seems to get away with a lot of stuff that other books can't get away nowadays simply cause of the fact that it influenced modern culture so heavily.

For example :

You've got to remember that it's quite an old book, and there will be a lot of cultural differences between then and now. Personally I really like the book as it does build suspense very well, but the genre has come on since then and it now seems a bit dated.

Having never read the story, I can safely say this. Still a better love story than Twilight, and I'm pretty sure that the girl in this one gets kidnapped by Dracula and forced to drink his blood.

Honestly, I pretty much share my opinion with the OP. First four chapters (in the castle) are amazing, they draw you in, paint an interesting world, and genuinely intrigue. After that, the bulk of book drags, goes round in circles and generally wastes time, then, when the ending comes it reads as if Bram Stoker wrote it hastily in the morning before his homework deadline.

So yeah, not really a good book, but, as DoPo pointed out, it is an important book.

I read Dracula my first year of college, just for fun. It was a slow read, but I found it to be an enjoyable book. I did like the way Stoker wrote it as if collecting journal entries and newspaper articles. Gave it a sense of realism. As far as the complaints by the OP, if you were writing in a journal, how fleshed out would you make the people you mention? I think I myself would only give a basic description and then a first impression which may get modified in a later entry if something happens to change that impression. I think the problem you are really having with it is trying to view it as a standard piece of fiction where you often have a third-person omniscient viewpoint rather than a collection of (very dated) first person writings. You also cover some of the same ground because you read some of the events from multiple people's perspectives.

For those interested in an fun take on the Dracula story, try The Dracula Tape by Fred Saberhagen. It's Dracula as told by the Count himself to Harker's decendants. Makes some very good points too.

It's interesting enough, but certainly shows its age; much of the language seems abstract for its own sake, and you'll be reaching for the footnotes quite a few times, especially because Stoker writes northern/working class English accents in hilarious exaggerated phonetics and uses a lot of references to other works for no real reason.

That and it's a little light on motivation or characterisation, but I suppose taken at the time it was written, it might have been perhaps as straightforward as it's written.

For its time, it was a genuine work of horror. Even today, the opening part chronicling Harker's journey to and incarceration on Castle Dracula is incredibly dark and creepy. Lest we forget...

And the latter part of this section of the book is essentially a chronicle of Harker beginning to doubt his own sanity. Then there's the section dealing with the ship, where again there's a wonderfully dark atmosphere. The entire section is based around the idea that the crew know that there is something disturbing going on, but no-one knows exactly what. It makes the gradually escalating series of weird events even more unsettling, even though we as the readers know full well that the Count is responsible.

And then there's Renfield, one of my favourite characters from the novel. His characterisation is probably the darkest thing about the book, given that he is an insane asylum inmate, obsessed with the idea of vampirism to the point of killing and devouring vermin to try and absorb their strength, and seeming to possess an awareness of the Count which brings all sorts of gloomy, dark foreshadowing. He's a truly dark character, written at a time when most people weren't even aware of psychologically disturbing mental illnesses.

The book has certainly aged. The middle section does drag on a bit, and the ending is very rushed. But it is still a hugely successful book, not just in creating the character of Dracula, but in the way it still succeeds as a piece of atmospheric horror. The creepiness in Dracula doesn't come from the gore (although there was a fair bit for its day) but in the way it manages to create set-pieces which are genuinely infused with a sense of foreboding and dread. It's easy to miss that in an era when horror has come to be identified with over-the-top slasher porn, but the sense of unease really is palpable. As a piece of gothic horror, as opposed to slasher horror or the like, it's still one of the all time classics.

I read it fairly recently, know what i took away from it?

Depictions of women back then are hilarious.

I genuinely found the whole thing quite funny, the way the men treated Mina in particular considering I found her to be the bravest and strongest character in the book.

Another fantastic moment is when they leave that woman with garlic all around her to keep her safe, they come back in the morning and the womans mother is like:

"Oooo shes fine! was sleeping like a log when i checked in on her! Though her room was all stinky from the garlic and stuffy from the closed window! So i THREW away all that nasty garlic and OPENED THE WINDOW NICE AND WIDE!" *beams like an idiot*

*Van Helsing facepalms*

Thats how i remember the scene anyway.

DoPo:

Wrath:
I haven't heard anyone compare this to twillight and to be honest i don't see why one would do such a thing since (personal oppinions aside)they only have vampires in common.

Funnily, that's how they are being compared. Usually people point at Dracula as the way show vampires "right". And they are completely hilarious when they fail

"Yes, he is a vampire. Vampires, as they should be, are hideous predators that only seek to feed on humanity. The so called vegetarianism' that is present in Twilight offers no sustenance to a vampire. Also, when they go out in the daylight, they burn, not take a bath in a vat of rhinestones."

(emphasis mine)
This is taken from NotAlwaysRight and I just hope it was put on the website as a making fun of on both the girl and the guy who said this. In case other people read this and don't know what I'm talking about - Dracula does not burn in sunlight. This has never been any part of him (well, maybe in a movie, dunno - not the book though) - he is weakened in sunlight, yes, but that's about it - no actual harm sustained. For some reason, variants of this are too often repeated in Twilight discussions. It makes me sad.

One of the best things about Bram Stokers Dracula when I first read it was discovering all the ways Dracula actually differed from our modern ideas of a vampire. The whole ability to shapeshift, not just into a bat, but other animals like dogs and even a glimmer of moonlight (who said real vampires don't sparkle?!?) The way changing a person into a vampire required feeding off them for a long period of time to slowly drain them, and it was surprising the strength of the whole idea of sexual perversion in vampires, with the heavy hints that Dracula's harem were actually closely related to him, and the sense of attraction the men had when looking at a female vampire, to the point that the sexual attraction made it almost impossible to resist them.

For that alone I found the book fascinating, it wasn't scary or action packed, there was some suspense at times but in other places it dragged (I can't even remember the second half of the book) But it was written in a way that was easy to understand and digest, and the story flowed well enough to keep my attention.

PieBrotherTB:
It's interesting enough, but certainly shows its age; much of the language seems abstract for its own sake, and you'll be reaching for the footnotes quite a few times, especially because Stoker writes northern/working class English accents in hilarious exaggerated phonetics and uses a lot of references to other works for no real reason.

That and it's a little light on motivation or characterisation, but I suppose taken at the time it was written, it might have been perhaps as straightforward as it's written.

Much better description than I could I have come up with. It's a good book, but not something I really enjoy. I've read practically every classic 'monster book' I could for an essay regarding the depiction of monsters throughout time and I considered Dracula to be the most dull.

Wrath:
I don't think i really need to go into much detail but i can easily say that i've heard it (and seen it for that matter)being praised as one of the books everyone should read on several occasions as well as being praised for being an excellent read something i find odd.Now i wouldn't say that going into a book with these expectations gives it much of a chance but if a book has been getting so much praise as to be called a Must Read then one might expect something out of it and that would only be natural.

1. If you're going to believe what absolutely anybody (who could very well be a nobody) tells you, may I have your credit card details? I'm a prince from...Zimbabwe here to tell you you won the lottery. Newsflash everything has people claiming it's "he best thing evar!". Even Twilight. In fact, it's even more pronounced with Twilight. I'm pretty sure if someone managed to copy an actual piece of shit into written form, or straight into video, there would be people to praise it.

How many people have said it? Two? I don't know, you make no mention. What exactly did they say? "OMG, liek it iz goooooooooooooood!!!111!!"? Because that might be an indication it isn't. You're being very vague all the time here, I'm thinking you probably saw it half a dozen times and then decided it must be true.

2. A "must read" does not mean good. I myself would say Dracula is a must read if you like vampires. I would not call it good, though - that's not the reason I'd suggest it at all. First of all, it's to give a glimpse of a more traditional vampires - before Hollywood. Second, because it does have some interesting nuggets there not often found in vampire fiction lately. Third, to actually get people to know anything about Dracula and not talk out of their asses (quote for that in my previous post).

I consider many things worth a read/listen/watch/etc - they don't qualify by being good but by having something to contribute. You can learn much from a bad book/game/whatever. You can also learn stuff from an average one, too. Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is by no means in my top games. It's not in my top worst games either. It's a big "meh" overall. And yet, it's still worth playing and if you're into RPG games, I'd recommend it - among other things, it breaks the "you learn about the world by poking living things with a sword" mentality many people don't realise they are stuck in. Similarly, Dracula breaks many conventions thoroughly present in a lot of modern media - helps bring a different perspective.

I'm becoming more and more convinced you set your expectations way high for no apparent reason. And now you're trying to blame whatever else that is not yourself for it. With all the vagueness and weaselling of words that's going on, I can't really help it.

bastardofmelbourne:
It's an epistolary novel, which is a style that has fallen waaaay out of fashion in modern times. It also suffers from early installment weirdness, because it predates the vast canon of vampire fiction.

As a book, I never thought terribly much of it. I think the basis of its popularity is that it has long since fallen into the public domain - nobody needs to license anything to make a Dracula movie or write a Dracula book. Same with Sherlock Holmes.

Really, the whole thing is a thinly veiled metaphor for foreign people coming and seducing our frigid Victorian wives to turn them into bloodlusty sluts. Kind of tasteless, really.

Agere with this post, the other argument is that its a thinly veiled message about sexually transmitted illnesses. All in all I found it an ok story badly written. I could offer some insightful criticism but it's late and I'm tired.

For people saying, "It was scary then you have just been desensitized because of modern culture, so give it some credit."

Poe wrote his novels and short stories before Dracula was published and they have held up better.

Dracula is dull and a rip off of even older Celtic legends (the scenery described isn't Germanic but North Irish), but is scarier because he modernized it and had you following a few people around in hopes you would get attached to them. Poe's descriptions and tone can still give people chills because you can almost feel the insanity and dread as they befall the protagonist (Cask of Amontillado and Tell-Tale Heart are two great examples).

Short version: Dracula is alright I guess, but there are better.

Pretty hard to judge by standards of the modern times. It is epistolary, arranged in a style of collected works and letters, really a proto-novel rather than a strict novel. It has some themes considered extremely relevant at the time surrounding Christian redemption, female sexual expression (Dracula can only feed on willing victims) and the need for Victorian reserve to remain in control for its humanising effect. All in all, Dracula is a good book, I feel, and definitely worth reading (although Frankenstein, written a couple of decades later for a bet with Lord Byron, is better).

Edit - The somewhat lazy "it's people being nasty about foreigners" reading above and the "sexual disease" reading strike me as anachronistic. The book was set in Romania purely because it would have been wildly exotic to a late 1890s audience. I'd say the real crux of the novel was modernity and its encroachment on Victorian society.

I think this is another case of Seinfeld Is Unfunny.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SeinfeldIsUnfunny

TvTropes to the rescue, OT!

1. If you're going to believe what absolutely anybody (who could very well be a nobody) tells you, may I have your credit card details? I'm a prince from...Zimbabwe here to tell you you won the lottery. Newsflash everything has people claiming it's "he best thing evar!". Even Twilight. In fact, it's even more pronounced with Twilight. I'm pretty sure if someone managed to copy an actual piece of shit into written form, or straight into video, there would be people to praise it.

How many people have said it? Two? I don't know, you make no mention. What exactly did they say? "OMG, liek it iz goooooooooooooood!!!111!!"? Because that might be an indication it isn't. You're being very vague all the time here, I'm thinking you probably saw it half a dozen times and then decided it must be true.

2. A "must read" does not mean good. I myself would say Dracula is a must read if you like vampires. I would not call it good, though - that's not the reason I'd suggest it at all. First of all, it's to give a glimpse of a more traditional vampires - before Hollywood. Second, because it does have some interesting nuggets there not often found in vampire fiction lately. Third, to actually get people to know anything about Dracula and not talk out of their asses (quote for that in my previous post).

I consider many things worth a read/listen/watch/etc - they don't qualify by being good but by having something to contribute. You can learn much from a bad book/game/whatever. You can also learn stuff from an average one, too. Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is by no means in my top games. It's not in my top worst games either. It's a big "meh" overall. And yet, it's still worth playing and if you're into RPG games, I'd recommend it - among other things, it breaks the "you learn about the world by poking living things with a sword" mentality many people don't realise they are stuck in. Similarly, Dracula breaks many conventions thoroughly present in a lot of modern media - helps bring a different perspective.

I'm becoming more and more convinced you set your expectations way high for no apparent reason. And now you're trying to blame whatever else that is not yourself for it. With all the vagueness and weaselling of words that's going on, I can't really help it.

So you're telling me that A) i shouldn't trust people's oppinions on subject that are being praised.B)That almost everything gets praised nowadays C)i should provide evidence and D)that there are good things for other reasons other than you know,being conventionally good.

Well :
A)If one doesn't use other people's oppinions as a basis on what is good and what isn't then it is easy to miss great things just because of that mentality.

B)Not everything gets praised;I mean sure,many things have a set audience and a set ammount of fans but not everything gets recognition and that works for both good and bad items on the list.

C)It is hard to find something i have found a couple of months ago on the internet and actually keeping documents on what people say isn't necessary.I guess you'll have to take my word for the fact that i've seen this book being presented as good.

D)You are outright wrong here.Though to an extent things can be used as means to teach something even if they aren't that good,you need to have at least a good product in a media that is primarily used to entertain.Also i don't see how you can make the "it's something different in this era where everything is the same" arguement while saying that one shouldn't compare it to the things of today.
Really your reasoning (and this is turning into an arguement so i'll end it here but feel free to comment if you want)is flawed and tbh i don't see why.You agreed that it is an influential book and that it isn't very good.
Undoubtedly i did go into this book with some expectations as i mentioned but we are still talking about a book that influenced a great part of our culture and still does to this day so any form of expectation,even great ones,aren't really enough to outweigh all the content for which this book is responsible.

It's not a bad book, but it's not anywhere near the end-all be-all of gothic horror fiction. It's a long way from the best vampire centric tale I've read or seen also.

And to be frank, I've found the stories revolving around Vlad the Impaler's exile and reign in Wallachia to be much more horrific and interesting.

A couple of quick points:

Much of the horror in the original Dracula stemmed from the commonly held beliefs of souls, damnation, and redemption.
Most readers of the time considered their souls of utmost importance--after all whatever affected the soul would conceivably last for eternity, while anything of this world would pass away. In their belief system, even if a person
screwed up royally during their lifetime, they could repent still avoid being damned. Much of the horror of the
original Dracula stemmed from the idea that you could lose your eternal soul/be damned *because something BIT you*.
Even if a person didn't suffer eternal torment from the bite, their soul would be in torment for as long as their
vampire self existed. This is also what lends tension to the final race to intercept Dracula before he reaches his
castle, the heroes are trying to prevent her eternal torment.
Now if you don't believe in souls or they don't have a big presence in your consciousness, those parts won't affect
you much.

Dracula was one of the first novels (that I am aware of anyway) to have an establishment of canon within it--that is,
Professor Van Helsing shows up and explains/exposits "Our enemy is a Vampire. This is what vampires can do. This is
what they can't do. This is how they can be killed."
Variations of this are so common today that we don't even notice them, but at the time it was one of the few stories
where people had the rules of the game laid out for them, so that they knew what the protagonists were trying to deal
with.

Finally, we live in times that would scare the feces out of people from the time when the book was written.
Jack the Ripper--still talked about today--only killed six people. Nowadays that wouldn't even earn him his
psycho-bastard starter kit. Not to mention we live in a world where entire cities can be wiped out with the
press of a button. Imagine how a Victorian/Edwardian Londoner would have reacted to that idea.
(Interesting side note--when it was first released in Japan, the original Godzilla was considered a horror film,
when you think about it, that makes a lot of sense.)

KEM10:
For people saying, "It was scary then you have just been desensitized because of modern culture, so give it some credit."

Poe wrote his novels and short stories before Dracula was published and they have held up better.

Dracula is dull and a rip off of even older Celtic legends (the scenery described isn't Germanic but North Irish), but is scarier because he modernized it and had you following a few people around in hopes you would get attached to them. Poe's descriptions and tone can still give people chills because you can almost feel the insanity and dread as they befall the protagonist (Cask of Amontillado and Tell-Tale Heart are two great examples).

Short version: Dracula is alright I guess, but there are better.

I think that's a little unfair. Poe was in a league of his own. Just because one artist managed to truly excel in a field, that doesn't mean all lesser artists suddenly become irrelevant. Just because Led Zeppelin were the most influential band of the 70s, that doesn't top the likes of Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy from having their place.

As it happens, my favourite piece of Gothic Fiction is Melmoth The Wanderer by Robert Maturin. It's a multi-layered Gothic epic with psychological horror that makes even Poe look like an amateur. But just because Melmoth is my favourite, that doesn't stop me from enjoying Dracula. As myself and others have mentioned, as dated as the novel is, there are still parts of the book that are genuinely dark and disturbing. The dialogue may be hokey, and the female characterisation left wanting, but the descriptions of Dracula scuttling around the walls of his castle, or feeding babies to his vampire women, are still incredibly unnerving. It may not be the best Gothic Horror novel, but its certainly one of the most influential, and it still has a lot to recommend it even today.

Wrath:
So you're telling me that A) i shouldn't trust people's oppinions on subject that are being praised.

No, you shouldn't be as trusting as you seem to be about opinions of other people. Double check, at least, from different sources. And since you yourself don't even know where or how you came by that knowledge, I'd hazard a guess it wasn't that reputable to begin with. You took somebody's words for granted and now are complaining when it's not true. Well, gee, maybe I'm the one wrong here and maybe you should trust everything everybody says. Oh wait, that's what got you to this stage to begin with...hmm...

Wrath:
B)That almost everything gets praised nowadays

Yes. You will find people praising whatever. Kind of undermines the entire concept of praising but there you go. It feeds into the previous point - don't take every praise for a worthy one.

Wrath:
C)i should provide evidence

No, feel free to continue throwing "people" and "others" and vague statements about what "they" told you and so on. Sure, that makes your claims about "them" way more credible.

Wrath:
D)that there are good things for other reasons other than you know,being conventionally good.

There are...what? No...and yes. There are works that are not good yet merit attention. You went and twisted my words there - these two things are different.

Recently I read Proverbial Monsters - it's a supplement for a roleplaying game (the World of Darkness, actually. Anyway) which is...quite underwhelming so to say. It's probably going to be even more so for people not into the WoD. However, there are elements I took from there which are quite interesting. As a supplement, it's sub par at best - I wouldn't recommend it. As something you can learn - yeah, although it's not exactly worth the 5 dollars, I'd say. I've played Spells of Gold - the game is around average at best, probably below by now, not to mention it had the most annoying feature (or lack of) in the face of not ever telling you how to get any spells. It's in the friggin' title, and a third of the character progression is based on that, yet there was no mention in or out of the game (the manual) as to how to actually get them (you actually had to press Tab in the temple - yeah, I got that from a review I read after I finished it). But the game offers an interesting mechanic - the player can gain levels in three different disciplines - combat, magic and trading. That's certainly a novel idea there and has other gimmicks like gods to worship and some more. It's something very few RPGs have actually done. Well, none I can think of, really - except Spells of Gold. I don't like Extra Credits - a lot of their advice is sort of wishy washy and not expanded to in sufficient detail, I find. Yet, it does bring up interesting topics and even if it glosses over them, it's worth hearing about.

These three are bad[1] - not appallingly bad but below average and probably not worth at face value. What they actually offer, though, is under the surface and not really intended, I believe. Still, they are not good - they do, however, have valuable elements one can take out. That's the distinction you chose to ignore and twist there.

[1] Except EC, perhaps - it's just not for my taste, that one

 

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