I went through a phase in junior high and high school where I only read novels about vampires, but I never wanted to read Bram Stoker’s Dracula until a month ago. I didn’t do extensive research on which edition was better (as far as comprehensive introductions or notes or aesthetically pleasing cover design), so I went with the one I saw at a Barnes & Noble. I was not disappointed.
The story unfolds through letters, telegrams, and diary entries from various characters (also known as epistolary style). I had already seen Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 film adaptation of the novel a few times, so I enjoyed being able to imagine Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, Sadie Frost, and Tom Waits as I read the book. I finished reading it yesterday and promptly watched the collector’s edition DVD.
I liked the book as I was reading it and loved it by the time I was done (even though it didn’t become really good for me until Lucy dies), but it wasn’t until after the film viewing that I could comprehend what it feels like to prefer a movie’s source material. I’ve seen many film adaptations of plays, novels, true events and have found that while the adaptations (when done at least competently) strike me as being different for a variety of reasons, they seldom impressed me as being less satistfying.
But then Dracula happened and I get it now. There’s a comical element to the film, particularly Cary Elwes’s acting and the tone of the insane asylum, that I never noticed in previous viewings. The main differences between the book and the movie are how much direct “audience time” Dracula has and the way the character of Mina is depicted (what happens to her). If you want (more) specifics, hop on over to YouTube, where many content creators have addressed it.
Pic creds: Barnes & Noble, Amazon