Bram Stoker’s Dracula seems like a fairly imposing book at first glance. There are many, many “chapters”, which discouraged me. I definitely picked it up saying “I think I’m not going to enjoy this, but I will power through it”. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I found it engaging, witty, and suspenseful.
Many people may not enjoy the style. It is written from many different points of view. There are letters, telegrams, and journal entries. The characters that we see from are Jonothan Harker, Val Helsing, Mina Harker, Miss Lucy, and Dr. Steward. There are a few other characters from which we do not here (Quincey, Arthur). Many people may find the switching back and forth tedious, or as though the author cannot make up his mind. I found this device increased the suspense for me, showing the reader different reactions to the same situation, or switching to a different character just before the crux. I found that as we heard from more characters, the more interesting it became!
The general idea of the story is as follows: Jonothan Harker goes to deliver papers and to meet Dracula in his castle. While there, Dracula imprisons him, until he escapes with barely his life. After poor Miss Lucy is killed by Dracula, the rest of the gang gets involved, up until the end, with many and various threats upon their lives.
My only question was how Renfield played into all of this. I understand that he must have had some previous contact with Dracula, and thus became insane, and started the process of eating things which ate things. I am a little puzzled over his relationship with the Count, but there you go.
I would rate this book at a PG-13. It has some frightening themes, however very little is actually spelled out. There is no sex or sexual scenes (except to say that the women are very beautiful, and that they are desirable). I would say that people 16 or over could read it on their own, but younger should have their parents read it first to decide whether it would be appropriate for them. I also think that younger people would grow bored, depending on their attention span, and their maturity to be able to relate to the themes.
Over all, I quite liked this book and would recommend it to any who desire an interesting, and very different book from what they are used to.