by Bram Stoker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars (really 4.5)
This book tells the story of a small group of people who come into the world of Count Dracula and end up fighting for their lives and their eternal souls. It is told entirely through letters and journal entries by the various characters and is incredibly well told.
According to The Oxford Companion to English Literature (5th ed., 1985) the tale was influenced by an 1872 story called "Carmilla," which appeared in Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly. It is difficult to imagine what reading this book must have been like in 1897 when all the mythology of the vampire was not well known. There were many layers of mythology and various actions taken by characters in the novel that must have built the suspense and the mystery of who, and what, Count Dracula is very well. Knowing all the tropes of vampire novels now it was totally obvious why garlic flowers were ordered and what it meant that there were 2 small puncture wounds on someone's neck and why that bat kept lurking at the window. This diminished the suspense of the unfolding tale, but it still deserves credit for the wonderfully built tension.
This book is on my Classics Club List and it counts toward the Back to the Classics Challenge as a book with a single word title.