Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The New Annotated Dracula

The New Annotated Dracula, with story by Bram Stoker, and annotations edited by Leslie Klinger, is a fascinating read. Usually I don't go for particularly scary stories, but having seen the stage show Dracula in high school, put on by a high school cast, I at least knew the plot. Having been bored by the long introduction that Leslie and a few others give to the book, and having skipped ahead to the story itself, it was not until nearly the end of the book, that I realized that while Leslie was aware that Dracula was a work of fiction, and his annotations were to give us additional light into the book. I personally don't recommend this, being the annotations for a first read through Dracula. For someone who had never read the book, sometimes the annotations were helpful, but sometimes they got in the way. I think I would have rather picked an UNABRIDGED version of Dracula for the first read. I also think that the book would have been scarier that way. Reading it with all of the attached annotations, it was easy to get lost in the annotations and at times, hard to follow the story. The annotations came in surprisingly helpful when the characters spoke a language other than English or a heavily accented English, that would be difficult for the modern reader to understand.

Bram Stokers book was a good book, however, and I was able to Imagine the kind of fear Dracula would have certainly caused in the 19th century. I really enjoyed the fashion the story was told in, a found collection of journals. This made it easier to believe these characters existed and allowed for them to comment and feel for each other but not have it be traditional thought box. For me I feel that it helped to eliminate some of the fear. Mina was my favorite character. She had the most detailed diary.

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