The Classics Club is 'What is your favourite classic book?' Like everyone else, I'm sure, I had a hard time thinking of the one classic that I like better than all the others I've read. I loved Anna Karenina for the scope of the book and how epic it was, Emma will always be a favourite because of Emma herself, Villette by Charlotte Bronte spoke to me about the kind of person I am and I adored A Little Princess as a child. But in the end I decided to think about which classic I revisit the most often and which gives me the most pleasure as I read it - not which classic is the most important, but which one I enjoy the most.
So what is it about Dracula that makes me love it so much? I love the format of the book, with the different journals, letters, newspaper clippings and even a ship's log. I find they break up the text and make it easier to relate to the different characters (I also love this about Wilkie Collins' novels). I love that it's a bit of a sensation novel, not written to make a point about the world but simply to entertain and scare. I enjoy the adventurous aspect of a 'band of heroes' getting together to rid the world of a horrible monster by piecing together all of the different clues.
I'm a big fan of gothic fiction anyway, but Dracula, with it's Transylvanian forests, crumbling castles and swooping bats, is the best of the genre. It appeals to that part of us that likes to be scared. Although Dracula isn't scary for us now as it would have been for the original readers, it's deliciously creepy and the part where Dracula crawls down the castle walls as a horrified Jonathan Harker looks on still gives me the chills.
Of course, I know that Bram Stoker never actually visited Eastern Europe and to be honest, the rest of his books are probably best avoided (and I've tried a few). The treatment of women also leaves a lot to be desired, as 'precious' Mina finds herself overcome with men who only desire to protect her from the big bad monster even though she has lots of good ideas to contribute. I know these things logically, but that never stops me from getting swept along with events and enjoying the story.
Dracula is my favourite classic due to the combination of horror and a classic rip-roaring adventure. What's your favourite classic?
You will not believe this but, Dracula was in the running for MY favorite classic, but due to my love of all things French, I choose Germinal. Dracula grabbed me at once and I was mesmerized by the story. People must not be afraid of this book....Dracula is a GREAT read!ReplyDelete
Germinal and Dracula do seem a bit different! :PDelete
I'm glad to meet another Dracula fan though, have you read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova? If not, you should.
I haven't read Dracula but the way you describe it sounds really good, especially the format! And I actually got the shivers when you talked about the crawling down walls. My imagination needs to calm down! ;) And that is a beautiful copy! I saw your post and decided to join in on the fun! Hop on over if you have the time:ReplyDelete
Juli @ Universe in Words
Juli, that's the creepiest part of the book, I still have this image of it in my head from the first time I read it. Dracula's like that, there's lots of gaps for your imagination to fill...Delete
Oh, Dracula! It is such a great book! I think it is perfect for fall reading, when I am okay with being a little scared. :) I'm too much of a chicken to branch out into anything beyond the classic "horror" novels like this and Frankenstein.ReplyDelete
And, of course, I love your edition. Anything Penguin makes me smile.
Yes, I'm going to save my next reread for the autumn time, for a cold, dark evening when I'm snuggled in bed. I don't enjoy horror films at all but I like scary books.Delete
I only read this last year (near halloween, obvs) and I was really really impressed because I thought I wouldn't like it! But I did! So that was awesome. I can definitely see myself revisiting it lots too!ReplyDelete
On a different note, this is seriously the first question for the Classics Club thing? We couldn't have started on something a little easier?! No? Hehe
I can't remember what made me pick it up the first time but I didn't expect to love it like I did either. It's the perfect read for Halloween :)Delete
And yes, the question was difficult! No matter how many favourites they could ask us to identify, I would struggle.
I love Dracula too! I also have happy associations with it, as I read it during the evenings on a wonderful vacation in a waterfront cottage on Puget Sound a couple of years ago. Great choice!ReplyDelete
I always associate holiday reads with where I was at the time. Glad you also love this book :)Delete
I have that exact same version of Dracula. I love that bookReplyDelete
The Penguin hardcovers are lovely, if I had the funds I would probably have all of them sitting on my shelf. Glad you also love the book :)Delete
I have not read Dracula. I did put it on my classics list, and I think I will read it in October for my Halloween reads.ReplyDelete
All I can say is I hope you love it as much as I do :)Delete
One of the things that I love about Dracula is the infinite discussions you can have around it. It was one of my bookclub's most intense meetings.ReplyDelete
Yes, it's definitely a good discussion starter. I can imagine it would be perfect for a book group.Delete
Dracula is on my list!! I can't wait to get to it. I have been looking forward to it for years! Thanks for participating in our first monthly meme question!ReplyDelete
Sarah, you are in for a treat! Hope you love it as much as I do :)Delete
Sarah! I can't believe you haven't read this one yet. It is SO good. I remember how terrified I was when I was reading it the first time. It's the kind of book that really sticks with you. I promise though, it's not as scary as getting through a Virginia Woolf novel!Delete
Dracula is one of the scariest books I ever read and very, very good. I must put it down for a re-read soon.ReplyDelete
Hope you enjoy the reread Donna :)Delete
I'm reading it for the first time right now!ReplyDelete
Awesome! Can't wait to see what you think of it!Delete
What a great choice! I think I'm going to have to agree with you. I haven't posted my favorite yet because I love so many! But, I think you hit the nail on the head with Dracula!!!ReplyDelete
It was hard to choose so in the end I thought about which book has given me the best experience overall and there could only be one winner!Delete
I have Dracula on my shelf and for two years I've vowed to read it for the RIP challenge but haven't. Your post has inspired me to think this year I'll make it happen!ReplyDelete
I hope you get a chance this autumn Cat, I'm sure you would like it.Delete
I read Dracula a year ago and immediately rated it 5 stars. I'm not a gothic/horror fan, in fact I avoid anything of the nature as much as I can. But Dracula was surprisingly good in a way I can't really describe. I also thing it's good that you were able to pick a classic so cleanly as a favourite. :DReplyDelete
I am a massive gothic fiction fan but not necessarily horror. Agreed that Dracula is an awesome book :)Delete
Oh, I'm excited you love this one!! I've never read it, and I don't think it even made it to my Classics Club list, but I own it and of course intend to read it. :-)ReplyDelete
I hope you do get a chance to read it Jillian. It's an easy read and not too long but definitely engaging.Delete
Thank you for following me :) I wanted to tell you that I love this post! I think I've already read it twice. I've never read 'Dracula' before and it would be perfect for October! I saw the comment you made above about 'The Historian' and I found a used copy. It looks good!!ReplyDelete
The Historian is one my favourite books, it is so good. I actually envy you for getting to read it for the first time!Delete
Dracula is fantastic. Great choice! I read it for the first time two years ago and couldn't want to read it again, so I read it last autumn. Now I'm not a little tempted to read it again this year. It may become a yearly treat!ReplyDelete
A yearly treat would be awesome. I read it almost two years ago now, so the time is right for me to read it again...Delete
Ok, so this originally didn't make the list that I have scheduled for tomorrow, but I'm thinking I need to include it. And I love those Penguin editions. I keep wanting to buy then when I'm out and then decide against it.ReplyDelete
I do the same, Beth. I love them but then not decide to buy them because they are more expensive than regular books. It irritates my husband, he says "just buy them already!" :PDelete
I have been afraid to read Dracula--the movie creeped me out. But from reading your post it's probably not as scary as I imagine. :)ReplyDelete
I know there are a few Dracula movies and even though I've not seen them all, the ones I have seen are not true to the plot of the book. So you'll get a treat of a different story too :)Delete
I read Dracula when I was in secondary school and I was so facsinated with it, the horror and intrigue were so real for me and to date I've never been able to bring myself to watch the film or any variation of it. I have it on my Classic club list as a re-read.ReplyDelete
To be honest, it's good you haven't seen any of the films as they don't stick to the plot of the book and are pretty cheesy. Have you read Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian?Delete
No, never even heard of her. Should I read it?Delete
i chose Dracula as my favorite as well and i love how you described why. i'm glad i'm not the only one who chose this.ReplyDelete
Glad someone else chose it :)Delete
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Great posts on your blog.ReplyDelete
Thanks for stopping by mine too :)Delete
I am looking forward to reading Dracula so much more now. I love how books can be related to experiences, and certain times of our lives. And I must say I am envious that you have the Clothbound Dracula!! Thank you for regaling me with your experience of Dracula. I am a new follower of your blog, and I look forward to more of your Classics Club posts :)ReplyDelete
I've actually never read this book. I want to read it but I've just never gotten around to it... I read a quote once about book becoming heavier and heavier as they contain more and more memories within their pages. Your post reminded me of that. Oh, and the clothbound edition is beautiful.ReplyDelete