Dracula

Dracula - The Penguin English Library (Paperback)

 

by Bram Stoker

Published: 26th May 1897

by Archibald Constable and Company

Yippee – There’s also a 49 p Kindle edition!

Rating: 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿 👿

Synopsis: The seminal work on vampires introduces us the to the daddy of them all; Dracula. Jonathan Harker is a lawyer who travels to Transylvania to oversee the Count’s legal practices. At first pleased with his host’s manners and courtesy, he soon learns he is being held captive by his peculiar patron. When Harker narrowly escapes back to London, he hopes it is the last he’ll ever see of the unearthly Count…

💜 What I loved 💜

Vampires are now so ingrained in the collective human psyche that it feels like there is not much more to know about them (I loved Buffy as a child so am quite versed in vampire lore) or they’ve been diluted and just aren’t scary anymore (looking at you Twilight). However, I was pleasantly surprised that I actually found Dracula to be quite chilling and really enjoyed it as a thriller. You actually feel dread and frustration when you know exactly what is plaguing the characters but they themselves are so oblivious to it!

💀 Bad Bits 💀

I can’t think of anything that jumped out to me but I do wish the women had had a bit more to do rather than be victims! Of course, that’s looking at it through twenty-first century eyes, and I appreciated that Mina made a concerted effort to place herself within the action but I just wished there could have been more!

🌟 Cherished Characters 🌟

Van Helsing couldn’t have been more different from his movie version! I like this one more; in my mind he is like a jovial old Father Christmas who kicks arse and beheads vampires in his spare time. Old school.

🐙 Magic Moment 🐙

“But my very feelings changed to repulsion and terror when I saw the whole man slowly emerge from the window and begin to crawl down the castle wall over the dreadful abyss, face down with his cloak spreading out around him like great wings. At first I could not believe my eyes. I thought it was some trick of the moonlight, some weird effect of shadow, but I kept looking, and it could be no delusion. I saw the fingers and toes grasp the corners of the stones, worn clear of the mortar by the stress of years, and by thus using every projection and inequality move downwards with considerable speed, just as a lizard moves along a wall.

What manner of man is this, or what manner of creature, is it in the semblance of man? I feel the dread of this horrible place overpowering me. I am in fear, in awful fear, and there is no escape for me. I am encompassed about with terrors that I dare not think of.”

I just thought this part was so immensely creepy and Harker’s realisation at his predicament is a catalyst for him learning more about the Count’s paranormal ways.

 🐳 🐳 🐳

Gold bear award

The Call of the Wild

By Jack London

Originally pubished: 1903 by Macmillan

This edition: 8th September 2011 by Puffin Classics

Yippee – There’s also a free Kindle edition!

Rating: 🐺 🐺 🐺 🐺 🐺 🐺 🐺

Synopsis: Buck the dog happily lives on a ranch in California until he is stolen and sold as a service dog to work in Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush. Buck has to quickly adapt to this harsh and inplacable climate and find his place in the pack to stay alive. Buck is gradually stripped of his civilised veneer and, as he becomes more feral, the call of the wild coaxes him to give in completely to his natural instincts.

💜 What I Loved 💜

Buck and John Thornton’s relationship. John Thornton steps in while Buck is being brutally beaten and saves Buck’s life, creating an unbreakable bond between man and beast. John Thornton cares for Buck and Buck protects Thornton on a relationship built completely on respect. We all love our dogs but it’s really touching to see the devotion dogs show towards their owners from the dog’s perspective. It’ll make you want to put down your book and go give your dog a cuddle!

💀 Bad Bits 💀

This book is not for the faint hearted. There are many, many scenes of human on dog and dog on dog violence which are described with brutal honesty. The violence is never gratuitous and reflects the realities and savagery of nature but, if like me, you love our little canine companions to death (and there’s a lot of death explicitly NOT caused by love!), you may find some of the passages difficult to stomach.

🌟 Cherished Character 🌟

I really liked the character of John Thornton. Yes, he understood that dogs at this time were part of a business venture, merely a tool to most, but he also showed respect and compassion to fellow living beings. His dogs were devoted to him, and if dogs like you, I like you!

🐙 Magical Moment 🐙

When Buck completely succumbs to the call of the wild. Not only has Buck survived, he has mastered the wild. He has thrived. He is king.

🐳 🐳 🐳

That’s book 2 of my Classics Club Challenge!

🐳 Classics Club Challenge 🐳

I tend to do a lot of re-reads when it comes to the classics (there’s nothing wrong with reading ‘Emma’ 10 times right?!) so I decided to join the Classics Club challenge. I’ve ventured to read 50 classic books from the list in 3 years and you too can join in at The Classics Club if you dare. So here is my starting list of 50 books. What do you think? Any blinders you think I’ve omitted?

Wish me luck!

🐳🐳🐳

Classics Challenge!

 

A

Achebe, Chinua – ‘Things Fall Apart’

Allende, Isabelle – ‘The House of the Spirits’

Amis, Kingsley – ‘Lucky Jim’

Angelou, Maya – ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’

Atwood, Margaret – ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

B

Baldwin, James – ‘Go Tell it on the Mountain’

Bradbury, Ray – ‘Fahrenheit 451’

C

Cervantes, Miguel de – ‘Don Quixote’

Collins, Wilkie – ‘The Moonstone’

D

Defoe, Daniel – ‘Robinson Crusoe’

Dickens, Charles – ‘A Christmas Carol’

Dickens, Charles – ‘David Copperfield’

Dumas, Alexandre – ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’

F

Faulkner, William – ‘The Sound and the Fury’

Flaubert, Gustave – ‘Madame Bovary’

Forster, E.M – ‘A Room with a View’

G

Gaskell, Elizabeth – ‘North and South’

Gibbons, Stella – ‘Cold Comfort Farm’

Graves, Robert – ‘I, Claudius’ #1

H

Hardy, Thomas – ‘Tess of the D’Ubervilles’

Heller, Joseph – ‘Catch 22’

Hemingway, Ernest – ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’

Herbert, Frank – ‘Dune’

I

Irving, John – ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany’

J

Jackson, Shirley – ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’

Joyce, James –    ‘Dubliners’

K

Kafka, Franz – ‘The Metamorphosis’

L

Lawrence, D.H. – ‘Lady Chatterly’s Lover’

London, Jack – ‘The Call of the Wild’

M

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia – ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’

Magorian, Michelle – ‘Good Night, Mr. Tom’

Melville, Herman – ‘Moby Dick’

Montgomery, L.M – ‘Anne of Green Gables’

N

Nabokov, Vladimir – ‘Lolita’

R

Rhys, Jean – ‘The Wide Sargasso Sea’

 

S

Serraillier, Ian – ‘The Silver Sword’

Sewell, Anna – ‘Black Beauty’

Shute, Neville – ‘A Town Like Alice’

Steinbeck, John – ‘The Grapes of Wrath’

Stoker, Bram – ‘Dracula’

Suskind, Patrick – ‘Perfume’

Swift, Jonathan – ‘Gulliver’s Travels’

T

Taylor, Mildred. D – ‘Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry’

Tolkien, J.R.R – ‘The Silmarillion’

V

Verne, Jules – ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’

Vonnegut, Kurt – ‘Slaughter House – Five’

W

White, T.H – ‘The Once and Future King’

Wiesel, Elie – ‘Night’

Woolf, Virginia – ‘To the Lighthouse’

Wynne Jones, Diana – ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’