Thoughts: I read this as part of my 100 best books list challenge, the classic category. Dracula is a proper vampire - no glittering, love lorn pretty boys here, just pure blood sucking evil!
Using diaries, letters and personal recounts, Stoker leads the reader down the dark paths the characters follow to track and destroy Dracula. When reading the classics I often have to remind myself about the realities of being a woman in the time to the book is set. This of course means that often they have little, if any power and their gentle sensibilities need to be taken into account. Female characters in Dracula were no different. Mina obviously has a brain and used it, but in the end, all the heavy lifting is left to the men. The men however, did have their own weaknesses and foibles and in the end they had the best interests of Mina and the rest of humanity at heart.
Anyone who claims to be a fan of vampire fiction needs to read this. While it may not be the first book to feature vampires, it was the first widely popular one and as such, it set many of the vampire conventions – blood sucking, stake through the heart, aversion to garlic.
I don't know if I'm getting better at classics as I found this easier to read than I normally do. Maybe there is hope for me yet! Glad I took the time to read it.