review: the stranger

27 February 2013

En la niebla 

book info:
on sale: now
copy from: library
pages: 123
review written: February 22-

Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd." First published in English in 1946; now in a new translation by Matthew Ward.

Mersault is an average French Algerian who learns that his Maman has died. From this event spurs a chain of events that leaders the reader into the  most unexpected ending.

my thoughts:

I first heard about this book from a friend who read it for school, and then I found it on a list of cancelled readings that were supposed to be for my literature class (my teacher told me to cross out several titles that we definitely wouldn't be reading, and this was one of them). Intrigued, I checked it out at the library and had  just a tiny idea of what it's about (just that summary up above) and to be honest: I thought it'd be a disappointing, boring classic. Nope, I was wrong. Going in with an open mind and maybe even no expectations is the recommended way to approach this book.


Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a really good looking, incredibly intelligent and unique writer. (picture: that's him on the right. What a gorgeous man) I'm in love. Like Mersault, the protagonist of The Stranger, Camus was born in Algeria. He lived a life of poverty his single working mother (his father had been killed and died a war veteran). There were two world wars going on, independence struggles of colonised countries and so on. Camus's early life affected this work, The Stranger, in that Albert Camus's only knows one thing about his father: that he had once become violently ill after watching a public execution. This, as I've just discovered now, must have been one of the main reasons why this book was written. He was deeply interested in philosophy, which reflects in all his literary works. Later on in life, he established himself as a talented, world famous writer, playwright, and journalist. The Stranger is the first work I've read that's written by Camus.

Though this book is only just a little over a hundred pages, it took me about a week to read it. The length is little, but the emotional and philosophical impact of his words weighs the book down to make it seem like it's a three hundred page novel or something along those lines. At first, it seemed to me that  the French novel was just like my perception of French films: without any obvious plot. It seemed boring and slightly off and hard to understand told from the detached first person of Mersault. Later I would see that that's exactly how it's supposed to be.

Something absolutely magical about Camus's writing is his talent at writing little snapshots of life and describing nature in such a way that I would hear the lapping waves of the sea shore and feel the sun soak in my skin. The story, and Mersault's telling of the story, is very physical and appeals more to the five senses than anything else. Camus's style of writing is indeed French-like, focusing more on life as a whole rather than the individual. It is more physical and more fairy-tale like for Part I. Part II adds the layers of psychological depth that makes one understand the point of Part I.

Apart from the actual writing, the story itself is something I absolutely loved: it being so uniquely written that I felt my mind expand and my sense tingling and my whole mind on fire. Albert Camus is a sly, cunning writer that has the ability to make me think about so many philosophical, life-changing thoughts in just a few of his words. I felt this way because I, the reader, was given in simple sentences and plain statements told from Mersault's point of view. But instead of his explaining psychology or his reflections on his actions: I was left to decipher and interpret him (the character). And this is a freedom that readers are rarely given because the author wishes to portray his/her point of view and get the reader to understand his/her point. Camus's writing  is a freedom that we readers are rarely given and I absolutely love it. The narration of the story is completely...indifferent. And this precisely is the magical part, because it's exactly what Camus was trying to portray (or at least, what I think he was trying to portray) by telling the story. Mersault believes in indifference. In fact, he is indifferent, to everything. Both the story and the narration of the story and the point of the story all boils down to: indifference.
"As if that blind rage had washed me clean, rid me of hope; for the first time, in that night alive with signs and stars, I opened myself to the benign indifference of the world. Finding it so much like myself—so like a brother, really—I felt that I had been happy and that I was happy again."
All in all, this is an unforgettable classic that I'm so happy to have read! Recommended for an older teen audience and ages above that! For anyone younger than 15-16, this may just be some boring book.

This book receives all five trees! I'm coming out with a new rating system (in which it's out of a scale of 6 instead of 5, and this book would be a 5.5 on that scale :D I'll replace the trees with the new scale once it's ready!)


feature and follow #10!

16 February 2013


Welcome to Pages, guests and readers! I just posted the picture above to see how many avid book readers would cry out in anger. don't be mad, I disagree with this too! Maybe we're getting off on the right foot, but I've been searching for a good part of half an hour trying to find a photograph to start off with. So there.

I haven't done a Feature and Follow is so long. Plus, it's about 20 minutes to midnight right now and I should hurry up before Friday ends! My old followers will know that I changed the rules up a bit soo here you are:


Here on Pages, I kind of tweaked the rules of Feature and Follow to fit my morals about blogging. Here are the "tweaked" rules :D

If I followed you, you are NOT required to follow me back: only if you want to :)
If you follow me, I'll seriously consider following you back, but it's not guaranteed

I don't like how people are required to follow other blogs in this hop. I think one should follow a blog because he or she likes it, not because he/she feels obliged because the other blog owner/writer followed him or her's blog. You know? (Being grammatically correct is a bit wordy). Life's a bit too busy to read blogs that doesn't fit one's taste.

Today's question is really interesting and I guess that's another reason why I wanted to do a Feature and Follow!
by the way, here's to make up for the scandalous first photograph. I stared at this for hours... 

ACTIVITY:  Write a letter to your favourite character. Rant, rave or gush…just pretend like they are real and you just want to let them know a “few things”. 

All right then.I don't have a favourite character, so I'll pick one that's cliché and someone you all must be well-acquainted with. No, not Harry Potter. I have nothing to say to him because he's made me so happy and satisfied. I would just say to him "Good job, Harry" and pat his shoulder. No no no, this person, this lucky recipient is none other than the infamous Edward Cullen of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer! He's not my favourite, but I think it's more interesting to write to a character one hates. One has a lot to say to those he hates. For instance, in Anna Karenina: I detest Count Vronsky. I would much rather write to him instead of...Levin for instance. Levin, don't give up and pursue her! Vronsky you shameless bastard, let's have a talk. Do you see what I mean? Yes yes, so my letter to Edward:

Dearest Edward,
  Let's cut all formalities and get down to business. I know you. Yes yes, I know you're a vampire and to me, you're completely fictional. I know your life's story and your wife and your daughter and your entire family. Please, don't think of me as a threat to you or your family. I mean no harm, none at all. But having thoroughly examined your life through the words of another (we shall call her your Creator--just a nickname I suppose), I must propose some...criticisms. I mean no offence, even though I'm criticising your personality and actions which lead to you as a creature of the night. 
  First off, after living as a vampire for over 107 years, why don't you do something useful with your existence? Compile research for some medicinal cures, educate yourself and work for the betterment of society--why do you feel compelled to attend high school over and over again? I understand it's because you don't want to draw attention to yourself by doing monumental achievements for humans (or vampires!) but honestly, isn't sinking yourself so low as to be a high-schooler? And at that, prey on a sweet-blooded, weak human girl?
 Oh please, don't be offended by my analysis of Mrs Edward Cullen (aka. Bella Swan) but as a character, she's a bit dull. Apart from that matter, I must bring attention to your other qualities that I question. As an ancient soul, you must have developed some ideas of how to be romantic. Do you honestly think stalking your then-girlfriend, watching her sleep, and being annoying cryptic to her is in any way romantic? 

 I must go soon, so thus my letter to you must be cut off. I will part with a response question that I hope to recieve answered along with your rebuttal to my criticisms. What exactly do you love (specific, valid reasons) about Bella Swan? Do you think the reason why you love her, are married to her, and have had a child with her is because you were attracted to her blood and found out you couldn't read her mind? You once said you found her a "mystery" and maybe even called her a "challenge". Do you think this is love or lust and actuation? Do let me know.

 Good day Mr Cullen,
 -Kirthi

For all you Twilight fans, please don't hate me. I was quite polite and hopefully respectful to Mr Cullen. 

HAHA, this is what I become like after reading old Russian fiction. Ah look, it's not Friday anymore. It's 12:01. Perfect. 

As a parting gift, here is a photograph of a laughing pair of friends that you all know. Benedict Cumberbatch, the beautiful actor blessed with cheekbones of gods, and Tom Hiddleston, who IS a god. 

Bona nit, my friends. (or good morning, afternoon, evening) 

dia del amor

14 February 2013

~~~

Hello friends :)
   I tried desperately to find some quote, some passage, some words of encouragement for today: and I failed miserably. What I stumbled upon were steamy love scene descriptions, love-hate angst and just odd romantic quotes that would not be fitting for today.

Valentine's Day

   I personally think that today is both good and bad. It's an excuse for me, shy-in-the-matters-of-love, to make a move and have it not seem abnormal. Yet it's also a highly commercialised, shallow "holiday" where people are encouraged to "show their love" for each other. Isn't that supposed to be every day? Or at least, is giving a box of chocolates or a bouquet of roses a sign of love, or is it the actions that one does every day that defines love? Whatever it is, I think today is a fun day, like all other "holiday"s. In elementary school, I had the greatest time crafting boxes with construction paper and shoe boxes. Going to school with a plastic grocery bag full of tiny store bought Valentine's with chocolates taped to them. That exciting ten minute time period where everyone rushes to each other's boxes and slips in cards. And then that euphoric moment afterwards, full of laughter and happiness and sweet-eating. The arts and crafts of making Valentines, the free day where all we basically had done was do Valentine themed crosswords, eat chocolates, coloured pictures and socialised. I think that it was one of my most favourite holiday. Of course, I had intentions of making valentines but alas, it never happened. Next year, I will definitely go all out.

I'm not that person who hates Valentine's Day purely because he/she is single. It's not a bad thing to be single on Valentine's Day, no matter how "looked down" upon it is. It's not worth it, you know? 

 Like all holidays, I'm always interested in the historical background. Now in order to convert "pagans" (I find it a derogatory term, as it's biased against all other religions except Christianity  The definition is "non-Christian") Christians would "advertise" their religion by blending in "pagan" festivals with Christianity in order to make it more appealing to the native populations. Valentine's Day is an example of that!

Origins of Valentine's Day: A Pagan Festival in February

While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial--which probably occurred around A.D. 270--others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to "Christianize" the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. 

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat's hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. (read more)

A Humorous Note 


Apart from all that seriousness, let's add some humour. Right, so though you may not know this  that well, I actually read a lot of manga (Japanese web-comics) and I'm a sucker for shoujo (romance) mangas. In all the shoujo I've read, Valentine's Day has always been sweet and cute and romantic. The girl, having gotten a boyfriend for the first time on Valentine's Day, works hard hand-making chocolate the night before the big day. The boyfriend is always immensely popular amongst all the girls in the school, and is the object of envy for all the boys. So naturally, the boyfriend is flooded with chocolates from other girls (its a custom to give chocolate to the boy one likes. It's this girls that must do this always) and the girl feels insecure. She usually doesn't give the chocolate to him until under some circumstances, the disappointed boy asks the girl about it and she shyly gives it to him. It's a cliché, as you can tell, but it's quite sweet. Here is a page that I bookmarked from a manga where the girl makes chocolate that looks like shit to give to her boyfriend (whom everybody in the school absolutely loves and adores. They literally organise an event for everybody to deliver their chocolates to him. Usui-kun, the boy, doesn't accept any of them, except for this girl's. Which looks like shit) I laughed so much when I read this!

A note, read from top right to bottom left. 

Hoho, quite funny no? "It is a shit, no mistake" Ahahahaha ~cough~ ahem. Anyway: have an amazing, love-filled day! Even if you don't have a partner, hug your parents or call your friends! It's "el dia del amor"; the day of love :)

P.S. I'm really chuffed with myself. Finally made a move on mah crush, but I don't know the results of said move. (Remember how I said I liked Valentine's Day because it's an excuse for the shy to make a move? Well I meant me in there as well) I'll give you a hint on what I did (look at the first picture on this post!) :) :) :) I can't stop smiling, gahh.

review: city of thieves

10 February 2013





book  info
on sale: now
copy  from: school library
pages: 258
review written: February 7th and 8th 2013

During the Nazis’ brutal siege of Leningrad, Lev Beniov is arrested for looting and thrown into the same cell as a handsome deserted name Kolya. Instead of being executed, Lev and Kolya are given a shot at saving their own lives by complying with an outrageous directive: secure a dozen eggs for a powerful Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unbelievable deprivation, Lev and Kolya embark on a hunt through the dire lawlessness of Leningrad and behind enemy lines to find the impossible.

By turns insightful and funny, thrilling and terrifying, City of Thieves is a gripping, cinematic World War II adventure and an intimate coming-of-age story with an utterly contemporary feel for how boys become men.


My thoughts:

David Benioff is a name that sounds like any other author’s name, and I thought little of it as I picked this book out from my school library. I’d like to express that despite my discontent with the books that my high school decides to buy (appealing to young adult readers with a massive collection of the latest dystopian/chick-flick books), there are some gems. I researched him just now, and discovered his amazing career as a screenwriter. He was actually the screenwriter of Troy (2004) and produced some of my favourite lines ever. He’s also created Game of Thrones and X-Men Origins. I had no idea that he was such a famous person, who actually had been a high school English teacher. From all this, I would not expect him to have written this type of story.

The page before the title page, reserved for dedications, has two beautiful and intriguing quotes. I’ll share the first one, since I believe it’s more relevant. The second one is one I’ll share later on, as it’s a bit confusing.
“and if the City falls but a single man escapes
he will carry the City within himself on the roads of exile
he will be the City”
-Zbigniew Herbert

The preface of the story is David asking his Russian grandfather about World War II in Russia. “My grandfather, the knife fighter, killed two Germans before he was eighteen” is how it starts.  He will later tell the story of his grandfather, weaving in fiction with fact.
I didn’t know it was possible to write an uplifting, horribly gruesome, horribly sad and yet laugh-out-loud funny story in this way.  I’ll borrow someone else’s words on this one as well:

[the book]  "features a snappy plot, a buoyant friendship, a quirky courtship, an assortment of menacing bad guys, an atmosphere that flickers between grainy realism and fairy-tale grotesquerie and a grim but irrepressible sense of humor,"
- Donna Rifkind of Los Angeles Times

This describes perfectly how I felt when reading this book, as if it were a film. This seems fitting as Benioff is a screenwriter. The book itself was something I really enjoyed. It’s crude, disgusting, sarcastically humorous and delightfully raw. One of my favourite aspects of this book is the relationship between Lev and the handsome Kolya. It’s strange how opposites attract. Lev is the shy, awkward and “unattractive” virgin whereas Kolya is the handsome, tall German-looking (Aryan) womaniser. Their friendship was odd and yet it worked. Their dynamic produced the most hilariously crass dialogues I've read in a long time. It’s hard not to fall in love with Kolya’s charming character. He who loves literature, desperately wanting to shit (pardon my language) and passionately rants about fictional characters (sounds like someone I can relate to). However, he has a cold, fearless side to him that adds layers of complexity to his character. Other than that, he’s quite comedic at times. I'm flipping to a random page (147) and I've found this:

“Kolya nudged me with his elbow and whispered under his breath “ I've got a little bit of a hard-on”
“What’s that?” asked Korsakov.
“I said my cock’s going to fall of it we stand out here much longer—pardon my language”.
City of Thieves, page 147
I can’t quite detect the subtly of their possible homosexuality. It’s slim, almost non-existent. But this is where the second quote I mentioned comes in.
“At last Schenk thought he understood and began laughing louder. Then suddenly he asked in a serious tone, “Do you that the Russians are homosexuals?”
“You’ll find out at the end of the war,” I replied.
-Curzio Malaparte
There are ambiguous hints here and there, some more obvious than others, but I love how this adds a layer of intrigue and complexity to their already honestly odd friendship. For me, this book has been worth it because of this unique friendship.

Other aspects I feeling guilty about admitting that I actually liked was the gruesome descriptions and circumstances that Lev and Kolya stumble upon. I felt nauseous, horrified and shocked. Cannibalism? This appeals to the darker side of human nature for both me and the repulsive act of cannibals. Me, for actually being fascinated by the very thought of it (in a bad way, a disgusted fascination) and for the people who were pushed to such extremes as to disregard all civility. I remember reading that in a market, sausages made from grounded human was sold. The Siege of Leningrad (St Petersburg) was catastrophic and is said to be the most “lethal siege in history”. Numerous amounts of people died under the intense conditions. Civilians were give 125 grams of bread, mostly consisting of sawdust and anything else that would not kill a human and ration cards soon became restricted. Coupled with cold (to at least -30 degrees Celsuis) and bombardments from Germans on cities, I find Lev’s story absolutely amazing. This is a history I have never read in a historical novel on this part of history before, so City of Thieves, on top of being so uniquely written also provided me with details and accounts of the occurrences in Leningrad. I'm more interested in the social impact of war on the people than I am about the politics.

 Back on the note of the atrocities: I connected with Lev on the horrors he saw, and experienced the more serious, strangely cool and creepy side of Kolya. These horrors shaped Lev. Imagine being a youthful seventeen year old, witnessing these acts that abandon all morality, witnessing death on a daily basis. City of Thieves is definitely not the first book to describe such events, but what I found even more fascinating was the location. I have read little modern-day Russian based literature. I'm ashamed to say the last historical fiction novel based in Russia was over a year or two ago with Susanne Dunlap’s Anastasia’s Secret. Time and time again, I have read about the monstrous acts of the German Nazi’s, but never before like this, in Russia.

I warn readers that this book as outrageously crass language, sex, and repulsive acts that may or not may not be suitable for the preteen. In an age where young adults are more mature than ever before (less innocent, I mean) I’m troubled on what age group I would recommend this to. Whatever best fits your judgement.
All in all, I enjoyed it! Four trees!

new design! + updates

08 February 2013


Hello readers! (the picture above is not related to this at all, just thought it was hilarious :D)

  I have been trying for over half a year to get a new blog design. I swam through many designers' websites, got together with the one that made my Voyage design for me and attempted to make one for Pages. She ended up taking quite a long time, and then decided to take a break from designing, leaving my blog unattended. Grace Anna is really nice and friendly, so I don't really mind. She was really patient and attended to loads of designing requests from me! But alas, the design was never done so I finally took the move into buying a pre-made design from one of my all-time favourite designers, Ana from Blog Milk. And so, wah-lah! I'm so ridiculously relieved/happy that I can finally stop worrying about my design problems for the next few years at least!

  I would love some feedback on what you like and what you don't. My sidebar's a bit bare now because some of the gadgets I had didn't look well/were too extraneous.

  I had always been wanting to modernise my blog and make it look like a website. But I realise that I don't want to go full-blown proffesional. I want to make people comfortable with a small post area and the simple boxed sidebar. The navigation bar completely adds to making this a more comfy blog and I'm in love. I may be making some minor edits, like getting a new header. But for the most part, this is it! Yay!

Updates:

1) The New Years Giveaway is over and I'll be picking and contacting winners soon. Thank you for those who participated!

2) As you may have noticed in my Dracula review, I'm taking more time and effort into writing more professional reviews. I'm actually typing them up on Word Documents, editing for a few days, making changes and touches, and then publishing them. I've noticed that many reviews, even from well-established and popular book blogs/websites are really just someone's thoughts on the book overall. I feel like I want to delve deeper into my books, observe more and give you all a feel as to how the book will be with more quotes, concepts, motifs and all that. My reviews on classics will be essay-length, haha. My young adult reviews will be less "professional"

3) I have stuck with my goal of posting reviews more than any other type of post. Lots of mini-film ones and more book ones. I'm more than happy with how Pages has been turning out

4) I miss you guys. In between schoolwork, homework, and the little free time I have, I will be visiting the blogs I follow and put more of an effort to participate. This will be the next thing to crack down on my list. When I scroll through my feed, I see that many posts are usually just cover love, memes and promotional posts and all those things that I don't place an importance on. However, I'm making an effort!

5) School related: I'm so thrilled for a four-day weekend next week! I have a shortened Thursday (school gets out early), Friday off plus the weekend plus Monday off. Ahh, I cannot wait! My grades have been improving and I also made first chair viola in one of the upper orchestras at my school.

6) MY PAGES: I've reduced all my pages down to just a few that I've been updating/cleaning up. I hope to add some more manually like the "reviews by genre" idea I had and such.

Thank you all so much for being with me this far! Let's have a splend-tastic year!

review: dracula

05 February 2013

book info:
on sale: now
copy from: library
pages: 359

title: Dracula
author: Bram Stoker


Bram Stoker, an Irish-born master horror fiction writer, is most well-known for writing the most popular vampire story ever: Dracula. He spent years researching for it, learning of European and vampire folklore. His research paid off in this absolutely enriching, on-edge, timeless thriller that introduced a modern take on novel writing. Dracula starts off with a young English lawyer called Jonathan Harker, who is visiting Transylvania to help his foreign client purchase a home in London: Count Dracula. In his journal, Jonathan describes his journey to Castle Dracula, which is full of odd occurrences and frightful encounters. He arrives at his destination and meets the strange, eccentric and polite Count Dracula. What follows thereafter is an intense recounting of events that prove to be the most effective introduction, as the momentum follows forward through the middle of the story, until the last hundred pages or so, when events slow down and when it becomes a slight bit arduous to read.

Stoker wrote Dracula not in the typical novel form with a narrator, but with the diary entries, letters and telegrams of several key characters. Jonathon Harker, his wife (Mina Harker) and her best friend who is a key turning point in the story, Lucy, an insane asylum doctor (Dr Seward), a mysterious but trusted Dutch doctor (Van Helsing), and several others. At first, I didn't particularly enjoy the continuous switching of POVs, and I really just wanted the story to continue from Jonathan’s point of view. But then I realised how absolutely crucial it was to have so many points of views. Stoker dropped in hints that he brought up in many accounts (for instance, bats) but the individual characters thought nothing of it .I thought it was brilliant that what he was doing almost imitated what actors do in theatre. When the audience knows something that the character on stage does not: and to “watch” the story from this up-above-perspective was what made me glued to the pages. “You idiots, how can you not see?!” was something I thought of somewhere along reading.

One of my most favourite little “mini-stories” of the book was the happenings of Dr Seward and his mentally ill patient, Renfield. Reading through Dr Sewards accounts of the insane man who keeps calling for his “Master” was a delicious treat.

There is a method in his madness, and the rudimentary idea in my mind is growing…My homicidal maniac is of a peculiar kind. I shall have to invent a new classification for him, and call him a zoӧphagous (life-eating) maniac; what he desires is to absorb as many lives as he can…” (Stoker 66-67)

What I loved most is how Stoker wove all these individual letters and accounts into a story  that one can easily follow and thoroughly enjoy. Of late, I've been immersed in Gothic literature (The Shadow of the Wind) and the mentally ill (MortenerCrazy) and thought I’d add more to my collection with Dracula. There are many themes present in this story that set the gloomy, Gothic mood: castles, bats, blood, vampires, temptresses and an all-evil villain, and even though they sound cliché, when used in the right way, these elements create a perfect Gothic recipe. Another key part of Gothic novel writing is the use of description, very detailed description. Stoker showed his masterful writing by doing just that.

“When it grew dark there seemed to be some excitement amongst the passengers…HE lashes the horses unmercifully with his long whip, and with wild cries of encouragement urged them on to further exertions….The excitement of the passengers grew greater. The crazy coach rocked on its great leather springs, and swayed like a boat tossed on a story sea. I had to hold on” (Stoker 10)

Once again, brilliant writing. The characters too, were well done, however not as good as I would have liked them. Mrs Harker (Mina) is almost worshipped as an angel amongst the men, and all the other characters absolutely adore her. She also seems to have been built as a much more responsible, manly, intelligent and worthy character than her husband, Jonathan Harkey (who has taken her role as a weakly woman character, always fretting over her and even crying while she remains strong). They’re reversed roles was interesting, but I grew to become bothered by how much adoration and praise and worshipping was done on Mina’s behalf. She became a saint to them, especially the events near the middle-end. I'm glad that women played a major role in this novel (as in the time that this was written, the Second Industrial Revolution, women were , as might not have been common at the time (playing the weaker sex), but Mina’s character was overdone as she was literally the epitome of innocent, good will and purity. I could not find any flaws with her! And because of this, I found her a bit annoying.

Like I mentioned before, all of the suspense building was perfect up until the middle of the story, where I stopped flying through, fell into thick mud, and had to trudge along. It was a point in the story where a “mystery” had been solved, and the characters all decided to go on a mission to get rid of the root cause. What followed was a boring description of their doings, detail to detail of their journey that was really dull. And then when the climax hit, when the one moment where everything had been leading up, I discovered it was only a few words (sentences) long. Dracula, to me, was like a bullet-speed train tearing over melting railroad tracks and then abruptly slowing to a horse-trot, and coming at a halt to the destination, exhausted and dull.

To compare this Victorian Age novel to the modern “vampire”  of today is to compare an iceberg to an ice cube. Stoker meant to make vampires repulsive and insight fear and disgust at the inhuman monster. His looks were described with bushy eyebrows and an aquiline nose and other features that compared to today’s vampire is quite ghastly. Today, vampires are sexy, hot and have somewhere deep down, a good side. Stoker’s vampire is the embodiment of evil. So if you’re a modern-day-vampire-lover who craves reading more on content similar to Vampire Diaries or something, then I don’t think you’ll enjoy this. Apart from that.
All in all, it’s a recommended classic for older young adults as I think pre-teens and early teens might not have patience with this one. I enjoyed it very much, but the middle  to end was disappointing and honestly not quite as amazing as I expected it to be. Therefore: three and a half trees.

publisher: Borders Classics
published: 2006 (originally: 1897)
goodreads: link


(PS: One of my favourite youtube-ers, Crabstickz, once made a skit about Dracula. It’s more like a comedic spoof. It’s a bit…suggestive, so younger audiences, you have been warned! Here, watch it)


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