Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Both Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Marry Shelley’s Frankenstein are considered classics. Have you ever read either of them?
I’m not a reader of horror, but I am a reader of classics, so I’ve read both these books. I was not greatly impressed by Dracula, in all honesty. It was not nearly as frightening as billed (though a friend who read it alone at night said atmosphere made a difference…) and I was deeply (deeply) bothered by the notion that a character could lose her soul against her will (cursed by Dracula, more or less). I was also left wondering how we ever got from Stoker’s vampires to the Twilight romantic variety (I’ve been told Anne Rice is the bridge).
I like Frankenstein a lot. It’s also not too horrifying, in the sense we typically mean horror now, but I found it much more engaging than Dracula. I hated Victor and felt great sympathy for the Creature (for most of the book), but the key point there may be that I felt strongly about both of them, so I had a heavy investment in the story. Frankenstein figures slightly in my Phantom of the Opera retelling (another classic Gothic horror, actually). The Phantom has a copy on his bookshelf, alongside The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Both are probably very unhealthy reading for him…
Have you read either of these classics? How did you feel about them?
3 thoughts on “Blog Hop: Classically Horrifying”
I’m the same as Diane – don’t read horror, although it does seem that my tolerance for the lighter/well-known of the genre is increasing. I went to a play based on Dracula where my friend played Jonathan Harker. It was tense, enjoyable, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I have read and enjoyed both, but I definitely think Frankenstein is the superior novel. I particularly loved how rather than the creature being the monster and Frankenstein the victim – in fact, Shelley really gets us thinking who is really the monster: the creature or its maker?! While I also enjoyed Dracula it had a rather anti-climatic end for me. However I did like the deeper more complex character of Renfield in the novel.
I have not read either (don’t read horror novels), but have seen the 1930’s version of Frankenstein as a movie. I, too, felt sympathy for the Creature – he was so misunderstood! He did not know his own strength and no one taught him how to behave because they were all afraid of him. He was a stranger in a strange land. I have also seen the sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein, where there is a very touching scene in which the Creature stumbles upon a cottage where a blind man lives. The blind man of course can’t see how he looks and treats him with kindness. The Creature responds to this in a positive way. There’s a lesson in there, for sure!