I live in Bristol UK horror dark fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
The true original, where it all started and a phenomenon that spawned a generation and more of copy cat stories and movies. Yes of course it is off its age, and the descriptive prose/language can take a short time and a little concentration to adjust to....but persevere and you will be rewarded with an exciting introduction to Nosferatu, the Un-Dead, and in particular the evil of Count Dracula.
Not only did Bram Stoker write an exciting adventure full of horror but the characters were colourful/strong and the descriptive eerie atmosphere added a wonderful mood and sense of doom to a highly charged story.....
"How sweet it was to see the clouds race by, and the passing gleams of the moonlight between the scudding clouds crossing and passing-like the gladness and sorrow of a man's life; how sweet it was to breathe the fresh air, that had no taint of death and decay."
"Never did tombs look so ghastly white; never did cypress, or yew, or juniper so seem the embodiment of funereal gloom; never did tree or grass wave or rustle so ominously; never did bough creak so mysteriously; and never did the far-away howling of dogs send such a woeful presage through the night."
"The mist grew thicker and I could see now how it came in, for I could see it like smoke-or with the white energy of boiling water-pouring in, not through the window, but through the joinings of the door."
In particular the characters of Mina and Van Helsing proved a joy for the reader to encounter and behold. Jonathan Harker's beautiful and intelligent bride Mina with her delicate pale femininity and the almost swash buckling elder professor and Vampire Hunter Van Helsing who positively jumps out of the pages with his vitality and passion as he searches out and races against time to rid the world of the evil Dracula. The excitement and action traverse the UK and Europe culminating in a classic showdown at the Counts evil lair....Castle Dracula. So forget True Blood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer and just try to understand how it all started and what a great debt we owe to the creator of this pure evil!