Author(s): Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker's bone-chilling vampire tale was not the first of its kind; the author was influenced by fellow Dubliner Sheridan Le Fanu's similarly-themed short story Carmilla, published in 1872, 25 years before Dracula. But it is the latter that stands at the pinnacle of this horror sub-genre. "We would not recommend it to nervous persons for evening reading, "The Times review advised when it was hot off the press, indicative of the power of the text to those more familiar with comic or schlocky adaptations of this Gothic classic. English lawyer Jonathan Harker journeys to Count Dracula's Transylvanian castle to discuss a routine real estate transaction. Title deeds are the last thing on the shape-shifting Count's mind. He has a thirst for pastures new and fresh blood, and as the action moves to England, he gorges himself at the expense of the unfortunate ship's crew. Harker's fiancee Mina, her friend Lucy Westenra, Dr Seward and vampire expert Professor Van Helsing band together to stop the undead count from rising. Only certain weapons will be effective, and not all of them will survive. Told through the diaries and letters of the chief characters, Dracula has a gripping authenticity and immediacy that draws the reader into its shadowy nightmare.