Finished Dracula. I doubt there’s anything I can say about the novel that hasn’t been said in far more detail by more articulate people than me. For me, it’s a case of knowing too much about the experience beforehand. There were very few surprises and those were of the “this is taking much longer than I expected” variety.
I wonder what it would have been like to read the novel without all my pop culture knowledge of Dracula and vampires? I can’t think of a novel or film that gives its vampire the abilities that Stoker gives Dracula. Usually the vampire has less powers (can’t turn into bat or mist) and greater weaknesses (sunlight kills). Dracula fails in his quest (which seems to be conquering England) because … well … Van Helsing says it’s because he has a “child brain”. Basically, he doesn’t understand England and the modern world and so fails to take the proper steps for conquest.
Oh well. As I understand it, Stoker’s other supernatural novels are quite awful. I’m tempted to read them just for the fun of it. At least there would be some surprises in them. I’ve seen the Ken Russell film of Lair of the White Worm and understand that Jewel of the Seven Stars has something to do Egypt and mummies but other than that I’ve no foreknowledge of the stories.