Stories like this have defined the term 'Classics' in Modern Literature, and this one deservedly so. I almost feel a sympathy for the generations of film makers who, no doubt wholeheartedly, attempted to bring this tale to the silver screen but manage only to create a dim reflection of a truly gripping tale. The old adage of the book being better than the film is a necessary cliche in this instance.
The original text has held its own for over a Century, and rightly so. The style in which it is written ( Mostly journal entries and letters) may take some getting used to for the modern reader, as might the language and culture of the Victorian era; but these are literary tools in defining the characters and building suspense within the unfolding drama. So too, the seeming drag in narration and events towards the end may be an effort on the part of the Author to enhance suspense and the character's own growing frustrations; as well as (perhaps) the serialization of most fiction written at that time; it may have served to 'flesh out' the story.
By far the most memorable characterization is that of Van Helsing. Easy to see now, how the modern writer/producer has capitalized on the theme of such a man, as have many authors no doubt, 'borrowed' heavily or discreetly from the original theme/plot and characters, especially the Count himself who retains his terrifying immortality after all - Albeit in literary fiction and the countless spin-offs beginning with this, one of the most original and best told tales of horror and suspense.
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