Archive for May, 2024

Review: Dracula

Saturday, May 18th, 2024

The folks at Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone were talking about Dracula and made it sound so good that I wanted to revisit it.

It’s more interesting than fun to read. There’s a lot of the foundations of horror in there, but as a book there’s a lot more logistics than excitement to it. At some point Mina Harker mentions having memorized the train schedules of a city she’s just arrived in and I remember being surprised that all of that schedule wasn’t reproduced in Stoker’s dialog. Not to worry, plenty of other minutia are.

I can kick Dracula a lot from the position of a reader used to different prose conventions and as a viewer of tons of derivative works. The world building is all trees and no forest. The characters are pretty stock. The team seems to deliberately not communicate with one another just to advance the plot, and more.

But the bones are great.

The feeling of dread of a powerful supernatural force plotting its way to power remains chilling. The action set pieces are genuinely suspenseful and thrilling. The absence of specificity of the cause of the Evil lets adapters dress those bones in everything from a horror of temptation gone wrong to terror of encroaching otherness to comedic horror while keeping a ripping action adventure going. You have to trim some train schedules, but what’s left is such a great canvas that people keep coming back to it.

I did find it more of a trip to the vampire museum than a ripping yarn of its own, but there’s a lot to conjure with here. There are great reasons people keep coming back to the source.


Grap 1.48

Tuesday, May 7th, 2024

grap 1.48 is released. It’s a very small output syntax change to accomodate dpic.