Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
janalee40
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎11-19-2008
0 Kudos

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

I just got both of these books and I was wondering which I should read first. Which book is best in your opinion?

Frequent Contributor
lilacbouquet
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎11-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

Well, I haven't read Dracula yet (it's in my "to be read" queue, though!) but I have heard good things about it. Frankenstein was entertaining, though, and the great thing about it is that it's not too long. Maybe you should start with that one first?
- Emily
"The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it." - Elizabeth Drew
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

I read both of them back when I was in junior high (decades ago).  I seem to recall that I liked Dracula better and got through it more easily, but my recollection is a bit fuzzy!  (I like the movie better, too, although they are both classics!)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

Janalee -- given the range of your reading (just took a peak at your profile), I think you will find both books useful and interesting additions to your reading memories.  I would start with Frankenstein, probably mostly because it was written earlier (1818) versus Dracula (published 1897).

 

When I finally tackled Dracula "seriously" a couple of years ago, I ended up with both a mass production copy and Dracula  Norton Critical Edition.  I was grateful for the latter.  If that is not what you bought, you might want to check whether there is a copy in your library that you could borrow when you are reading your own.

 

 

I would accompany either reading with a good set of notes.  I believe this page gives a good starting background to Frankenstein, but you may be able to find a better set overall elsewhere on the web.  (I often use the Google advanced search to look at only .edu sites -- sometimes I am lucky enough to find some excellent background material.)

 

Personally, I don't really "like" either of these books, but they are part of our English-language heritage and infuse so many other books that I consider them well worth spending time reading, probably more than once.

 

I hope you will come back and tell us about your reactions.  (Dracula was a selection recently enough on B&N that you can undoubtedly find the discussion here yet, but I would read the book first.)

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Frequent Contributor
janalee40
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎11-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

PepperMill,

 

Thank you for the suggestions. Can you tell me what the benefit of having the Norton'sCritical Edition of Dracula would be vs. the mass prod. copy? Is that a dumb question? Is it mostly due to the background it provides?

 

I took a peep at your profile as well. I see you have read The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan. I know we are not in current events, but would you mind telling me what you think? Do you know any boards that have had a discussion on this book?

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?


janalee40 wrote:

PepperMill,

 

Thank you for the suggestions. Can you tell me what the benefit of having the Norton'sCritical Edition of Dracula would be vs. the mass prod. copy? Is that a dumb question? Is it mostly due to the background it provides?

 

I took a peep at your profile as well. I see you have read The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan. I know we are not in current events, but would you mind telling me what you think? Do you know any boards that have had a discussion on this book?


Actually I recomend digging up a copy of "The Annotated Dracula" put out by Ballantine a few years ago.

 

Norton's Critical, detracts from the work.  The Annotated adds a great deal more side bar relavence with little to no opinionated commentary. Norton's is very opinionated comentary. Spoils it for a first reader.

 

As to Dracula vs Frankenstein, which first. Flip a coin. Dracula's more fun, Fankenstein more on the nature of humanity.  Both are really good though.

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

Jana -- I recommended Norton for its commentary and background, but as you see, TiggerBear has a different view and suggestion.  I don't know the Annotated version, but she (he?) seems to know both, so I would explore what she recommends. 

 

I actually listened to Greenspan, rather than read him.  The economic parts that I really would have liked to understand were over my head without more study, but I did appreciate getting an overall sense of the political arena in which he worked and his philosophies.  I had long known his admiration of Ayn Rand and have found it fascinating that, in his recent testimony in this economic downturn, he has apparently chosen to backpedal on some of his assumptions about the ability of markets to self correct and self regulate.

 

I am not aware of any online discussions of his book, but it would not surprise me if a Google search would reveal one or more.

 

Pepper

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Reader 2
fiveot
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

I read both of these books this year as part of a "classics" phase i am going through.  I liked both of them, but preferred Dracula.  I went into both books having never seen the movies so reading them really was quite a treat.  Dracula is longer as has been pointed out, but i had an easier time getting through it. 

 

I don't think you can go wrong with either of these books though.  

Distinguished Bibliophile
Ryan_G
Posts: 3,295
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

Dracula has always been my favorite.  It's a lot of fun to read and gives you a good understanding of where a lot of modern vampire stories have come from.  If you ever get a chance to listen to Orson Wells' Mercury Theater on the Air's version you should.  I have it and liseten to it all the time. 
"I am half sick of shadows" The Lady of Shalott

http://wordsmithonia.blogspot.com
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?


TiggerBear wrote:

As to Dracula vs Frankenstein, which first. Flip a coin. Dracula's more fun, Fankenstein more on the nature of humanity.  Both are really good though.


Yes, I was hesitant to say so because, as I mentioned, it has been so long since I read them, but that is how I remember them.  Frankenstein I recalled as having a lot of philosophical stuff in it, while Dracula was more of a straight horror yarn.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Frequent Contributor
chad
Posts: 1,477
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

I read both- You might try Shelley first. But Stoker also had some philiosophical stuff- if you're into that. ewton and the laws of physics: for every action, an equal and opposite reaction, etc etc.

 

Chad

Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?


fiveot wrote:

I read both of these books this year as part of a "classics" phase i am going through.  I liked both of them, but preferred Dracula.  I went into both books having never seen the movies so reading them really was quite a treat.  Dracula is longer as has been pointed out, but i had an easier time getting through it. 

 

I don't think you can go wrong with either of these books though.  


 

Welcome, fiveot!  Glad to hear you're going through a classics phase.  This is the place to be with that, for sure!
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

[ Edited ]

chad wrote:

I read both- You might try Shelley first. But Stoker also had some philiosophical stuff- if you're into that. Newton and the laws of physics: for every action, an equal and opposite reaction, etc etc.

 

Chad


Jana -- FYI, in the B&N discussion, Chad instigated many of the interesting posts and discussions.  (As well as some I couldn't, or wouldn't, begin to respond to.  :smileysurprised: )

Message Edited by Peppermill on 12-11-2008 05:40 PM
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Frequent Contributor
janalee40
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎11-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

Pepper,

 

I am not sure what you mean. What discussions would you be making reference to?

Frequent Contributor
janalee40
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎11-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

Fiveot,

 

I am also in a "classics phase." That is actually what sparked my interest in Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley. I have created a pretty extensive wish list of classics, and these are just a couple of the many. As you are also in the classics phase, would you mind telling me which books you started with, and which were your favorites? I am curious to which books caught your attention first, and why.

Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?


janalee40 wrote:

Fiveot,

 

I am also in a "classics phase."


I'm not only in a classics phase, I've been in one for the past fifty years, and see no reason to move out of it.  Oh, I do slip in the occasional modern book, but with rare exceptions they pretty much confirm my belief that I'm better off sticking with the classics.  

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Reader 2
fiveot
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-17-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

I started out with Frankenstein and War of the worlds.  I really enjoyed war of the worlds as it once again confirmed that a book is ALWAYS better than the movies based on them.  After reading Frankenstein I realized just how different it was than what i had expected.  I decided i should read Dracula as well to see if it differed from what i have grown up thinking it was.  I really enjoyed Dracula and it too was much different than what i thought it would be.  It was an easier read than Frankenstein and i simply preferred it over Frankenstein.  From there i have read The time machine and the invisible man by Wells simply because i enjoyed the war of the worlds so much.  I then tackled Walden and Civil Disobedience.  I had a tough time getting through Walden, but am happy to have read it. 

 

I have been reading for about 17 years, but the first 12 or thirteen were basically just the best seller stuff like Crichton, Cussler and such.  When i got out of college i realized that i should probably read some classics.  I have read a few here and there, but starting this summer i have read more.  I still read just about anything and everything though as currently I am reading Middlesex and Tropic of Cancer.  

 

There are probably many people on this board much more qualified to give you advice on some good classics to read, but i just wanted to tell you i thought your first choices were good ones.

Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

This discussion has been moved to a thread of its own to keep our conversations organized.

Frequent Contributor
janalee40
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎11-19-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?

"There are probably many people on this board much more qualified to give you advice on some good classics to read, but i just wanted to tell you i thought your first choices were good ones."

 

Fiveot,

 

I have no doubt in your ability to recommend a good classic. The fact that you are in the beginning of your journey through the classics comforts me a little. I am also just beginning. This is why I inquired of your initial selection in the first place. I plan to start reading Dracula within the next few days. I will definitely let you know my thoughts once I have read enough to have an opinion.

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?


janalee40 wrote:

Pepper,

 

I am not sure what you mean. What discussions would you be making reference to?


 

The ones on B&N a few months ago on Dracula.  

 

 

I'll let you figure out how to navigate the site and find them; by the time you have read Dracula, you will have had the time to do the necessary exploring.  (I'm just not in the mood to go find it today, but about two or three blind alleys at the most should suffice.  Have fun!)

 

If you don't find it and still want to do so, come back and ask for help.  I think it should still be available; at least, I have always been able to find others that have been sort of archived.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy