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SJ
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SJ
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎09-07-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

[ Edited ]
I just stopped by my local B & N and purchased this book. I love classics and thought this would be a great holiday read. I have participated in other clubs here at BN and notice this forum is a little different. There is no chapter specific discussions. I have read the introduction in the book, ready to start chapter one. Where should I start with the different threads? I am still contemplating the sexual mystique of vampires right now. I'll stop by that thread later.
Oh, sorry should note....I'm Sarah and live in Michigan. First vampire rad other than an Anne Rice years ago. Tried to read "The Historian" made it through 2/3 and tossed it aside due to boredom.

Message Edited by SJ on 10-06-2007 10:59 PM
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Introduce Yourself

[ Edited ]
SJ:
If you don't see any threads that are discussing a topic that you want to talk about, please feel free to start a thread yourself. I think vampiric sexual mystique is a great topic, especially considering some of the recent fantasy sagas in the last decade: Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels in particular! Have you read any of her novels?
Paul

Message Edited by paulgoatallen on 10-07-2007 12:25 AM
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
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Re: Introduce Yourself


SJ wrote:
....Tried to read "The Historian" made it through 2/3 and tossed it aside due to boredom.
SJ -- LOL. Glad to know I'm not alone! Most who write about The Historian seem to like it so much! It is still among the books I say I shall get back to one day -- I would like to know how the story winds out, but it was simply taking too long. Dracula can drag, too, at least for me, but it is so "classic" that it was fun to follow the "original" story.
"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
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Peppermill
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Re: Narrative structure


paulgoatallen wrote:
Pepper: Thanks for stopping by and, yes, I agree with you completely about the way Dracula was structured. I thought that the narrative format – in letters, diary and journal entries, etc. – gave it a realism and authenticity....
One of the critical essays in the Norton Edition of Dracula alerted me to Stoker’s use of the “unreliable narrators” to provide simultaneously a sense of reality and of skepticism. Without Carol Senf’s comments, I would probably have been a gullible reader and discounted, even overlooked, the skillful and troubling doubt Stoker has embedded in his tale:

“This article …focuses on Stoker’s narrative technique…specifically on his choice of unreliable narrators.”

“…Stoker de-emphasizes the novel’s mythic qualities by telling the story through a series of journal extracts, personal letters, and newspaper clippings—the very written record of everyday life….”

“…although his method of narration doesn’t enable him to comment directly on his characters’ failures in judgment or lack of self-knowledge, Stoker provides several clues to their unreliability and encourages the reader to see the frequent discrepancies between their professed beliefs and their actions…."

Senf points out that the anonymous preface, apparently omitted in some editions, actually alerts the astute reader in the rather obtuse sentence:

“…There is throughout no statement of past things wherein memory may err, for all the records chosen are exactly contemporary, given from the standpoints and within the range of knowledge of those who made them.” {Emphasis added.}

Unfortunately, the Norton edition largely seems to be absent from other than university bookstore shelves or via on-line order. (Some of the criticism does seem, at least to this reader, to go off the deep end--still, almost as lively and provocative as the novel itself.)

(This probably should be on another thread, but was responding to your kind welcome, Paul. Feel free to move it; I don't know how.)
"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
SJ
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SJ
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Re: Introduce Yourself



Peppermill wrote:

SJ wrote:
....Tried to read "The Historian" made it through 2/3 and tossed it aside due to boredom.
SJ -- LOL. Glad to know I'm not alone! Most who write about The Historian seem to like it so much! It is still among the books I say I shall get back to one day -- I would like to know how the story winds out, but it was simply taking too long. Dracula can drag, too, at least for me, but it is so "classic" that it was fun to follow the "original" story.




Maybe we'll have to wait for the movie. Ha....in our case the DVD.
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Nancy58
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Registered: ‎10-09-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself


Jessica wrote:
Reply to this message to introduce yourself to the group.

Let us know if you've read Stoker's classic before, and what you think of the book (no spoilers, please). And if it's your first time reading Dracula, share your first impressions!




Jessica wrote:
Reply to this message to introduce yourself to the group.

Let us know if you've read Stoker's classic before, and what you think of the book (no spoilers, please). And if it's your first time reading Dracula, share your first impressions!


I my name is Nancy and I'm a new B & N member.
Prowling around their web site I found this "Book Clubs" page. How cool.
I ordered the book Dracula and when it arrives will be joining in the discussion.
How appropriate this book is for the month of October and I'm sure like reading Franinstein, the book will be nothing like all the movies and stories we have all heard and seen.
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Gena:
Impressive – you read Dracula in the third grade?!? WOW! I love hearing about young readers really getting into books, especially the classics. When I visualize a third grader reading Stoker, however, the only image that comes to mind is Wednesday Addams, the cute – and scary – goth girl from the Addams Family television show in the 1960s. Please tell me you didn't have long pigtails and have a fondness for black dresses back then.... :smileywink:
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Debbie:
Just wondering – since you're from near St. Louis, is Laurell K. Hamilton like a deity there? I've talked to a few people from that area and LKH and her Anita Blake novels are talked about like Elvis! I know these dark fantasy books – which have vampires, so this is relevant! – are wildly popular everywhere but is it even more so near LKH's hometown of St. Louis?
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Introduce Yourself

[ Edited ]
Cage Kicker:
You're so right when you say "if you really want to appreciate what's being written now, take a look at what was written way back then." There are soooo many novels out there now that – I don't want to say "rip off" – :smileywink: but borrow ideas, narrative constructs, images, etc. from Stoker's Dracula, it's really amazing.

Same thing goes for fantasy and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Try to find a newly released epic fantasy that doesn't in some way, resemble LOTR... Dare I say, it's impossible?
Paul

Message Edited by paulgoatallen on 10-09-2007 07:42 PM

Message Edited by paulgoatallen on 10-09-2007 07:42 PM
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Narrative structure

Pepper:
Wow, what a great post – the "unreliable narrator" element is so true! After reading your post, I have new respect for this novel. Thanks!
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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stewiey
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself



Jessica wrote:
Reply to this message to introduce yourself to the group.

Let us know if you've read Stoker's classic before, and what you think of the book (no spoilers, please). And if it's your first time reading Dracula, share your first impressions!


Hello,
my name is Stewart, I have read the book years ago have loved the story the meaning of power, the everlasting love.
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TriciaB
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-12-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi There,

I have read Dracula many times, and find it a very sensuous, fascinating work. Bram Stoker draws you in and seduces you. It is a book you can't put down. I love that it does not make the vampire seem so horrifying, even though he is.

TriciaB
TriciaB
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artemisarrow
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-14-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi my name is Jennifer. This is the first time I have joined an online book club. What do I do? Read the book and comment or am I missing something. I have never read Dracula, but I would like to. Could someone please help me?

Jen!
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Jen:
Well, I'd start reading Dracula as soon as possible – that way you can understand all of the different discussions going on regarding characters, themes, etc.

But even if you haven't read Dracula yet, please feel free to post comments wherever you want. It will be interesting to see how your perception of Stoker's Dracula changes once you have read it... Most people who haven't read Dracula think it is going to be like one of the many Dracula movies... wrong! Read the book, you'll see!

Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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mysterylizard1
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-16-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi
My name is Henry. I'm really looking foward to the book club. I recently began reading the classics again since somehow I got thru high school without reading them. I began with Dracula because I saw the movie League of Extrodinary Gentlemen, and wanted to read the classics that the characters of that movie are comprised of. I really need to read Dracula again so I can get a better understanding of the meanings, themes, symbolism of each of the characters. I am extremely interested if learning of the real relationship of Van Helsing to Dracula. I have a few opinion's of my own, but I don't want to give it away just yet . More to be revealed
Inspired Bibliophile
Nelsmom
Posts: 2,628
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Paul,

I have been lurking around so far this month but I felt like it was time to say hi. I haven't read Dracula for a long time. I guess with all the new ones that come out atthis time I jusr haven't felt the need to reread it to get my scare in.

Toni
Toni L. Chapman
Everyone needs some Tender Loving Care
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jmcnaughton
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Hi all. I normally don't care for this type of genre, but I'm planning a hiking trip to Transylvania and thought I'd get a "little literature" in before I go.

I started the book the other night and couldn't put it down until it was way past my bedtime. I'm looking forward to reading what you all have to say.

Happy reading.

Jean
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Two messages here for the price of one:

Henry, after that post, you've got to share your theories – leaving readers hanging like that is just plain mean! I'm really curious, honestly.

And Toni, welcome! You talked about re-reading Dracula and "getting your scare in" and I have to tell you, I love Dracula for all of the obvious reasons but I was never really scared while reading it. Maybe I'm desensitived after growing up in the 70s – the advent of cable tv (Cinemax and HBO), going to see mad slasher flicks at the drive-in, etc. While I'm on the subject, no author has ever scared me like H.P. Lovecraft. That guy was the archetypal horror writer – as much a genius as he was, well, weird. I read a biography of Lovecraft by L. Sprague de Camp years ago that just blew me away. I've heard that there's a newer bio on him by S.T. Joshi but I hven't read that one yet. If you want to get your scare in, try Lovecraft! Perfect Halloween reading...
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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rehchlib
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Registered: ‎10-27-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourself

My name is Wendy and I read Dracula once about 3 years ago. I love seeing all of the little things I missed the first time! Vampires are one of my "fascinations" so reading this is a real treat!
Books are the way to EVERYTHING!
Wendy
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Introduce Yourself

Welcome Wendy! I definitely share your opinion about books – and reading in general. As a youth librarian do you find classics like Dracula being overlooked by young readers? I realize Dracula is an "adult" book but from the stories I've heard on these forums – and from my own experience – it seems like numerous readers, at formative ages, were reading books far above their normal reading level. For example, I just talked to a B&N forum visitor named Bill who was reading "adult" Robert Heinlein novels in the third grade. I guess I'm wondering if you see young readers still interested in the classics...
Paul
"There never can be a man so lost as one who is lost in the vast and intricate corridors of his own lonely mind, where none may reach and none may save..." – Isaac Asimov, Pebble in the Sky
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