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boleynfan
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Thoughts on the ending...

Just finished it this morning. Anyone else disappointed with the construction of the ending? There were pages and pages of details of their trek following the Count to Transylvania, and three pages of the anti-climatic encounter with Drac. Yes, I knew in advance how the book would end, but was it just me that felt this finale was less than it should have been?
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LordRuthven
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Re: Thoughts on the ending...

Yeah, if it was a movie I'd assume that he ran out of budget at the last moment before realizing it.
Derek Tatum
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Curt42
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Re: Thoughts on the ending...



boleynfan wrote:
Just finished it this morning. Anyone else disappointed with the construction of the ending? There were pages and pages of details of their trek following the Count to Transylvania, and three pages of the anti-climatic encounter with Drac. Yes, I knew in advance how the book would end, but was it just me that felt this finale was less than it should have been?


When Bram Stoker adapted his play for the stage he did the same thing. After all the scenes in the parlor, Van Helsing and company chase Dracula to his crypt and then stake him. The scene takes about three minutes. Most theatres spend longer changing the scenery on stage. I also read another one of Stoker's books, can't find it at the momement that did the same thing. Great mood and atmosphere and then it was over.
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paulgoatallen
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Re: Thoughts on the ending...

I think that readers today are so used to a specific kind of conclusion that if they come across something that doesn't fit into what they're expecting, they're disappointed. And I can see how the ending of Dracula would've been much different if it were originally published today but that said, isn't it kind of nice to finish a book and think to yourself, "wow, I wasn't expecting that!"

That brings to mind The Colorado Kid, a neo-noir novel that Stephen King wrote for Hard Case Crime back in 2005. Great read but the ending is, well, unconventional. It was so surprising that at first I was disappointed because I just assumed that it would end like any other mystery but then I realized how wonderful that unexpected variation can be. That's exactly how I felt about the conclusion of Dracula.
Paul

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Stephen King is the undisputed master of horror; but The Colorado Kid is a dramatic departure for the iconic author of innumerable blood-curdling classics like The Shining, Carrie, Cujo, and Pet Sematary. A pulp-style mystery about two salty newspapermen and their investigation into the unresolved death of a man found on an island off the coast of Maine, The Colorado Kid will have readers speculating until the very last page -- and long afterward.
Stephanie McCann is a journalism major doing an internship at a newspaper on Moose-Lookit Island. Two veteran editors show her the ropes -- and let her in on a bizarre mystery that has gone unsolved for more than 20 years. When an unidentified man was found dead on a beach, the local police wrote it off as an accident. But the newsmen continued to dig deeper, vowing to unlock the dead man's secrets…
King has a unique way of completely redefining genres, and his homage to the pulp mystery -- a kind of deconstruction of the traditional blueprint -- is no different. What many readers may expect (an unsolved mystery, an investigation, and a neat and tidy explanation) doesn't quite happen. But because of King's unparalleled storytelling prowess, it doesn't even matter; in fact, his unusual conclusion is perfect. He writes in the afterword: "What I found out writing The Colorado Kid was that maybe…it's the beauty of the mystery that allows us to live sane as we pilot our fragile bodies through this demolition-derby world. Wanting might be better than knowing."
The Colorado Kid is a must-read for mystery aficionados as well as all those who call themselves Stephen King fans. It's an unusual and thought-provoking addition to the author's already mammoth body of work. Paul Goat Allen

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780843955842&itm=2
"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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PatienceP
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Re: Thoughts on the ending...

Yes. I like how Dracula ended myself. Yes, it was swift, but it was a happy ending--only one of our heroes died, and Quincy was heroically knifing/staking Dracula. (Bowie knives have wooden handles, right?) And when Mina's scar disappeared--yay!
* * * * *

Sadness isn't sadness
It's happiness
In a black jacket

--Paul McCartney
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boleynfan
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Re: Thoughts on the ending...

You're right, Paul, I didn't expect it to end that way. But it wasn't exactly a surprise ending, just disappointingly lacking in drama. I'm sorry the ending wasn't as good as the middle of the book. I found the Lucy Westenra section hard to put down.

Thanks for moderating this group. I did enjoy reading "Dracula".
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LordRuthven
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Re: Thoughts on the ending...

That's an excellent way to put it - "lacking in drama." The swiftness didn't bother me so much as the "whoops, there it went" feeling of it.
Derek Tatum
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Peppermill
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Re: Thoughts on the ending...

I have been thoroughly enjoying this conversation on the ending! Thanks, all! (Hope there is more?)
"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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paulgoatallen
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Re: Thoughts on the ending...

Peppermill:
Yes, this thread and all the rest have been very interesting – and incredibly enlightening. Thank you for all the great links, by the way. This month has flown by and I come away with a whole new appreciation of Stoker's classic and its continued relevance today.

I really gives me a bittersweet feeling – there are so many wonderful and underappreciated classics out there that really deserve to be featured in forums such as this – my hope is that forums like these will spur "old" readers like myself to revisit classics we've read decades earlier and motivate younger readers who may not have read books like Dracula before to experience them for the first time. Looking through my bookshelves, I could pull out dozens of "classics" that I would love to re-read but because of my schedule for reviewing new releases, probably never will... :smileysad:

Thanks again to everyone for a great discussion!
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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chad
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Belief and faith and passion

[ Edited ]
I thought it was interesting that belief and faith were something that arises from the earth, something stable that we use to "steady" ourselves on a revolving planet. That is, a belief can arise from a feeling, a strong love, a satiation of a desire, or, at the very least, my own existence, and can transform itself into something like a tiger, preying on the minds of others to survive. But most importantly, belief can arise from something carnivorous, zoophagous, something "physical", and my own passions and beliefs can be consumed by a "taste for blood" that began centuries ago. In addition, belief can almost hinder or "cloud" the mind, preventing us from "seeing"or assembling the facts. The vampire hunters had to act on new beliefs and relinquish the old ones to survive. Yes, yes. These are the issues of Dracula and forever!

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 11-16-2007 03:04 PM
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chad
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"drake"ula

[ Edited ]
I thought more of Dracula's "dragon-like" or "serpent-like" qualities- both drake and dragon are derived from the same root, "draco." Draco or Draconian is also relevant, referring to a set of "fixed", unalterable laws. Something that is draconic might also be serpentlike, the dark or anything associated with the moon.

But it is interesting that the duck and the dragon are derived from the same root. You might get the sense that some animals evolved long necks, like swans, while others seem to have evolved the sharp teeth to bite into them, something like a coevolution. A tiger will grab it's prey by the neck, draining its blood until depleted- considered by many to be more "humane" or "gentler" than the way humans may "kill", and I think Dracula is depicted in this way to some degree. But humans usually associate "the good" with support of the weak or fragile. Something that overpowers us, or can kill us, is usually evil. But Nature seems to have both good and evil, each negates the other, leaving the planet earth to contend with another day and night.

I think Stoker also raises the question, and this may have been done in the movies, whether there may evolve or has already evolved a subclass of vampires or "vampirelike" people which prey on humans. In some way its Nature's own way of cleansing itself. It is questionable whether one side or the other will dominate. Remember that modern invention and trade has increased our time in the light, and perhaps, collectively losing needed sleep, the humans are now "out of sync" with the world's natural rotation, with no way to correct itself. Or consider that we are, afterall, children of the earth, and perhaps the earth is finally remembering, or perhaps growing "older", asserting its independence from the sun and the moon, and will stop rotating altogether.

Chad

PS- There is still a lot of work that needs to be done on earth's formation or even our own sleeping habits- so, this was a good one. The synthesis of biofuels is also in there- very relevant to our day. The annexation of Texas as a result of a need for fuel is also insinuated. We've formed a union and we needed to fuel it- its interesting that some of the western states had treaties. Well, what more did you want to know?

Message Edited by chad on 11-17-2007 01:35 PM
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chad
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"Lone Star" state

[ Edited ]
Stoker probably felt a collective will, possibly dark, gradually taking over the world. Texas historically tended to assert its own independence and might possibly have become its own country, but didn't- my guess would be the union's new needs for fuels, either in the form of crude oil or biofuels absorbed the new state and many to the west. So, if you think Soker talks through Renfield, then Stoker probably didn't want Texas to lose their independence. Also interesting that the star is a representation of "will", which can manifest itself in radiating sharp points, maybe like the beak if an eagle, or the points of Dracula's teeth....

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 11-18-2007 04:51 PM
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chad
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More on "will"

[ Edited ]
So, in "Dracula," will or the "will to survive", manifests itself in very "sharp" forms, like a scimitar, a knife, vampire "toofs", claws, beaks, talons, railroad tracks, the bow of a ship, the crescent of a moon, the crescent form of a sail, and so on... In other words "will", which can take on the forms of smooth circles emanating from a central presence, can become jagged, sharp and physical forms, and it's as if the entity with sharp claws, teeth or thorns was meant to dominate, meant to survive, but also something we might consider to be evil.

I think I pointed out the star as something emblematic of will with sharp edges. It's also interesting that Japan chooses the round, red circle for its flag. And, of course, we could think of the entire city of London stretching its influence or collective will in the form of train tracks throughout the countryside. And finally, its as if the earth grew some thorns in the form of spires, castles, and buildings, turning the entire earth into some kind of ratchet, with the crescent moon as its pawl, preventing the earth from moving. Indeed, Mina Harker screams "death!" when she links her mind to Dracula's onboard the Catherina, listening to sounds of a ratchet and chain.

Chad

Message Edited by chad on 11-19-2007 01:15 PM
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chad
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force and counterforce

[ Edited ]
So, to continue the above discussion, a force which emanates from my being, might be love, my belief, my faith, but most of all a will to survive. This "will" manifests itself in circular or spherical forms- the earth, the moon, a cell, a wall around a castle(maybe), a moat, etc. etc. I can also direct this force through my hands, or something sharp, like a knife, or a winchester, or nails, etc. etc. For scientist buffs, the will to survive is not easily explained by physics or chemistry, but there are chemical and physical reactions within the human, or forces which counteract the force of gravity.

So, A force or reaction can be countered by an equal and opposite reaction. Death would be a "canceling" of forces or inertia, as described in my previous post. Moreover, tools can aid me to "undo" or create a "counterforce." I use a screwdriver to unscrew. I use a key to unlock. My hammer has a head to nail, and I use the other end to pry open, etc. etc.

To go back to "my trashing religion" theme, is morose but interesting. A will, physically manifested in, I would venture to guess, sharp nails, "nailed" Jesus Christ to the cross. Its arguable whether his "nailing" was the will of the people, the Romans, God or JC himself. I don't know why a counterforce wasn't present to unscrew or pry JC off the cross at the time of his crucifixtion. Its as if the force of the nails are still being felt. There may have been guards present at the time of the crucifixtion, or maybe humanity is still waiting for a "counterforce."


Chad

PS- You may want to take a look at Newton's Laws. The worry would be a force on earth so great that would cause inertia of the earth. A watch or a clock, has something akin to a ratchet and pawl, and its possible that time, or our concept of time, would be that force that may eventually make the world stand still....

Message Edited by chad on 11-20-2007 01:00 PM
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chad
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The will to survive

For our baffled intelligent scientists out there: The will to survive would be a force that emanates from my presence like ripples emanating from a common center. My will to survive exists, but it is not well explained by any branch of science. There are real physical forces which emanate from my presence on earth.

Chad
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chad
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Re: The will to survive

The easiest example of my will would be the sound of my voice or my words emanating from my thought or brain, or, my thought or will woould be expressed in words or language, which can have motivate physical forces or actually become manifested physically.

Chad
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chad
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newton, dracula and the expanding universe

Stoker also seemed to be aware of a physical science which failed to apply its laws to the broader "expanding" universe- this probably is still the case, but I'll have to double check.

Chad
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chad
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dracula and the businessman

Stoker also believed in business world that, in order to survive, had to have a dark, hidden, aspect or characteristic. That is, I Dracula businessman, cannot tell my competitors everything about my operations, I have to keep secrets to survive. The secret Coca-Cola formula would be the best example. Moreover, I need to "eliminate" the middleman, not necessarily like Dracula did, to more easily direct myself or will, or to maximize profits- whatever you like. What's illegal and what's not illegal in business, what's good or evil, depends on what I can and cannot see with my eyes, acting through other "agents", or just overall dominion or the will of a company.

Chad
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chad
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Re: dracula and the businessman: walt dracula world

Another example would be the controversial buying of properties through "local" agents, as Walt Disney did to form the Walt Disney World behemoth. I like Disney world myself, but Walt Disney used a Dracula business practice by secretely securing indivual properties through other agents. Walt Disney, like Dracula, had to sway or influence agents within the sphere of "will" known as Orlando, Kissimme or St. Cloud- my favorite. But such spheres of will, known as municipalities or cities, can be inpenetrable. Disney is still criticized for using this unethical or "bad" business practice today. So, it's another example of not only how business has to work in the "fog" or maintain a hidden or dark side, but its also an example of how I attribute evil qualities to the night or things which I cannot see. Perhaps, an sound acquisition would be to be open and cut through with a knife or a winchester, metaphorically speaking. This may not have been met with much success, and the British military used similar tactics with american revolutionaries.

Chad
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chad
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Re: dracula and the businessman: containerization

[ Edited ]
The shipping container is another example of a dark side of business or something we cannot see but somehow have to reconcile or accept, other than the night itself. Now designed for multimodal transport (rail, ship, or truck), the container is one "big box." That is, we can see everything outside the box, and nothing within- unless opened. But it is dealing with the shipping business's necsessary "dark side" that is costly, if not at times, crippling to an economy. New technologies are constantly evolving to allow custom officials to pierce the "dark" in the form of metal detectors or x- rays to detect smuggled goods or signs of terrorist activities, as examples. Despite all of our efforts, I'm not sure the world can rid itself of the shipping container or the box. To do so, might be to halt trade altogether, leaving the last one pandora's "box" to open- ourselves. But I believe current efforts in customs aims to prevent the shipping conatiner and boxes from becoming our own coffins, and, the world continues to struggle with its other "necessary" dark side in business.

Chad

PS- I would obviously consider luggage to be in the same category, obviously.

Message Edited by chad on 11-26-2007 10:44 AM
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