When I first tried reading Dracula, I got frustrated. I thought it needed editing and I didn’t like the way it jumped from one narrative perspective to another. I’ve since changed my mind and I now regard this novel as one of the best ever written.
The fractured narrative stems from the fact that the novel is really a collection of documents: someone has put together all the evidence regarding Dracula. The documents are in chronological order and we hear many voices throughout. One narrative voice confirms and adds to another voice: we end up with a chorus.
The story, though very melodramatic (as befits a good Victorian novel) is actually quite gripping and I don’t think anyone has written a more exciting ending in fiction. I’ve now re-read this novel twenty or more times, and I find myself more and more moved by the writing and the characters. I once detested Lucy but now I find her story and her fate very sad. The sequence where she describes her dream while under the Vampire spell is beautifully and tragically poetic.
In fact, the writing is amazingly lush in many parts – just sample the sequence about the attempted seduction of Jonathon by the Vampire Brides.
All in all, this is a thoroughly exquisite, exciting, and touching novel.