The original Dracula is my favorite ghost story. It’s easy to see that it’s not the ultimate literary novel of its time, but it’s a fun read and a creepy story set in a time where if you were stranded somewhere, you were totally fucked. If you get sick in a foreign country, you’re screwed. If you don’t know how to kill the thing that’s coming after you and your loved ones, get your affairs in order, because it might be time to die.
Obviously I’m not a fan of how prominently Christianity comes swooping in to save the day (of course the Count can’t enter a tomb that’s been sealed off using putty mixed with the holy sacrament, DUH), but that’s sorta part of the charm of this story; it’s full of silly superstition and stolid, antiquated reliance on the impregnable defense afforded to the faithful. It’s pretty cute.
And the action! Fight scenes! Storms! Abandoned vessels washing up on shore! Giant wolves! Hypnosis! Seduction! Hidden treasure! All this and more! Written in the style of the turn of the century, who wouldn’t want to read it?
The part on the ship is what makes this a truly horrifying story. It’s the strongest part of the story in my opinion. If that part doesn’t hook you, you have my permission to stop reading, and continue your inevitable march toward the end of an unfortunate, unremarkable life. You schmuck.