Friday, October 09, 2009

It probably shouldn't be as much of a surprise as it has been, but Dracula is scary.

I sort of gave up on scary books after I left R. L. Stein behind. Sometimes I'll read a suspense thriller that my mom has passed along--and I'm always rereading that Dean Koontz book Watchers, but only the parts about the dog--but between The Shining and that terrifying face-eating moth in Phantoms I had to accept that I just can't stomach them. Part of that is because when you're reading a scary book you're giving yourself permission to revel in the fact that people are horrible, and most of the time I feel like life is bad enough without inviting all of that torture in. (This is part of the reason I also do not watch scary movies.) The other part of it is just that I am a giant baby who hates being scared.

But Dracula is scary in a sneaky way, the way any good Gothic novel is. (Except The Castle of Otranto, which is scary in the way that having giant body parts drop on you is, and which is secretly one of my favorite things.) Unsurprisingly, I'm a little behind the reading schedule, but Dracula gave me nightmares before they had even gotten to the big no-reflection reveal. Jonathan Harker never seems concerned that all of the townspeople are practically willing to kidnap him in order to make him not go to Dracula's house--he only finds it a little strange that they're all worked up and making crucifixes for him. But the thought of him wending his way through that countryside, surrounded by wolves, unaware of the baby-eating ladies and captivity ahead of got to me.

And now there's all of this anticipation. Mina is pining for her fiancee who is trapped in the Castle Dracula, Renfield is eating sparrows, Dracula is apparently on the just know that this is going to end with me renting Coppola's movie and pacing nervously around my apartment.

No comments: