As booksellers, we often overhear customers lamenting that they've always meant to read “that other Jane Austen novel,” or Graham Greene, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but just never found the time. We've tried to remedy that with our Classics I Forgot to Read Book Club by providing motivation and a welcoming space to share your thoughts.

In choosing our ‘classics’ over the past few years, we've tried to select titles that had some visibility among readers, but were not necessarily included in the standard high school English class. We've also sampled a range of genres, from mystery (The Long Goodbye) to comedy (Cold Comfort Farm) to stream-of-consciousness (To the Lighthouse). So, whether our picks are already gathering dust on your bookshelves or this is your first encounter with the literary canon, we encourage you to join us on the last Wednesday evening of every month for conversation about the classics.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

June 2007--Dracula

by Bram Stoker

There's a lot to be said for going back to the source. Despite the ubiquity of vampire images in modern culture, Bram Stoker's Dracula is surprisingly fresh and intriguing. Count Dracula himself seems creepier--older and more alien--than a modern reader might expect, and the chases, stalkings, and bloody confrontations are artfully staged and vigorously executed. The book's team of heroes--a quartet of manly men aided by an aging intellectual and a clever woman--is delightfully Victorian in their virtue and grandiloquence. And the heart of the thing, the simultaneous fascination with and dread of violation, is remarkably powerful. One shudders, all these years later, as the heroes decide that if the heroine is herself turned into a vampire by Count Dracula, they will, unfortunately, have to drive a stake through her heart and chop off her head.

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