A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
An excellent glimpse back into the turn of the century. Plus many of the newfangled inventions of the late 19th/early 20th century play a major role in the story. Trains, typewriters, and steam ships are mentioned often.
At the core of this story is a group of individuals working together to defeat a literal monster in their midst.
Positive Role Models
Mina is a strong female character. She is practical, courageous, and selfless in the face of increasing peril. She is resourceful and plays a key role in defeating Dracula. Lucy is foolish, free with her affections, and selfish, but she is punished for it. Jonathon is curious, protective, and brave. He shows a strong will to escape his captor and protect Mina.
Violence & Scariness
Staking, throat slashing, biting and blood drinking. These scenes are not described with gruesome detail, but there is definitely more colorful descriptions than you'd expect from a late Victorian novel.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
This classic is much sexier than you remember. Sexually aggressive female vampires dance seductively for Jonathon Harker who expresses "a wicked, burning desire" for them to kiss him. There's a suggestive, promiscuous female predator (Lucy), and an unsettling scene involving the heroine (Mina) forced to drink from Dracula's breast.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Male characters drink and smoke in passing as was the custom for the time period. Plus some unsettling descriptions of the "medicines" used by Dr. Seward.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the vampire novel that started it all is sexier, more violent, and edgier than you probably remember. In one scene, sexually aggressive female vampires dance seductively for Jonathon Harker who expresses "a wicked, burning desire" for them to kiss him; in another the heroine is forced to drink from Dracula's breast. While not described in gruesome detail, there's plenty of staking, throat slashing, biting, and blood drinking. Count Dracula is not the tortured romantic hero of modern-day cinema, but rather an evil monster that must be destroyed. Also, parents should be aware that this novel has a strong female character turned into a sexually aggressive predator, as well as unsettling descriptions of mental illness.
Is It Any Good?
DRACULA has all the necessary requirements to keep it read by each generation of horror fans. As well as being an excellent time capsule to turn-of-the-century England, it's a scary, intriguing under-the-covers read. With great horror staples like spooky howling wolves, damsels in distress, evil monsters, and a quest to destroy them it's not surprising that this is the novel that kicked off the vampire craze. While the myths about vampires may be familiar, don't be too shocked when this vampire is more monster and ghoul than romantic hero.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.