Book Thirtyseven: Dracula

Dracula, Bram Stoker

I may have to go back and revise my review of Fangland, since I now understand just how heavily it borrows from Bram Stoker's Dracula. I mean, really, the entire first half of the book--the only part I thought was scary and good--is more or less copied entirely from Dracula, with a few minor updates. Now, I don't mind a bit of referencing, especially when done well and for a reason, but not when the only thing you add to it is complete and utter senselessness.

Ok, now I can talk about Dracula, which, I'm happy to say, I finally finished on Halloween. I think this took me so long to read because, while the book started with a bang, drew me in, and flew by, the middle was horribly drawn out and--dare I say?--kind of boring. The whole deal with Lucy: She's better! She's worse! She's better! She's worse! Oh boy. I could hardly keep my eyes open for the middle 100 pages or so. But then the last 150 picked up again and were frightening and suspenseful and amazing. I'm not going to go so far as to say that the boring bits ruined the book or made me dislike it--far from it! I just want to be fair about a book that is considered a classic. Still, everyone should read this. It's quite beautiful, wonderfully constructed, and creepy creepy creepy.

And now, even more appropriately, I am about to kick back and watch the Francis Ford Coppola version of the movie. That is, once the trick-r-treaters start to die down and I can watch uninterrupted.

Happy Halloween!

Book Thirtysix: Why Shoot a Butler?

Why Shoot a Butler?, Georgette Heyer

I had no idea Georgette Heyer, who I love for her Regency romances, also wrote mysteries until I stumbled across this at the bookstore! What fun: my new favorite author combined with my new favorite genre! Though this isn't really a knock-your-socks-off kind of mystery, it did have everything I want in a cozy good read. You know: English countryside, a murdered butler (and some more murders before the novel is done), a smug yet lovable amateur detective hero, snappy witty dialogue, and some convoluted but smart story lines. Good stuff, indeed!