It took me a long time to find the book cover for the copy of Dracula that I own. There are so many different verisons of this book on the market, but the one I own is the complete, uncut verison - the way Bram Stoker originally wrote it.
The novel is mainly composed of journal entries and letters written by several narrators who are also the novel's main protagonists - Jonathan Harker, Wilhelmina "Mina" Murray Stoker and Lucy Westenra. The story is supplemented with occasional newspaper clippings to relate events not directly witnessed by the story's characters. The tale begins with Jonathan, a newly qualified English solicitor, journeying from England to Count Dracula's crumbling, remote castle, in the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania. At first seduced by Dracula's gracious manner, Jonathan soon discovers that he has become a prisoner in the castle.
Not long afterward a ship, named the Demeter, runs aground on the shores of Whitby, England, during a fierce storm. According to the captain's log, strange events had taken place during the ship's journey. This was the ship Dracula used to escape from Transylvania.
Soon Dracula is menacing Jonathan's devoted fiancée, Mina, and her vivacious friend, Lucy. We soon meet Renfield, an insane man who purposely consumes insects, spiders, birds, and other creatures to absorb their "life force". Renfield acts as a kind of motion sensor, detecting Dracula's proximity and supplying clues accordingly. Reinfield is one of my favorite characters because of his weird behavior.
Lucy begins to suffer from a mysterious illness and Professor Abraham Van Helsing from Amsterdam is called upon to treat her. Van Helsing immediately determines the cause of Lucy's condition but refuses to disclose it, knowing people may think he is crazy if he starts to speak of vampires.
Dracula soon learns that Van Helsing and the others are plotting against him, and he takes revenge by visiting — and biting — Mina at least three times. In the book, Dracula is killed by Van Helsing who shears through Dracula's throat and then stabs him in the heart. Dracula crumbles to dust and his spell on Mina is lifted. The book closes with a note about Mina's and Jonathan's married life and the birth of their first-born son.
For any die hard vampire fan, this book ends dramatically better than many of the films verisons of this story. I first fell in love with vampires when I saw the 1931 film, Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. This book is a classic and well worth the time to read!