e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “Dracula”

30 Day Book Challenge – day 17: Book turned into a movie that was completely desecrated

I can’t really answer today’s challenge. I can’t remember that many films made out of books  I’ve read – I discovered long ago that I prefer the book so tend to avoid the films.

If we include TV I can say I have a general dislike of Jane Austen adaptations. This is firstly because there is an poster of film‘Austen’ style – clothes, general look, acting, direction – all come out of the same mould at each adaptation. Another reason is that they seem to miss a lot of the subtlety of the books, lose the irony and emphasise the love aspect at the expense of the social comment. I wish I’d seen the Bollywood version; I think I might like that.

But I’m not  sure what to ‘desecrate’ a book means.

film posterSpielberg’s 2005 War of the Worlds was a fairly good film that had little to do with Wells’ original. Does that mean it ‘desecrated’ it? It’s not a term I would use – I’d more likely say it tried to elbow in on the book’s fame.

Sherlock Holmes has suffered from some terrible films. So have Dracula and Frankenstein. I suspect that others could add to this list. Here I think ‘desecration’ might be an appropriate term.

Pics from IMDb.


30 Day Book Challenge – day 12: A book so emotionally draining I had to set it aside

In today’s challenge I look at two emotions: fear and disappointment.

The stand-out contender for an emotionally draining book is, for me, beyond doubt Dracula by Bram Stoker.

I read this when I was a teenager, and it is still the scariest novel I’ve ever read. So terrifying did I find it that I could only read a few pages at a time. Then I had to put the book somewhere I couldn’t see it (not in my bedroom!) and leave it for a few days while I recovered from the frights.

cover artAs I progressed I got so that I could read a whole chapter at a time, but I still took weeks to finish it.

This experience has become my standard of scariness, and all other horror books have fallen far short of it, producing more disappointment than fear. In fact the overwhelming emotion of disappointment has caused me to set several aside – permanently rather than for a few days.

I have never re-read Dracula. If I did would it too produce  disappointment? Maybe one day I’ll find out.

Cover art from Page Pulp, which has an article on the Many Covers of Dracula.

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