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Old 2008-12-06, 12:25 AM   #21
Clay
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Originally Posted by Denyer View Post
Yeah, I had the paperback for years... I'd rather watch the film than read either the rewrite or the original...

Novels consisting of series of letters were very common when the form was beginning to get established. One of the first (and bloody awful it is too) was 'Pamela' IIRC.
The epistolatory style really suits Dracula, though: it grants plausibility to jumping from the first person perspective of various characters without ever getting into the mind of Dracula himself (save maybe the invitation letter toward the beginning?). That organization helps create an intimate knowledge of the various characters without clumsily omitting the monster that a typical omniscient narration would have to deal with.

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Originally Posted by Cliffy
The mythos isn't too bad, the book is shockingly badly written. Worse things being put out don't change the poor quality of the original material...
It's not badly written, necessarily; it's just ****ing dry. It has great and transcendent themes for late 19th literature (a pro-feminist reading is justifiable, for example), but Stoker's style is very much of the time (read Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein, or The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: they're all similarly overwritten). I last read it a couple of years ago. It took about a quarter of the book to get into, but afterwards it was alright.
 
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Old 2008-12-06, 12:50 AM   #22
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The problem with the letter thing is difficult to place... it's a bit like watching a videotaped sports event. This might sound stupid, but it's the fact that what you're reading has happened, even in the context of the book, and is being reported with relative detachment. Letters work okay as a device in books, but not to such an extent.

I'd argue that Dracula's impossible to judge simply for being the first draft of mythos that has been reinvented and/or subverted a hundred times since, but then I find War of the Worlds to be a terrific book even after seeing all the variants on "aliens invade and kick our arses" - probably due to H G Wells having rather an impressive style.

Regarding the Coppola film, I felt it got far too bogged down in side-characters, had too many people picked for profile rather than ability (Keanu Reeves gets a plum role while Cary Elwes is wasted in a pointless "Look Americans, this isn't a foreign film!" role) and was generally over-designed. Hammer's '58 version is still the best film to me, as it strips the book down to what we actually need for a decent story and just gets on with it. Honourable mention for Herzog's remake of Nosferatu and, surprisingly, Jesus Franco's Count Dracula for having the balls to present Drac as the dirty old man he is in the book rather than some sort of simmering love-god.
 
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Old 2008-12-06, 01:46 AM   #23
Clay
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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
The problem with the letter thing is difficult to place... it's a bit like watching a videotaped sports event. This might sound stupid, but it's the fact that what you're reading has happened, even in the context of the book, and is being reported with relative detachment. Letters work okay as a device in books, but not to such an extent.
It's part of the strategy. Dracula comes out of the tradition of a lot of pulp fiction gothic novels; a damsel in distress with a monster in a scary castle somewhere off in Eastern Europe, lots of rain and lightning, etc. Dracula breaks this trope by bringing the monster out of middle-of-nowhere Transylvania and into modern London. That's part of what makes it thrilling; it's not set "way out there" but "right here," so to speak. Organizing the novels into past-tense letters helps diffuse some of that wariness while still harboring "the monster is here and none of knows what's doing" vibe that a strictly third-person narration would have a harder time accomplishing.

It's still dryly written and I'm not arguing that.
 
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Old 2008-12-06, 10:10 AM   #24
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You know, I haven't read any of the books, but I went and watched the Twilight movie and I thought it was decent. Not as bad as I expected, hell it was better than a lot of shit I've seen recently. Of course it was apparant it was aimed at adolescent females in heat, but it was pretty good movie. I will say this, it has a different spin on the vampire mythos, which is cool in this day and age. Not at all gothic or anything though, so not sure where peopel get that shit from, unless they have no idea what "gothic" means.
 

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Old 2008-12-06, 12:16 PM   #25
inflatable dalek
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Originally Posted by Clay View Post
Yeah, it's the clearest, cleanest example I've found of book > movie > book. A number of other books have their share of third-party sequels and spin-offs (Dracula and Frankenstein are notably prolific in this regard), but I don't think there's another novel that's based on a film that's already based on an existing novel.
Both The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker were so different to the books they're supposed to be based on (in the former case because Fleming forbid them using anything but the title, in the latter because someone had see Star Wars a book where Bond doesn't even leave the UK wasn't going to cut it as a film anyway) that new novelisations were published based on them, prefigured by james Bond In... to differenciate them from the originals. Both were done by a scriptwriter on the films who also did those bloody awful Confessions of... sex films (does anyone ever want to watch soft core porn with half the case of Dad's Army in it?) but are apparently very good and rework the plots to fit in with Fleming's style and continuity.


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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
I'd argue that Dracula's impossible to judge simply for being the first draft of mythos that has been reinvented and/or subverted a hundred times since, but then I find War of the Worlds to be a terrific book even after seeing all the variants on "aliens invade and kick our arses" - probably due to H G Wells having rather an impressive style.
It is a bloody good book, even if the chapters from his Brother's POV are a bit pointless. I still think a Victorian set adaptation would rock.
 
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Old 2008-12-07, 05:08 PM   #26
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Well, I'm going to see Twilight with my new girlfriend next friday. She had tickets in advance.
Dammit.
 

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Old 2008-12-07, 08:26 PM   #27
Ackula
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Give it a chance and you may find you like it. I'm one of the most picky horror film buffs when it comes to vampire movies, but I liked it. It really does offer a fresh new approach on the vampire mythos, with its on origin and rule set. Despite the fact its mostly made for young girls to get wet over, its fairly good.
 

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Old 2008-12-07, 08:45 PM   #28
Halfshell
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Originally Posted by Clay View Post
Yeah, it's the clearest, cleanest example I've found of book > movie > book.
I don't think anything in that field has ever matched the horror I felt when I saw a video game on a shop shelf entitled "Aliens vs Predator: Requiem."

Yes. A video game based on the sequel to a movie that was based on a video game based on two movies.

Teh horrorz.

There's actually a band called The Horrors.

They're shit.
 
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