Bram Stoker's Dracula is, hands down, the greatest horror novel ever written. In addition, it is also an enduring classic of literature. You may have seen every Dracula movie ever made, but you do not know the real Count Dracula until such time as you have read Stoker's book. Of course, unless you have been living under a rock, you will know the general plot line, but I assure you there is a wealth of rich material buried throughout the text that is sure to excite, intrigue, and surprise you. Perhaps the ending is a slight anticlimactic, yet I, having read this novel before and being quite familiar with the Count, read the final pages with bated breath, an anxious mind, and the sense of exhilaration that only the most talented of writers can induce.
The most striking characteristic of Stoker's masterpiece is its solid grounding in late 19th-century Victorianism. This may prove frustrating to some readers. It is far from uncommon for the men in the tale to weep and bemoan the dangers threatening the virtuous ladies Lucy and Mina; virtue and innocence of women are hailed rather religiously. Mina, for her part, assumes the role then deemed proper for women, accepting and praising the men for their protection of her, worrying constantly about her husband rather than herself, shedding tears she must not let her husband see, etc. Yet, it is most interesting to see Mina rise above the circle of a woman's proscribed duties; she in fact becomes a true partner in the effort against Dracula, expressing ideas and conclusions that the men, with all of their wisdom, could not come up with themselves.