Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA Discussion: Classic Literature Pt. 1 (Dracula)

Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads

Armchair BEA asked:

Why, reader, do you love classics?

Today, tell us all the reasons why you love classic literature. What are your favorite classics? If you could give a list of classics to someone who claims to hate them to make them change their mind, what would be on it? How would you convince them to give classics a try? And why do you keep coming back to those old favorites? - Genre: Classic Literature (Classics)

I like classics because they give me a picture of a time and place very different from my own.

I admittedly don't read a lot of classics. Therefore, I can't say that I am a lover of classic books. Unless I can count 84 Charing Cross Road, which is an epistolary novel about a woman who loves classic books. But I digress... With so many new books coming out each month, I find it hard to pick up classics on a consistent basis. There is just too much to read. On the other hand, I am not a hater of them either (they are in my TBR list).

For those who claim to hate the classics, I would suggest mixing it up. Read classics that have been adapted by radio, film and/or television and then listen to/watch the adaptations. I find the varying interpretations fascinating. They usually shed a different light on how I originally saw the classic. Two classics that I enjoyed but probably wouldn't have reached for at the bookstore are Dracula by Bram Stoker and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.


Part 1 - Dracula

I would argue that Dracula, in one way or another, is the source of most of the vampire stories told since its publishing in 1897. In general, I am not a huge fan of vampire books or movies. Honestly, the only vampire that I love is the Count from Sesame Street. I am however, a Nosey Nelly. I like to be at least a little "in the know" about what other people are reading. Dracula is the granddaddy of all vampire books. Come on, classic hater. You gotta read it, if only for its staying power and influence.

While checking my Twitter timeline during Bout of Books 7.0 earlier this month, I realized that I had missed the start of Bite-Sized Dracula's Dracula read-along. So instead of starting Dark Origins - my pre-selected read - I started reading Dracula. [I already had the Dracula ebook pictured above.]

Do consider joining in the read-along. You can read at your own pace, at any time (don't worry that it has already started). It's a neat way to read this classic. The actual text of the novel is posted on the blog, so you don't need a copy. The BSD blog posts a new portion daily with tweets from the characters.

Some days there is even an alternate steampunk version of a scene. Although I finished the ebook, I am still reading along with Bite-Sized Dracula. Jonathan Harker's entries are by far the best - both in the classic novel and on Twitter. Vampires are all the rage right now. After reading Dracula, I can kinda see why.


When you finish the book, move on to the adaptations. You should listen to the radio adaptation of Dracula by Orson Welles from Adventures in Old Time Radio (1938). You can listen to it for free using the bar below. It's less than an hour long. Don't cheat and only listen to the this version. You still need to read the book. SMH.

Then try a couple of Dracula-based movies, comic books, television shows (Dracula is coming Fridays this fall to NBC) and/or cartoons. OMG! How could you not give Dracula a try?

Your mission, classic hater, should you decide to accept it:
  1. Read the book.
  2. Get your favorite snack.
  3. Check out the adaptions.
  4. Swing back by my blog to check out my review (I'm currently working on it).
  5. Let me know what you thought of the novel.
  6. Let me know what adaptations you liked.

Are you still here? UGH! Go read Dracula! Bramsy and I are waiting...

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