Book cover
Bram Stoker

Somehow I got this far in life without ever reading Dracula. My daughter-in-law-to-be finally convinced me to pick it up—it is one of her favorites—and I blasted through most of it on a long car drive. It is unsurprisingly great, far creepier, more graphic, and more sexual than I expected given the 19th century publication date. I was also delighted to see how many of our modern Vampire tropes—I’m an unrepentant Buffy fan—are on full display here, from garlic and crosses to the whole “you can’t enter without an invitation” thing. The Vampires even turn to dust when staked (although with an explanation that doesn’t quite work in the Buffyverse). I saw echoes in Harry Potter here too, with the whole psychic-connection subplot. All this to say Dracula is so influential we live in a world more or less shaped by it. It was fun to go to the source.