OK, last time I was here, I mentioned reading The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu. I have since finished and must report being distinctly nonplussed by the end. The protagonists have very little to do with the defeat of the villain and the villain clearly and obviously escapes at the end. Which makes their sailing-off-victorious moment a bit hollow.
However, I will say this for Author Sax Rohmer. When I finished the book I wanted to get the sequel to see what happens next. For whatever faults the story has (beyond the obvious racism on display), it is a gripping read.
From Fu Manchu I’ve moved on to another foreign devil invading proper British soil. I’m talking about Dracula, by the one and only Bram Stoker. I had intended to read his Lair of the White Worm first, but hey! Whim city boy right here.
The first time I read Dracula was on my way up to Alaska, in 1989. I’d read all the other books I had with me by then. Every single one of which I can name and semi review if the need arises, so watch what you say, hey? Things can get worse here.
In any case, I’ve been known to say that the ideal reading conditions for the novel are being trapped in the middle of an airplane flying for hours with no one else to talk to and nothing else to read. For while I finished Stoker’s masterpiece and did indeed enjoy it, I haven’t been able to finish it since.
So why read it again? Free. On Kindle.
Never said it was a good reason.
Only this time through, I’ve enjoyed myself. I’m only two chapters in, mind, but that’s two chapters further than previous attempts. Stoker’s words, far from boring me, are actually pulling me through. It makes me consider rereading Mary Shelly‘s Frankenstein.
But not very hard.
One must have standards, after all.
In any case, there’s a quote I want to show you, one that, I think, shows the man’s skill at this. (Bear in mind he was a late 19th century writer and thus a overwriter writer.):
You may go anywhere you wish in the castle, except where the doors are locked, where of course you will not wish to go.
I love how distinctly ominous that line is. The book might be rougher going later (I’m shooting for a chapter a day, unless I want to do more, where of course I will proceed to do so) but it’s looking good to me.