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Oxford Bookworms Library: Dracula


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Gr 6 Up-Since Bram Stoker's name appears over the title of this production of Dracula, one would assume that this version is based on and follows the plot of the author's classic. However, although some of the characters are here, the plot is decidedly different. In this version, Arthur Holmwood learns that he's inherited syphilis from his parents and sends Jonathan Harker to Transylvania to arrange for Count Dracula to come to England to cure him of the disease so that he can safely consummate his marriage to Lucy. Harker goes off to do his business with the Count and is never seen again. Meanwhile, a mysterious ship bringing Dracula to England crashes near the town of Whitby where Holmwood and Lucy live. Dracula tries to seduce Lucy's friend and Jonathan Harker's fiance, Mina, but failing that, he attacks and kills Lucy. In the middle of this convoluted plot, Van Helsing arrives, but he seems so demented that it's difficult to believe that he is the savior of this beleaguered band of people. Finally, Holmwood realizes that he has caused all of this mayhem and, offering his life for Mina's, dies uselessly. John Steward, Holmwood's friend and Lucy's doctor, finally kills the vampire, and he and Mina move happily through the city toward a bright future. A street beggar, looking very much like Dracula, watches them from afar. The cast is excellent (Marc Warren, Sophia Myles, David Suchet) and the photography perfectly captures the look of a Victorian gothic tale. Lucy's longing for her husband to consummate the marriage and the references to syphilis make this most appropriate for sophisticated high school students and adults. This chilling version reflects modern day sentiments and social issues, and is a good alternate to the original to generate lively discussions for audiences familiar with the original tale.-Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library, IL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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