We all know the classic tale of Bram Stoker's Dracula. It is one of my favorites to read, so I was quite excited to find a modern retelling of this story. As I usually like the retelling of classic stories, I found and read it on one of my trips to the local library.
The book title is iDrakula and it was written by a woman named Bekka Black, who was written other modernized classics.
It only took me a half hour to read and it left me sadly disappointed.
Here is the synopsis of the book, courtesy of Amazon:
"18-year-old Jonathan Harker is diagnosed with a rare blood disorder after visiting a Romanian Count. His girlfriend Mina and a pre-med student named Van Helsing team up to investigate the source of the disease. The teenagers discover a horrifying truth: the Count is a vampire. The harrowing events unfold through emails, text messages, web pages, Twitter feeds, and instant messaging-the natural modernization of Bram Stoker's original Dracula, which was written in letters, diary entries, and news clippings."
As I had only heard there was a modernized version of the story, and hadn't actually seen it before finding it in the library, I was mostly disappointed with the realization that it was told through cell phones, websites and social media pages.
Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying, "I fear the day technology surpasses our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots."
While I may not necessarily agree with the last part of his statement, I do understand what he meant. When everything is based around technology, something gets lost in the interaction.
By constructing the entire novel in text messages, emails and websites, the characters lost their luster. Great characters, such as Jonathon, Mina and Lucy, that won my heart in the original story, crushed it in this one.
The story itself is difficult to tell through messages. The tale of Dracula is supposed to be frightening, which was done through elaborate scene descriptions in letters and diary entries. I can understand a little of why the author thought to write the book the way she did, because of the way the original story was written but writing a letter to someone, or even a diary entry, gives a great deal more room to create an elaborate scene than 180 characters or less.
I won't say the book was completely terrible, because it wasn't. It was interesting to see what the discovery of Dracula would be like if people from today's technologically advanced society were to come across him. It also gives teenagers and young adults, who may not enjoy reading the classics, a chance to know a story that helped shape a generation of Gothic literature.
This review can also be found at: http://maysville-online.com/lifestyles/idrakula-a-classic-retelling/article_99b4c369-72f2-52a5-82cf-df3735944cb7.html
Christy Howell is the author of the Eloquentia series