As you might have noticed from the Google homepage, today is Bram Stoker’s 165th birthday.
My first experience with Dracula was a kind of abridged version I found in my primary school library. It wasn’t the whole story, but there were all sorts of interesting facts about vampires and Mr. Stoker dotted throughout. I thought it was awesome.
When I got older I moved on to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, then read the Twilight series, and one of those terrible teen ‘let’s-all-write-about-vampires-because-they’re-cool-now’ books. But I never forgot the excitement I got from reading that funny little kiddie book about Bram Stoker, eagerly showing my mum the pictures and pointing out passages.
That’s why recently I bought Dracula from a bookfair, for $4. I was so keen to see it there on my shelf, to own it, to read it (one day, when I get through my bajillion other books). It was only a few weeks later that I realised Dracula was included in a horror omnibus I’d bought at the same bookfair about 4 years ago.
So I want to say, happy birthday Bram. And thankyou for making vampires (the coolest supernatural beings ever) a world-wide phenomenon. I wish you hadn’t died from either stroke, stress or syphilis. I wish you’d stuck it out til 1922 to get your royalties for Nosferatu, or til 1931 to see your trend-setting handiwork in Dracula. You’re tops.