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Kevin Fanning's Journal

All Male Review

10.26.09 | 4 Comments

Moisten your lips with some brandy for our man Renfield, all. Surely I’m not alone in mourning his untimely demise? How will we manage to get through the rest of this book without him? In a novel filled with infuriating characters and their weak motivations, Renfield was a rock, our touchstone. Yes he ate bugs, if you want to make a thing about it, but while the rest of the men were busy excluding Mina from their boys’ club, Renfield was the one trying to do something to save her. Put me in jail, he said, I don’t care, I just need to not be here tonight. But they didn’t listen, so Mina got vamped and Renfield got a nice Transylvania beat-down for his troubles. And then! Lying in a pool of his own blood, he fills in some backstory for Van Helsing and Seward, who repay him by leaving him to die in his cell. What total dicks! Sorry Renfield, you deserved better.

Renfield RIP

Renfield RIP

What else.

Harker

I’ve done a complete 180 on Harker at this point, and now kind of love him.

Firstly, here is a video of a Kukri knife in action. OK? Harker launches himself at Dracula, swinging one of those, and gets all his gold coins. That’s my man right there.

Secondly, easily one of the most chilling passages in the book:

To one thing I have made up my mind: if we find out that Mina must be a vampire in the end, then she shall not go into that unknown and terrible land alone. I suppose it is thus that in old times one vampire meant many; just as their hideous bodies could only rest in sacred earth, so the holiest love was the recruiting agent for their ghastly ranks.

Is that not the most ice-cold shit ever?

Quincey

Quincey is pretty bad-ass, you guys. Is his character meant to be symbolic of the U. S. of A? If so I think we’re looking pretty good. While everyone else is updating their Livejournals, Quincey’s prowling around the house, blowing out windows trying to ping off bats. When Dracula shows up at the Picadilly house, everyone else panics, but Quincey busts out some Green Beret hand signals to quickly get everyone positioned. GANGSTA.

Lord Godalming

Is this guy still in the book? I keep hearing about him, but am totally unable to point to any evidence of his presence. Frankly I’m inclined to agree with the note in the back of the Norton Critical Edition that suggests Godalming as the inspiration for Snuffleupagus.

Seward

Interestingly, I don’t have strong feelings about Seward one way or the other. I think I accept him as the main narrator of the story, essentially neutral to the story. Although, he’s the one who brought Van Helsing into the mix, and never blinks whenever his former mentor pulls a bunch of nonsense. Maybe he’s not so neutral after all.

Van Helsing

Van Helsing remains the worst. Nothing redeemable about this guy, whatsoever.

This past month, whenever someone mentions disbelief about something Van Helsing says or does, someone chimes in with a comment that explains why it makes some sort of sense, given the times or the dualistic nature of his and Dracula’s roles. But I challenge anyone to find meaning in this scene, from the end of Chapter XXIII:

…Mina looked at him appealingly as she asked–

“But why need we seek him further, when he is gone away from us?” He took her hand and patted it as he replied–

“Ask me nothing as yet. When we have breakfast, then I answer all questions.” He would say no more, and we separated to dress.

After breakfast Mina repeated her question. He looked at her gravely for a minute and then said sorrowfully:–

“Because, my dear, dear Madam Mina, now more than ever must we find him even if we have to follow him to the jaws of Hell!”

There is no reason (none!) why his reply has to wait until after breakfast. He’s just a manipulative, controlling ass, and I sincerely hope that this book will end with Vampire Mina chewing Van Helsing’s throat off.

This is how fan fiction is born, isn’t it.

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