Ah, no sparkling here. The classic that started it all, and still arguably the spookiest. It sure hooked me when I first read it, and didn't impress me as some stodgy "classic." Mind you, I have two friends whose tastes I trust who found it "dull" so I tried rereading it and found myself still sucked in. I suppose it might be a matter of style--this is a product of the late Victorian age and is told through journal entries, letters, and even a newspaper article. The first chapters are the journal of Jonathan Harker, who visits Transylvania to meet his mysterious client, Count Dracula. I thought the tension developed well, as was the tension between an ancient horror from a land full of superstition compared with a modern world that will combat the undead not just with garlic and crucifixes but blood transfusions and telegrams. I found not just Dracula but his adversary, Van Helsing vivid and unforgettable characters.