Classic Book Club

“Classic” books are classic for a reason – their literary excellence transcends passing fads, and they continue to engage readers generation after generation. If there are classics you have always meant to read “someday,” or if you read them in school before you were ready to appreciate them, now is the time to enjoy them with other adult readers.

Join the Classic Book Club in 2017 as we explore classic titles in genre fiction. These are books that were written for popular audiences, not scholars, but whose literary merit and entertainment value have stood the test of time. Throughout the year we will be reading classics books in romance, mystery, horror, science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction.

Discussion groups will meet at 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every other month. Anyone is welcome to attend any session, but advanced registration is required if you would like the library to reserve you a book. Register here!

Next Meeting: October 10, 2017

Theme: Horror

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula book jacket

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client and his castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England- an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman’s neck; and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his ‘Master’. In the ensuing battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries, Bram Stoker created a masterpiece of the horror genre, probing deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.


Discussion Questions

  1. Central to Bram Stoker’s novel DRACULA is the tension between earthly life and immortality of the soul. How does Count Dracula’s aggression jeopardize his victims’ hopes for eternal rest? How do their views of death shape the ways in which Mina Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and Arthur Holmwood confront Count Dracula’s gathering threat?
  2. Do you think DRACULA is a religious novel? What is the significance of the role played by holy objects in warding off the vampire’s damnation? Does the author mean to satirize the piety and superstition of Transylvania town folk, or to strengthen the power of their beliefs?
  3. What accounts for the sudden disappearance — and ultimate reemergence — of Lucy’s illness? Why does Dr. Van Helsing suspect unnatural causes as the root of Lucy’s ailment? Why does he frantically block Arthur Holmwood from giving his fiancée a farewell kiss? What relationship does Lucy have to “the Bloofer Lady”?
  4. DRACULA pits science and reason against superstition and the occult. Are these opposing philosophies ever reconciled? Does the truth of one argue against the existence of the other? How do the two doctors, John Seward and Abraham Van Helsing, approach the matter differently? Is Seward’s skepticism ever completely overcome? How does R.M. Renfield contribute to Seward’s education? What is the significance of Seward’s diagnosis that Renfield tries “to absorb as many lives as he can”?

Questions from ReadingGroupGuides