The Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker

It was a dark and stormy day with the rain battering on the windows and wind howling down the chimneys, so when the gas man finally managed to fix our NEW boiler, (he’s been trying since Thursday) I thought it was the perfect atmosphere for finishing off The Jewel of Seven Stars.

I’m afraid it didn’t help matters though. It says on the cover of this book: STOKER’S CLASSIC TALE OF TERROR, the inspiration for today’s Mummy movies!

At the beginning Abel Trelawny, a keen collector of Egyptian artefacts, appears to have been attacked in his own home and has fallen into a comatose state. It is thought that the many Egyptian mummies which are in his room have caused his illness.

On page 104 one of the characters who has been relating past experiences in Egypt at great length said, “I dare say you find this tedious;” which was exactly what I HAD been thinking!

It didn’t do anything for me at all. I’ve always avoided horror movies and for that reason I didn’t really know much about Frankenstein, so when I actually got around to reading the book earlier in the year I was pleasantly surprised that I really enjoyed it. I thought that I might be missing out on something and as quite a few people have been mentioning Dracula recently I thought I would start off with one of Stoker’s shorter books first. Now I’m not sure if I will bother with Dracula because although this book was only 188 pages long, it did seem to drag.

First published in 1903 this was apparently Stoker’s eighth book, which is a surprise to me because I didn’t think it was very well written and I had been thinking that he must have improved over the years, maybe not then. It was re-written in 1912 and I think it is that version which I read. I suppose it’s because it’s Gothic, but it’s stilted beyond belief, and I say that as someone who reads more Classic books than modern.

Even reading it with tongue firmly in cheek I couldn’t get any enjoyment from it, however I ploughed on regardless to the end. This was a book which I borrowed from the library and the previous borrower had left their bookmark in it less than half-way through, so I can’t be the only person who wasn’t enamoured with it.

I’ll see what others think of Dracula before embarking on it.