For the uninitiated, Dracula Daily is an email newsletter. The newsletter follows the events of the classic novel Dracula in the order that they happened chronologically and delivers them in the epistolary way in which the entries were written. When Stoker wrote Dracula, he wrote it via letter and journal entries, which were then compiled out of order. This was intentional as the strange chronological timeline was meant to help with the building horror of who/what Count Dracula was and what he was up to.
Though this is not Dracula Daily’s first go around, this is absolutely their most successful. I first saw a small, casual explanation of Dracula Daily posted on Tumblr in late April and subscribed immediately, only for the newsletter to take off in a stunning success with the entirety of my Tumblr dash. People are loving this idea, especially long time fans of Dracula who are watching first time readers enjoy the novel in a new manner.
In fact, others have been inspired–I’ve seen that someone is hoping to do a similar project with Frankenstein and Carmilla.
Since this is an “early review” (the full contents of Dracula Daily won’t be done until November) I’ll be skipping any usual formatting and just diving right in to my thoughts on the experience itself.
First of all, I do believe you should consume Dracula as it was originally meant to be before subscribing to Dracula Daily. Stoker put together the novel in a particular order, and as many readers of Dracula Daily have already noticed, the book becomes unintentionally funny when rearranged in chronological order. If possible, I would recommend reading or listening to the original form of the novel first.
That being said, I think Dracula Daily is a brilliant way to revisit the classic! The unintentional hilarity of getting a break between Jonathan’s harrowing journal entries to get Lucy and Mina talking about boys is fantastic. Not to mention, the unusual little internet community that has grown among participants in the subscription adds to the fun. Everyone is referring to him as “my dear friend Jonathan” and acting as though we are all collectively receiving these email updates from him. It’s good fun, really.
What I am looking most forward to is actually watching the characters unravel who Dracula is over time. Thus far, the only real break from the original format of the novel has been introducing Mina and Lucy’s letters earlier than you first experience them in the original book. I’m looking forward to later in the story when these alterations in favor of chronological order happen more often–especially in regards to the conflicting versions of events amongst the different characters!
A useful tool for Dracula Daily is the full archive of the entirety of Dracula–if you miss a day or don’t want to bother with your emails, you can always rely on the archive to get caught up. This also means that while you won’t get the experience of Dracula sent right into your email inbox, you can experience Dracula Daily at your own pace at any time. I would say that overall, though, the most fun part of the subscription is the actual arrival of the emails. Unless you have memorized or pulled up a chronological timeline of the events of Dracula then the emails are a pleasant little surprise!
If you’ve subscribed to Dracula Daily feel free to drop a comment and tell me what your favorite part of it is!