I agree almost hands down with Ranee'. I too enjoyed Mina. She was so good and humble, and I loved the way her mind worked so methodically, especially when it came to tracking down the Count in the end. I preferred her character over Lucy who seemed too dainty for my tastes. I kept wanting her to get more backbone, but I suppose that wouldn't have fit the storyline.
I enjoyed getting this story from so many narrators. It made their individual experiences so vivid and more alarming. I did, however, think it rather hilarious how much detail each of those involved included. I know my journal has never been so descriptive. From a realistic perspective I'm not sure it holds, but it worked well for Stoker. While the newspaper clipping of the Count's ship arriving in England was very different from news today, it added a nice change. I especially liked the way Jonathan Harker's journal was composed in the beginning. I had a difficult time getting through it though - it was on such a personal level that I had to wait a few days before picking the book up again. I was relieved when the book took a less grisly turn for a while. My nerves needed a break.
Vampires. Other than the Twilight books, the only other vampire book I've read is Robin McKinley's "Sunshine." I'm not sure I'd recommend it, but after this it may not seem so bad. McKinley's characters follow more of Stoker's version, but with more natural cunning. Meyers' vampires are in a category all of their own. However, I read a comment by her once that said that she had actually never read vampire books and didn't intend to start in case they changed the way she viewed her own characters. I've always found that interesting.
I did enjoy this book. It is very well written, and I found the characters to be quite realistic, for the most part. I thoroughly enjoyed the Harkers and Van Helsing. Those three to me were the book. I'm not sure I'll pick this one up again any time soon and re-read it, but I'm glad I did read it. I'm looking forward to this month's book.