A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens

Very short, and surprisingly not as mawkish as the reputation (and many of the adaptations) would indicate. A short and sweet, efficient even, distillation of Dickens’s sense of Christmas, the Christmas spirit, the zeitgeist of Christmas. It feels almost Biblical in how the moral lesson unfolds methodically and with such clarity. Scrooge seeing when he…

Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker

Perhaps the most striking thing about reading DRACULA in 2019 is how overwhelmingly modern it feels. An epistolary, formed of faux-letters and phonograph recordings and the like, it feels like a precursor to found-footage horror films. The real-time way the story develops through these scattered texts creates a sense of tension and suspense that just…