Dracula’s daily newsletter delivers tidbits from the classic novel
It seems like everyone gets a sub-pile these days, and in early May another author joined this list. Although he’s been dead for over 100 years, Bram Stoker has appeared on the popular email subscription platform – or at least his most famous work. Curated by Matt Kirkland, a designer at digital product studio Brand New Box, Dracula Daily is a newsletter that emails subscribers sections of the ubiquitous vampire novel piece by piece.
An epistolary novel, Dracula is told via letters and memos dating from May 3 to November 10. Over the next six months, the newsletter will post an update whenever something happens to one of the novel’s characters, and subscribers will receive an email with the day’s story piece. While the posts are tongue-in-cheek (the May 3 entry is captioned “Meet Jonathan Harker, on a fun road trip for work, as he collects new recipes”), the text of the newsletter comes entirely from the novel, which means that if you’re dedicated — or read people’s recaps on Twitter — you can finish most of the novel by November.
It is not the first time in recent memory that an online storytelling platform has attracted a large audience. Blasball, the absurd online fantasy baseball game, gained a massive following in 2020 after exploding on Tumblr and Twitter. While Blasball is a browser-based game that allows players to place fake bets on teams, with most people engaging with it via social media, bragging or sympathizing with their team’s results. Similarly, many people who haven’t read Dracula since high school (guilty) have followed the project via tweets and Tumblr posts about how the main character Jonathan Harker is actually a millennial. The novel was well-received but not popular when first published, but over the century-plus since it has been adapted into every format imaginable, from silent films to theme park rides. This latest adaptation is far from the first to generate a community around the horror story, but it brings a new approach and a new mode of engagement to the classic novel. Now I’m waiting for Jonathan Harker’s food blog.