While Cummings and Curry get top billing, and do quite well, the full cast is deserving of credit for a great production of one of the supreme novels in the genre.
This is the first time I have read Dracula and it will not be the last. Audible and all the performers did an amazing job in bringing this book to life. A must read for all horror fans and for literary fans as well. Highly recommend.
Reading anything and everything...
This performance is absolutely incredible! Alan Cumming is fantastic as well as Simon Vance and of course Tim Curry. I was excited to find it and will listen to it again every year near Halloween as a tradition. You may find it a little wordy and the writing sometimes tedious further into the story but for the time it was written it really is a wonderful book. Stick with it and you won't be disappointed. 0h for more productions like this!
This is a novel, in my opinion, that is best served in abridgement. Stoker's ability to provide information in a redundant fashion while never doing more that superficially developing most of his characters is taxing to me. I'd rather just get to the main crux of the story, which I do find fascinating (there is a reason it has inspired to many interpretations and reimaginings). Also, I am not a fan of novels that tell their story through the juxtaposition of letters between characters and personal diary entries. It is a highly limiting technique that leaves characters feeling wooden and stale. If this were a mystery, you might find more enjoyment from trying to piece random clues together, but it is not a mystery and the plot's development is slow and tedious.
I have listened to other versions of "Dracula" as audios, along with a couple of his short stories, but I rarely seek them out and I doubt I will ever do so.
The only thing that got me through this long book was the various narrators. The changing of voices was pleasant enough to break up what is, to me, a tediously paced story. In particular, Simon Vance as Harker and Alan Cumming as Seward are particularly good (even though Vance's voice for Dracula is nearly indistinguishable from his voice for Van Helsing). Katy Kellgren was very good as Mina, as well. Unfortunately, Tim Curry is wasted in the role of Van Helsing, whose voice in the novel is rarely his own. Rather, most of his dialogue is read by other narrators. This leaves Curry with about 10 minutes of reading time out of the total 15+ hours. I cannot recommend anyone listen to this audio based on Curry's inclusion in the cast. That was very disappointing.
It does not need a follow-up book. The cast do an adequate job reading their parts but I cannot say I was left clamoring for more. Rather, its end was a relief to me.
Overall, while the narrations are of good quality, you really need to be a fan of this novel to get any significant joy from listening to it. I got it for 99 cents after buying the e-book from Amazon and I feel like I paid quite enough. Even the presence of Cumming, whom I usually enjoy as a narrator, was not enough to enthrall me.
Bram Stoker's original concept of presenting a story through journals and newspaper clippings is fascinating. Unfortunately, the way he writes dialog not only reflects late 19th century views of the sexes (he wrote it in the 1890s, so you can't expect anything else) but his characters come across almost as caricatures. Thankfully, the full cast narration has a very strong Mina who can make the weak journal entries from her point of view come across better than they are written.
You can not go wrong with a classic story. It draws you in and keeps you longing for more until you complete the story. The reading was very good. My only complaint is that each dairy entry had a different voice for the characters. At times, I was confused as to who was talking. Overall.... Excellent!
I'm conquering the classics - just came off a brilliant listen to Count of Monte Cristo (65hrs) highly recommended. But I just couldn't get into this. To be fair to Stoker, I'm sure its because I'm very familiar with every permutation of the Dracula legend. The novel deserves high praise for ground breaking concept (the reason for my 5-star Story rating) but I found myself playing the same chapters over and over because my mind kept wandering. I came to realize that I was just bored. Narration was, at times, distracting (think Jayne Eyre speaking in the voice of continuous overly dramatic, always breathy whisper). And describing someone's nostrils as "alert and sensitive" doesn't help unless Bram Stoker is describing the vampire—and he wasn't. I may go back to this but, for now, I'll settle on Clockwork Orange for my Halloween listen.
Something about myself! ;)
This production/narration was so well done. It's a story told in letters and journals, so having a different narrator for each part makes a lot of sense. I think I enjoyed it so much more because of that. The narrators were all spectacular.The book is a great read, but you have to have some patience. The beginning is nice and creepy, the middle can be a bit maddening, and the last third or so of the book had a lot more action and adventure and answers. Very enjoyable.
I had been meaning to read Dracula for ages. When I found this audible edition, I knew it was definitely time.
The cast was great. A full cast allowed each character to really come alive. That isn't always the case with audiobooks. Some narrators are great at telling the story, but not so great at giving "life" to the characters in those stories. The cast really made it easy to get immersed in the story and how the characters were feeling as things moved along.
As for the story itself, it is a classic but it is not perfect. It seems to take a long time to really get moving, then the ending feels very rushed and almost abrupt. The writing style takes some getting used to as it is a bit choppy at times. Once I got used to it, I decided that this storytelling worked for this story. It wouldn't for all, but it does for this one.
A word of caution- keep in mind when this story was written. The portrayal of the characters is reflective of the time when it was written. If you go in with modern expectations, you will be irritated if not flat out offended at the attitudes towards and portrayals of the women in this book. If you can keep it in the context of its time and not let your modern views overshadow everything, this is a classic story and very influential story that is enjoyable.
I would highly recommend that everyone read this at least once.
a little too slow paced for short commutes. this has a pacing of its own that would be best listened to if you can listen to whole chapters (30-45mins) at a time.