I've had this book on my to-read list for years, but I kept putting it off because it's described as a horror novel. Horror books and movies give me freaky dreams, so I usually stay away from them. But this book isn't scary at all. (At least it wasn't for me, and I'm a big sissy.)
This was Bram Stoker's second novel, published in 1897. For a second novel he really showed that he knew what he was doing. The characters all have unique and well developed personalities. His descriptions of the settings are perfect and not as flowery as some would have done during that time period. The epistolary format adds to the believability of an otherwise preposterous situation. And I enjoyed the inclusion of popular psychology and medical practices of the Victorian Era. You can really see how far we've come in 120+ years. The only thing about this novel that I disliked was his description of women. They were swooning, helpless messes that would be lost without men by their sides. But, at the same time, Mina is one of the strongest and smartest characters. Without her this book, and the men in it, would have been lost. It just irritated me when she would push aside her own feelings and desires because her husband, or some other man, told her it would be for the best, and of course men know better than women. Ugh. So, I kept reminding myself that it was the accepted ideas of the time, and then tried to let it go.
Also, the narrators were fantastic! They brought the characters to life. I agree with other reviewers , the whole cast should have been listed during the end credits.
This book got me hooked on audiobooks and I still haven't found another to quite compare. The spellbinding story is nicely complimented by the flawless narration. I found myself looking for opportunities to keep listening to it so I started listening while I cleaned house. Never had such a clean house than I did the week or two I was playing this!
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
Vampires are, and have been for a long time, a staple of pop culture. They're everywhere, so much so that, like zombies, they're practically a beating for those not complete enamored with their glut. Vampire fans know that you often have to go through several hundred books and movies before you find a truly good story, and few - if anyone - seem to want to go backwards and experience the classics.
Everyone thinks they know the story of Dracula. There have been more versions, translations, reboots, sequels, etc., of this story than there are of any other character in all of popular fiction, up to and including the great Sherlock Holmes. I submit that if you've never read Bram Stoker's original, you don't know Dracula even half as well as you might think.
Whether you have actually read this story or if you're ready to take the plunge, I would strongly suggest that this Audible Edition is perhaps the absolute best treatment of the story I've ever encountered. Forget all you know - or think you know - and allow the story to unfold through a truly magnificent experience. As Stoker's tale is told through journal entries, letters, and newspaper clippings, this format makes it a rare treasure for the audio format in that it can utilize and benefit from a full cast without having to change the original prose in the slightest. The result is astounding, and I can't say that lightly. Dracula has always been one of my favorites, with few iterations ever living up to the original version, and to hear this version... wow!
It's easy to praise the likes of Tim Curry, Alan Cumming, and Simon Vance, for they are consistently turning out A-level audio work. You won't find them slacking off here either. But to compliment them, there's not one single voice in this story that seems out of place. For audio, it's a dream team performance. Special kudos to Katherine Kellgren for her turn as Mina. There is a lot of subtlety in her performance where you can tell this woman is both distraught to the point of emotional breakdown and trying to keep it together for the sake of appearance. None of the performances are over the top; they are true to the voices of their characters instead of what popular culture has turned them into. That one point alone is worthy of thundrous applause in my book.
If I had anything negative to say, it would be to say that the caliber of the performance almost demands a musical score that could enhance it further, but I admit that might be going too far. Regardless, this is a must-have. Audible is to be congratulated for putting this together.
Way up on top. Very different than my usual audiobook.This was an incredible experience as my notion of Dracula was based on movies and television shows....Boris Karloff and so forth. I had never read the classic by Bram Stoker and this dramatization was so good that I have since read the original novel. What a difference between my idea of Dracula before listening to this audiobook (and consequently reading the original novel) than my former perception now.
I suppose Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is first to come to mind but this is probably because both are recognized "monsters" that we have seen as popular movie and film characters but people may be unfamiliar with the novels from which they originated and the background and historical setting that Dracula and Frankenstein come from. There is so much more to the story and I learned a great deal about the era in the mid 1800's when the novel was written. Hopefully more people (especially young people) listen to this dramatization of a classic novel. It certainly opened my eyes and gave me a whole new perspective on the character of Dracula and the entire story. Besides, it was a heck of an enjoyable listen!
Enjoyed the entire dramatization. At times it was so suspenseful that I almost wanted to speed it up...but of course I did not. The narration was too good to miss a single word.
I would recommend this dramatization for several reasons. First of all, it was extremely well done and the cast did a marvelous job of setting the mood, and keeping me on the edge of my seat. I could not stop listening not only because of the "horror" aspect of it but this was certainly a big part of the entire production. The progression and development of the plot or story was a bit difficult to get used initially but very quickly my appreciation of the entire story just grew and grew. At times it felt like i was listening to a live theatre production. The entire group of narrators, or cast made each character come so alive that i could almost "see" the action on stage -not simply listening to it.
All in all a very unique and enjoyable experience. Time well spent..
Not many words can be written about the book and the story as it is immortal classics and was acknowledged long long long ago and everybody knows it; but so much can be said about the narration cast. They did a great job. Sometimes I am catching myself thinking that this book seems to me even better than it is after such a well performed narration. Thanks to all cast and Audible in paticular for such a chance of listening. Looking forward to hearing new Audible Editions of similar kind.
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry.
Interesting to hear this book but reading it is so much better. If read you have time to enjoy the prose. Some of these narrators do not seem to be embracing the wonderful writing that this story enjoys. A pity because this is a book I have read many times since my early teens and I continue to enjoy.
I'm not a big fan of ensemble cast reading...but it REALLY works well here. I've debated FOREVER on picking this book up and reading it. It's such a classic story and a basis of SO MANY vampire stories since... but... never could get myself to pull the trigger. Totally missed this version..., never really noticed when it came through...but ran across it in another reviewer's notes while checking up on a completely different book. LOL. Intriguing.... pushed my back-and-forth over the edge. That reviewer was right. Top-notch talent brings a classic tale to life. Nicely done.
I loved the multiple characters - it really added to the story!
I would with the caveat that if you don't know the original story, it's not as exciting as Hollywood implies - I liked the story, but it was really slow in places and did not have the intensity I expected.
The multiple voices were awesome!
Hmmm - it's been done before so it's hard to say... Maybe... The True Dracula Story
It is told in pieces from multiple characters - a little disjointed at times, but fun to listen to!
Last year I began the Vampire Chronicles after reading Christopher Moore’s vampire series. In the Christopher Moore books, which are comedy, at one point the boyfriend of a novice vampire struggles to help her by collecting all the vampire fiction he could find. His comical references to the differences are funny and made me curious. Having completed 4 Anne Rice novels, I thought I’d go back to where it all began and read the classic.
The style is, of course, a bit funny since it is stiff, proper and full of words that are less used today. Never the less, the style of narrative via letters, diary entries and notes is clever and gives the reader the feeling of having stumbled across a secret archive. While there isn’t the blood and gore of some modern horror tales, Stoker creates real ambiance in his lavish descriptions and subtle details. This was a clever writing style and quite enjoyable. Now I know why this caught on and has become so iconic. Like so many classics, characters and phrases have entered the lexicon to the extent that I recognized much of this book. Well written, well read - I highly recommend.
Final Note: I had thought Carfax was a service that faxed reports of cars. In our modern age it seemed quaint that this business would make itself seem older by referencing 80s technology. However, Carfax is the name of Dracula’s estate in England! Could it be that the nice car history report people are actually blood sucker?
I love that I am able to read again, even in my busy life. Thanks Audible!!
Yes, I have tried many times to read Dracula, but had a hard time getting into the story as it is journal entries and letters of different people. Having the cast read it made it amazing, and suspenseful and brilliant.
The scene with Renfield and his pets. I don't want to give it away, but it is chilling.
The old man talking about his impending death as (unbeknownst to the old man) Dracula is coming into port. I thought it was brilliantly written.
I wouldn't rename it. Dracula is a classic!
This performance (it really has to be called a performance), is amazing. If you have tried to read the book but had a hard time getting into it, please give it another chance. I was astounded at how good it is. I will definitely be picking up more audiobooks in the future.