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Dracula [Audible Edition] | [Bram Stoker]

Dracula [Audible Edition]

The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Followers of the popular vampire literary and film interpretations of recent years might be blasé about another performance of the exquisitely written novel that started it all. But listening to this full-cast performance turns out to be remarkably suspenseful and chilling. The superlative cast lends this powerful production the diversity that is required by the structure of the novel, which includes journal entries and letters. Each actor employs various accents, infusing into the characters vibrant emphasis, urgency, and dread. The famed vampire Count Dracula leaves a swath of exsanguinated bodies in his wake as he attempts to relocate from Transylvania to England in 1897, stalked by the brave Van Helsing.

Publisher's Summary

Audie Award, Distinguished Achievement in Production, 2013

Audie Award, Multi-voiced Performance, 2013

Audie Award Nominee, Classic, 2013

Because of the widespread awareness of the story of the evil Transylvanian count and the success of numerous film adaptations that have been created over the years, the modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

This production of Dracula is presented by what is possibly the best assemblage of narrating talent ever for one audiobook: Emmy Award nominees Alan Cumming and Tim Curry plus an all-star cast of Audie award-winners Simon Vance (The Millenium Trilogy), Katherine Kellgren (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Susan Duerden (The Tiger’s Wife), John Lee (Supergods) and customer favorites Graeme Malcolm (Skippy Dies), Steven Crossley (The Oxford Time Travel series), Simon Prebble (The Baroque Cycle), James Adams (Letters to a Young Contrarian), Nicola Barber (The Rose Garden), Victor Villar-Hauser (Fun Inc.), and Marc Vietor (1Q84). These stellar narrators have been cast as follows:

Alan Cumming as Dr. Seward
Simon Vance as Jonathan Harker
Katy Kellgren as Mina Murray/Harker
Susan Duerden as Lucy Westenra
Tim Curry as Van Helsing
Graeme Malcolm as Dailygraph correspondent
Steven Crossley as Zookeeper’s account and reporter
Simon Prebble as Varna
James Adams as Patrick Hennessey
Nicola Barber as Sister Agatha
Victor Villar-Hauser as Arthur Holmwood
Marc Vietor as Quincey Morris
John Lee as Introductory paragraph, various letters

Public Domain (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Listening to this full-cast performance turns out to be remarkably suspenseful and chilling…The superlative cast lends this powerful production the diversity that is required by the structure of the novel…Each actor employs various accents, infusing into the characters vibrant emphasis, urgency, and dread." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2176 )
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Performance
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  •  
    N. Houghton Mendon, NY United States 02-24-12
    N. Houghton Mendon, NY United States 02-24-12 Member Since 2005

    RochNYguy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"

    This was well worth it. Alan Cumming is a favorite and so versatile. Tim Curry never disappoints. The only thing missing from Audible's production is a cast list. I recognized some narrators that I had listen to before, but think they all deserve credit for the job well done. Lucy's naivety, and Minna steadfast strength for instance deserve crediting. I was disappointed when this was not a part of the concluding credits.

    If other reviewers could not be swept up in the production, perhaps it is due to a distaste for the genre. I like a good vampire tale as much as the next person, but this sheds so much light on how far we have come from the mother of all tales, where more is implied than exposed.

    30 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana POCATELLO, IDAHO, United States 02-27-12
    Dana POCATELLO, IDAHO, United States 02-27-12 Member Since 2011

    dbenge66

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    "Wonderful, accurate performance of Stoker's novel"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Dracula to be better than the print version?

    I love this edition for many reasons, but mainly because it is an accurate rendition of Stoker's novel. Every film version changes the story somewhat, and this edition does not. Readers get the treat of the accurate story along with great narration.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love Tim Curry's voice, and think he does an excellent job.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Reading the book deprives you of the emotional range the human voice is capable of that add so much detail and color to the story.


    23 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda UT 09-23-12
    Melinda UT 09-23-12 Member Since 2009

    So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Curtain Falls...Applause, Applause, Bravo"

    Hearing the final words, "Audible hopes you enjoyed.." it's hard to resist vigorously clapping your hands together and jumping to your feet to whoop out a "Bravo!" While it looks like some reviewers are more familiar with the particulars of each narrator, I must be less fussy; I thought it was a perfect cast that produced a dark gothic atmosphere that Stoker would call worthy of this masterpiece.

    The story is longer than I thought it would be, the flowery speech style of the Victorian era no doubt adding to the length of the journals/diaries of each articulate character, that comprise the tale -- a style that, if you are unprepared for, may be too verbose to your liking (but authentic to the time--think Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats). Where one during that period might say:
    "Dear Madam, by God, your neck! May perhaps I suggest more wreaths of the garlic flowers to be festooned around your lovely neck to prohibit a further attack from this most vile blood-sucking fiendish creature of the night which has befallen upon you most unfairly, dear sweet lady?"
    We today, 100 years later, might say:
    "Huh, vampire bite. Want some garlic (was he sparkly)?"
    You can see how this could take up some pages. But the profuse Victorian vernacular combined with the fine reading puts you in the necessary frame of mind -- where a dark red-eyed character in a cape could creep around a deteriorating castle, summon wolves from the fog, and morph into a bat flapping against a pane of glass. (It was a little amusing listening to the breathy and fragile Lucy and Mina...considering the time frame in which this was written. While Stoker had them helplessly swooning away, across the pond, Susan B. Anthony was gathering her own minions.)
    Bram Stoker truly affected history with this book -- Audible's production was a great homage to a literary icon as well as a fun engaging production, well worth the purchase.

    26 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Arroyo Grande, CA, United States 02-29-12
    Stephen Arroyo Grande, CA, United States 02-29-12 Member Since 2006

    I consume literature. I drive a semi-truck/tanker and have lots of time between my destinations so a good book is essential to my well being

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    "Splendid!"
    What made the experience of listening to Dracula the most enjoyable?

    Alan Cumming and Tim Curry are two of my favorite actors so it really enriched the experience. Having people reading with real British accents was also nice.


    What other book might you compare Dracula to and why?

    I'm not going to compare it to other books, the style was unique to me.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Tim Curry's yes, much better this time.


    If you could rename Dracula, what would you call it?

    The Evil Bloodsucker Must Die


    Any additional comments?

    I had a good time listening to this audiobook, I can't believe anyone would have had a problem listening to it. I could really get a feel for the age it was representing with the readers using their native accents.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 06-08-12
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 06-08-12 Member Since 2010

    Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.

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    "As it was meant to be"

    This truly is a revelation. I had read the book many years before, of course, but I had never really appreciated the way the story was told in correspondence. I suspect that lack of appreciation is a testament to Bram Stocker's skills as a storyteller and to my lack of acuity. Whatever the reason, hearing the tale told through the words of the correspondents makes it so much more intimate and exciting. It puts the Twilight Saga and True Blood in their place as pieces for their time and generations, but confirms the traditional view of Dracula, van Helsing and Transalvania as everlasting pieces of literature for all time and a mature audience. In the parlance of the present cinema, it's M15+ verging on R, but not for the sensuality (although that is there) or the viloence (of which there is an abundance), but for the themes.
    As for the production, it is first class. For me it was Simon Vance and Katy Kellgren who shone; more so even than the named principals. Alan Cumming was as good as ever. Tim Curry really didn't have enough of a part to make a real impression, more's the pity. Van Helsing is really seen through others' eyes. So the Harkers stole the show. In retrospect, that's not suprising, but I had (wrongly) expected more from the principals. I also missed a voice for Dracula (because he is not a correspondent, of course). I thought Vance captured his intonation beautifully when he recounted the conversations between the Count and Harker, but with Borsi Karlof, Frank Langella and others in mind, it would have been nice to hear him speak. Alas, that was a legitimate sacrifice for the lierarary device that Stoker adopted and which this production brings to life.
    Highly recommended.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TaelonOne Hideout, UT, United States 02-24-12
    TaelonOne Hideout, UT, United States 02-24-12
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    "The Best Dracula Audiobook Ever!"
    What made the experience of listening to Dracula the most enjoyable?

    All the seasoned actors and narrators.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Anyone Tim Curry plays will always be my favorite character. All the narrators do an excellent job.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    That they are all such season actors that listening to them makes you feels as though you are really there.


    If you could take any character from Dracula out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Tim Curry. Does one need a reason?


    Any additional comments?

    You can't go wrong with this audiobook. Simon Vance, Simon Prebble, Alan Cumming....honestly, could a book get any better than this. This is well worth the credit!

    25 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Clifton Hill, Australia 03-04-12
    Sam Clifton Hill, Australia 03-04-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Stunning - as fast a pace as any thriller of 2012"

    I have 220 titles in my library and this is in the top 10. Fantastic. Very well produced and having never read the original I was amazed at the pace and excitement of the story. Highly recommended!

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SomervilleWhereElse Somerville, MA 03-05-12
    SomervilleWhereElse Somerville, MA 03-05-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Chillingly well read"

    This story (very familiar to me) is so well performed by the artists reading it, that I cannot listen to it at night--it is simply too frightening. Good to be reminded of the power of Bram Stoker after years of other, lesser vampire books. Prepare to be scared--it's wonderful!

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 11-18-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 11-18-12 Member Since 2011

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

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    "Snares the Anxieties of Proto-modernist Age"

    I've listened to several different versions of Dracula and while I don't typically enjoy ensemble audiobooks, this Cummings/Curry version seems to be the way Dracula was meant to be enjoyed.

    Listened to this w/ the kids on the way to school for a month. I could probably write a whole piece on how Stoker's treatment of women ticked off my 10-year-old daughter. Mina Harker and Lucy's wedding fixation and Victorian helplessness drove my own little Emmeline nuts. My daughter also couldn't stand the whole: Mina was as 'smart as a man' attitude.

    Otherwise, Dracula is still a fascinating piece of gothic fiction that captures the anxieties and stresses of a proto-modernist age (sex, feminism, technology, scientific method, xenophobia, colonialism, etc).

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict Austin, Texas, USA 11-01-13
    AudioAddict Austin, Texas, USA 11-01-13 Member Since 2013

    I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Much better than I expected"

    STORY - (1897 horror classic) I'm not sure what I expected from Dracula but, nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised by the story itself and the quality of the writing. It begins in Count Dracula's castle in Transylvania, but most of the story occurs in London after he relocates there (more people to bite). There is very little violence, and this is definitely NOT a cheap horror thriller with tons of bloodlust and gore. It occurs during a time when the world was basically unaware of the existence of vampires, so it unfolds as an eerie mystery that the main characters are trying to solve.

    The story is elegantly written with an impressive vocabulary, and there is no cursing. Undoubtedly, in 1897 when this was written the subject matter was shocking and would have qualified as true horror, but in today's world I would rate it much lower on the horror scale. Don't get me wrong -- people are "turned," graves are opened, and there are stakes to drive through hearts -- but the focus is more on solving the mystery than lots of gratuitous gore. I would have rated it a 5, but I thought it was a little long and sometimes I lost interest before it would pick back up again.

    PERFORMANCE - Most of the story is conveyed by the reading of diaries of the main characters and telegrams between them. There are eight different narrators, with each one performing a different character. This is not done conversationally, but rather each one reads his character's diary in turn. This makes it easy to follow who is telling their story and very much enhances the overall performance.

    OVERALL - Even if you don't like vampire stories (as I don't), I think anyone would just enjoy this well-told mystery.. After all, this is a famous classic that spawned the whole vampire genre!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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