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.
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)2014 Audible, Inc.
"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)
This was quite a good listen and I had forgotten how different the actual novel was from all the film adaptations I have seen. My only issue with the novel was the mens' attitudes towards Mina and Lucy (that's just the time period) and the casting choice for Jonathan Harker (the voice actor sounded 20 years too old for the role).
My parents told me that my very first word was...BOOK! That was no surprise to me. I have always been surrounded by books.
This performance was excellent. I read the first half of this book on my New England autumn vacation in 2009, returned home to reality, and the book got lost somewhere in the shuffle. So, 6 years later, I started over again with both the Audible Audio and print versions of Dracula. (I used the print edition for its annotations as some of the terms or colloquialisms of the time were unfamiliar.) I was fascinated with "movie monsters" (i.e. Dracula, Frankenstein, The Werewolf, the Mummy) from a very young age, so I'm ashamed to say that I'm just now getting around to reading the literary works behind the scenes. Dracula was very atmospheric, very creepy, and incredibly well done. I now know the full story with all of its players, including the side story about the madman, Renfield. The book is oh-so-much better than any of the movies, as is often the case. (I will say that Nosferatu, the 1922 subtitled b/w movie, did capture the opening castle scenes rather well.) I'll make it a point to check out Stoker's other books.
it's interesting that certain classics don't show their age because they are the gold standard. Dickens and Hemingway will never be replaced, but this story has been surpassed by many modern novels. That doesn't mean that it's not entertaining, but I at least was not able to get fully engaged. This story didn't chill me, make me frightened or angry... just entertained.
I have listened to other audio versions of this book and this version is my favorite offering.
Written as a series of letters, memorandum, newspaper clippings, telegrams, diaries, and journals, the story of Dracula is told in a variety of voices. Therefore, this reading of the story, is greatly enhanced by each character receiving its own narrator and each narrator does an excellent job of bringing their character to life.
I've been a fan of Dracula since I first read the book at the early age of 11. It began a love of gothic horror that remains with me 25 years later. This work is not the first to tell the tale of the vampire, but it is the one that really shot vampires into the limelight and is still a reference for many tales of vampires told today. This tale is a must read for lovers of the genre.
I'm happy I experienced Dracula via the Audible version. It is a good story, but it's a slow story. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have finished the book if I had read it myself. The narration is amazing and made me really enjoy the story.
The White Mother Dragon
The book; I'm sure is amazing. I say that due to the fact that while listening, I actually fell asleep. I love all the readers, all so wonderful when they perform, but to listen to them read on wasn't what I thought it would be. I guess I'm not one for audible books.
Like watching the movie in your head. The performance of the readers was excellent. I wish Audible would continue this format with other horror classics such as Frankenstein and The Wolf Man.
The speaking cast was totally befitting the book! at first I was septic all that the book would be any good but it was beyond riviting! It's a masterpiece and it explains why the story lasted through the centuries.
The language of the book was so tedious to read that hearing it is much better.
I loved all the characters performances, save one. I didn't care for Lucy, she had the same sound to her voice and it definitely began to wear on my nerves. I loved Cummings role and Curry. I listened to the story for about 3 weeks while on my way to work daily, and now I miss hearing all the voices. It was like listening to an old friend.
"Frankenstein Assemblage From Anaemic All-Star Cast"
Very disappointed with this version of Dracula; I was looking to spend a credit wisely, but was regretting it within 30 mins. What could possibly go wrong? A stellar cast, the promised restitution of the horror and power missing in so many other productions, and all the 'campiness' and creepy music erased. For me, however, much of the narration seems decidedly lacklustre, rather careless even, lacking the much vaunted drive and tension in numerous sections: in short it seems to lack direction. To me, it seems not to have been directed at all but 'divvied up' and then reassembled. One of the female characters speaks throughout in the same simpering and numbing three-note cadence, while one character accent, from the North East of England sounds suspiciously as if modelled on Daphne out of 'Frasier'. Editing choices militate against any build in tension: pauses are chopped out, sentences butt up against each other as if there was a shortage of 'tape'. Wish I'd gone for one of the single narrator versions or the BBC dramatized version.
"Good, but some miscast voices and dull chapters"
The first half, full of the bizarre horrors of Dracula's castle and the slow build towards his journey to England, is great. Even after all these years, it's some really creepy and atmospheric text, which the cast do a very good job of conveying. Unfortunately, I thought that the second half could really drag on at times, with far too much time being spent on long, dull monologues about how lovely Mina is and how everyone loves her for being so lovely. The last couple of chapters seemed to be more concerned with train schedules and further discussion of Mina's loveliness, rather than building up to a satisfying climax.
The cast all does a very good at voicing the various journals, diaries, telegrams, and newspapers that make up the book, however the voice actor for Jonathan Harker sounds far too old for the part. I got used to this and accepted it because he was a great narrator, yet it still felt like an odd bit of casting. Also, you see "Tim Curry as Van Helsing" and think about all the great speeches that Van Helsing has, right? Well, Tim Curry doesn't actually say any of them! I would guess that over half of Van Helsing's dialogue is written in Mina's diary, which means that Mina's actress is the one who has to speak them with a not-quite-the-same-accent-Tim-Curry-is-doing accent. I can't blame the casting for this and the actress is a good enough narrator that you just get used to it, but it's still very disappointing that Curry isn't really given anything interesting to work with.
The actress foorr. Luu-see. Has a strange-lee hypnotic waay. Of taalk-iing. I doe-n't knooww hooww. Best tooo. Des-cribe iit.
To be fair, I think she's just overdoing the "sweet and delicate" voice early in the story, because she does sound much more natural later on and actually gives a very touching performance by the end. The rest of the cast are far more consistent and I have to give credit to the actress for Mina, because her many chapters include a lot of different characters and she does a great job of managing all of them (except for what I think was meant to be a Yorkshire accent that she tries to do for a character early on, which was absolutely terrible). Also, Alan Cumming deserves top billing for Dr Steward, as his chapters tended to be the highlights.
Talk like Lucy in public places and then get asked to leave by very concerned staff.
"Didn't live up to hype :("
First few chapters blew me away, then the different characters began and brought it to a grinding stop. couldn't finish it I'm afraid.
Oh God Yes!
It is beautifully true to the original. Their was a sense of the times delivered in the performances. The atmosphere was also deliciously conveyed in the audio background.
The nature of the book is too have many perspectives and each of the narrators/actors was wonderful in their delivery. It is also very refreshing and dynamic to have the different voices journey you through the story.
This is a classic that will be revisited several times in my life.
"Well worth listening to"
Everyone has heard of Dracula. Everyone has seen at least one film, But how many people have bothered with the original book?
This a great retelling of the original with the cast delivering excellent performances. There are some genuinely creepy elements to the book which explains why it grabbed the imagination, However, I also found the character of Lucy irritating which does take away a bit from the story, However I would recommend that you try this if you want to find out what the fuss is about and why it is a classic
"Classic horror with multiple voices"
The basic story of Dracula is probably familiar to most, but it is the central concept that stays longest in the mind after reading/listening. To be fair the plot loses steam at various moments and the characters are fairly flat, but the vampire and Transylvania as a setting have had so much impact on Twentieth Century culture that this book needs to read by everyone at least once just to see where it all came from. And I can't think of a better way to do that than listening to this audio-book. The book is narrated by various voices, so likewise this audio-book is read by a different narrator for each character, such as Alan Cumming for Seward and Time Curry as Van Helsing. This works very well, the multiple voices really adding something extra to sustain interest - this really is one of the most enjoyable audio-books I have listened to: A massively influential book read very well - highly recommended.
"Horror well done."
I love Bram Stokers "Dracula" of which I have many audiobook versions. Personally I find the multiple cast members bring a whole new world to the characters and story pace, rather than a lone narrator. Some of the accents and pronunciations are a little off, but I like the quirkiness and professionalism of this audiobook.
"One annoying voice (which luckily stops)"
You shouldn't cheer for someone's death, but one voice is so grating you end up doing so. I won't mention because I don't want to spoil, but thank God that character bites the dust just to not have to listen to the awkward, forced inflection at the end of every sentence!
"Kallgren lowers the rating"
They need to stop using her for English women. It's uncomfortable to listen to and such a shame as I love this book and the rest of the cast do so well. I toyed with giving up, as I have done with previous books she's narrated, but Cumming and Curry are just so good. Really is a shame about Kallgren, I'm sure she's a great narrator when tackling accents closer to her own. But these are just so painfully forced.
An enthralling adaptation of what could have been a very complex book. the original is a classic but also betrays it's age and period.
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