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)2011 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)
That's a tough question to answer since it really depends on the reader/listener and their own personal preferences but for me the audio edition was far superior. I've spent many years picking up and putting down this book, hoping to finish it each time and failing miserably. With this audio edition I was finally able to finish it and understand why so many people (myself included now) loved it.
There were many memorable moments within this novel, some of them more exciting than others, but for me the scene that has stayed with me the longest is the news report of the doomed ship Demeter. It's chilling, not only because of its description but because you begin to realize that even if all the puzzle pieces are laid out for the characters, it's going to take a good while for anyone to make sense of them.
Dr. Seward as performed by Alan Cumming was easily my favorite. Not only was a good chunk of the novel told through his journal entries but Cumming's performance infused a sense of growing urgency that kept me coming back for more.
I might very well be in the minority in this but I have to admit that I found the first third of this book to be a bit dry and, at times, outright boring. Most of the action takes place later in the book with plenty of set-up leading the way and while normally I wouldn't mind I still found myself wondering whether or not skipping forward a bit would be a bad thing. Having listened to it all, however, I will say that while I'm glad I didn't skip the first time, I'll definitely be skipping parts on the next listen.
This is was first audiobook and so far my favorite. I have listened to some chapters over three time since.
I love how each character has their own voice. Chapter 7 was my favorite
Jonnathan. His experience in Dracula's castle
I wish I had gone into this with no knowledge of traditional vampire lore or Dracula himself. The storytelling is great. The performances of the multi-voice cast are also pretty excellent. I found this one hard to listen to, though, for some reason I can't explain. After about 15 minutes, my mind would wander. It felt kinda like the audial equivalent of a really dry book.
If you are looking for an audio version of Dracula do not pass this one by!!! In three years of downloading books from audible this is one of the best performances of a book that I have come across. The performers include some of the best in the business. It is an absolute treat to hear them narrate this great story. I purchased this book to excite my boys about classic literature. (They are ages 10 and 13.) This performance has more than done the job. My eldest used to Harry Potter and The Lightning Thief comments that this is one of the best books he has ever experienced. My youngest has been able to follow the story with enthusiasm even though some of the vocabulary is above his head. I believe the expressiveness of the performers lends a great deal to the understanding. We have sat spellbound for hours listening with the boys always begging for a few minutes more. The performance and brilliant story together are nothing less than thrilling. I cannot recommend this performance highly enough!
I found the book to be very well performed. However, even though I have previously read the book, I found it a bit harder to listen to than to read. I think because of the switching of characters, I had to concentrate a bit more on what was being said. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that since I tend to listen to books while doing other things, that the book pulled a little more focus than I would have liked. This is definitely a book for classic horror fans when they have some free time to do nothing but listen!
Looks like my protector dog.
Well, it depends. I am "a reader" so I always start with the book, usually. But there are certain books that are very much improved by listening. E.G. would you rather read Shakespeare or listen to an audio production? Would you rather read Alan Ginsberg or listen to him, in his own words. Enough said.
I would definitely read another book from Bram Stoker. Dracula is a masterpiece.
The narrators are another story. The male voice actors are fine. Some are great, others are OK. Unfortunately most of the material is read too fast, which takes away from the experience. The real problem are the female voice actors. They are simply unbearable. They read in an monotone drone that sounds like a flight attendant announcement and make the stupidest voices when they try to imitate men. I was incredibly excited to read this full cast version, but the female voice actors just ruined it all for me.
Whoever cast the female voices should be flogged. They are the worst narrators I ever heard so far. Whoever supervised this recording should also be flogged. Somebody should have told the narrators to slow down.
Having read Dracula over a couple of decades ago, I found this audiobook version both refreshing and authentic to Bram Stoker's original text. The stellar cast of narrators, especially Simon Vance as Jonathan Harker, is merely the sweet icing on the well-written cake. My only precautionary note is don't buy this on the much touted (and justified) talents of Alan Cumming and Tim Curry alone. They aren't in it as much as you might be led to believe.
The actors brought real action to the words. Their accents and tone all played a part in giving life to the characters. The story is read from the point of view of each journalist, who voice the other characters they are chronicling. This makes for some interesting interpretations by each of the actors and just made the story more engaging.
Van Helsing was my favorite character because he was astute and his thick accent made him sound similar to Dracula, which reflects how closely the two adversaries were matched in intellectual ability.
Tim Curry as Dr. Van Helsing was great! The multiple readers was very entertaining.
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