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)
There were no surprises in the story as I have read it many times. That said, it was a fabulous listen because it was so well performed. The narrators made the story fresh and kept me listening almost as though I didn't know what was going to happen. Well done Audible.
I really enjoyed this book. It was my second audio book and first experience with whisper sync kindle reading. The coordination between the two media was seemless, and it was great to go from reading to listening in the car or shower.
Based purely on the plot and my interest in vampire stories, I would have given this book 5 stars... but it suffers from the problem that I have with many classics... of lapsing into droning wordiness that doesn't really further the story. As it is, this story was pretty tight and well paced. I found any time Van Helsing was talking either directly or related by other characters, the story pacing slowed tremendously while he waxed on.
No. Could not get passes the first 30 mn. Something about the narator annoyed me.
Did not finish the book
The book had a story line which was the dracula story. Then the book totally changed, and was a lot of different letters with stories which weren't connected. It all got confusing so i dropped the book after 5 letters or so.
I started reading Dracula but couldn't get into it. I've often listened to books but I was determined to read this so I listened and read it at the same time. It was brilliant. I became engrossed in the story and had to restrain myself from staying up all night to finish it. I loved how there was a different narrator for each character's journal and enjoyed each actor's interpretation of how other characters sounded. The only narrator I didn't like was the girl who read Lucy Westenra's journal - I found her style of reading very irritating, however i gave the performance five stars because everyone else was fantastic.
I think I'll approach several other classics this way, by reading and listening - it was great.
Yes I think it is better because the changing of voices helps keep my attention and gives a additional sense of being there lets your imagination run free
The way they all pulled together
Von Healing and Nina
The professor always seems to be thinking one step ahead of everyone ells
This being one of my father's favorite books, I listened to it for his sake more than anything, not having very high expectations for the book itself, given that I don't really like any of the movies. However, I was pleasantly surprised. It starts out with a decent dose of suspense and is full of sensationalistic and lurid detail. The narrators handle the epistolary style very well, though I am not sure if I would have had the patience to read the full book with all of its repetitive detail on my own. Things start getting tedious after a while and the narrative gets bogged down with Victorian social conventions that don't advance the plot so much as stall it. Their vampire-prevention techniques seem a little clumsy but I must be charitable since they were, after all, in unchartered waters and all vampire-hunters since them have had the benefit of their experience. All and all, I'm glad I listened to it.
Enjoying life, sharing joy, and shaping compassion in each moment.
Having an excellent cast read this novel heightened the effect of the story. There were moments when the announcement of the chapter number set the tone for the chapter; Alan Cummings was the most prone to breathless delivery. It was, in some places, a distraction.
The cast had clearly done their homework, whenever a diary entry included quoted text from another character, the readers did an wonderful job of recreating the affect of the quoted character.
The use of a cast made this audiobook feel more like a radio play. Good choice of readers. Excellent story, well written and it holds up over time. There are elements, such as the unconscious sexism that could cause modern audiences to cringe, but for his time and place Bram Stoker has written, in Mina, a strong woman worthy of a modern heroine.
It's been so long since I read the novel, if, in fact, I ever did read it, that the story was fresh and frightening. Revisiting Bram Stoker's original text was revealing; the various movies based on the text or the characters in this story are mauled as directors and studios spin the book beyond recognition.
The original story and characters do not need to be reshaped. I think, in particular, of the disconnect between Dr. van Helsing as Bram Stoker wrote him and Van Helsing steampunked into an action figure by Stephen Sommers. The steampunk version is fun and shares nothing but a name with the doctor written by Stoker.
This is a wonderful listen and I would suggest it to everyone interested in horror, Dracula, or well-written, if dated, fiction.
Thankfully, the app I use on my iPad allows me to end the playback at the end of the current chapter. I tend to get caught up and listen or read well into te night, and more than once I've awoken, hours later, with the audio someplace strange and far along in the story (fortunately, I don't read in my sleep...unless it's an Ambien induced sleep, in which case I can, in appearance if not fact, read in my sleep).
A perfect audiobook to have in your fiction collection
I love fantasy and science fiction.
This is an excellent listen for any Dracula fan. I love how they got different voice actors to play all the parts. Made it that much more dynamic!
Couldn't put this down for a second! So great!
The book is very well written and well delivered by a talented cast of actors. No movie version compares to this production. I recommend this to anyone who likes a well written story presented by top notch actors.
My favorite is the ensemble cast: Mina Harker, Jonathan Harker, Dr. John Seward, Quincy Morris, and Dr. Van Helsing. You really like these people as the story develops and really hate to see the story end.
I really enjoyed Dr. Van Helsing's interactions with the group as they all learn about Dracula and how to pursue him. The character is full of charm, intelligence, and humor.
Yes; when Dr. Van Helsing realizes that Mina Harker should continue to be part of the group since her exceptional mind was necessary if they were going to capture Dracula. I never expected a novel written during the Victorian period would recognize thr intelligence of women and place them as an equal in the story. Good stuff.
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