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)
The story is incredibly interesting ... and the cast truly brought it to life (even for Count Dracula himself). I actually looked forward to my long commute so I could continue listening!
This is one of my favorite books. And this is the best audio recording I've ever come across. The many and varied emotions the characters feel come alive as you listen.
If you've never read Dracula, be warned; in this story the vampire really is evil! (no such thing as redeeming qualities here)
The writing can be melodramatic and florid at times but I don't mind because I came to love the characters, to identify with them, and take their quest as my own.
The way Bram Stoker tells the story, using diaries and letters, gives you the sense that this could be real. While the multiple narrators gives substance and life to the individual voices. Again I say: Awesome!
This is the classic vampire story, which I read for the first time in Jr. High.
The audio version with the voice actors for each character brought the book to life in a fantastic new way!
If you are interested in vampires, vampire stories, or vampire history at all - this book is where it all started!
The voice actors for each character added a great deal to the flow, and coherency of the story where simply reading from entry to entry may have lost the reader as to which character we were hearing from.
An ensemble cast of performers truly brought the story to life. The diaries of Seward and Harker were impeccably filled with emotion. I have read Dracula many times but listening to it opened up a whole new dimension to the story.
I am new to audiobooks so can't fairly compare similarities in performances, but as far as subject, other late 19th century literature stack up well: Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, etc. The two mentioned are in my Audible queue. Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot is a more contemporary on the "true" vampire genre.
At mentioned above, Seward and Harker's journals are eloquently performed for the reader. I'm not sure who performed either but both were perfect. In fact, most of the cast brought so much more to the story, proving they are themselves outstanding performers and that Stoker's literary prowess was monumental as well.
The only caveat is Tim Curry. With his and Cumming's name attached to this I jumped at its purchase, both being favorites in film. However, Curry's performance reading the journal of Abraham VanHelsing felt flat and emotionless. With the amazing performance of everyone else, this was more of an ear-sore than normal, particularly since the other performers reading quotes from the professor from other character's diaries made the character robust and lively. Curry used little inflection and sounded as if reading from one's journal.
All the highlights of the story, which I don't wish to spoil, were accented well enough to pique emotion. The trials Lucy endured; Harker in Transylvania; the continuing resilience of the group of friends culminating in the chase and climax with the count. Such emotion in every turn of the story such as the devotion all had to one another, the iron will of VanHelsing, and the most unsung of them all, Quincy Morris. Ian Fleming once wrote, as James Bond: "I've not met many good men from America. But the ones I have came from Texas." No truer sentiment than with Quincy. He's a fringe main character whose journey with his friends through the story was so more rich than I can recall in any other telling, even a personal reading of the book.
mine will not download if anyone can help please write a review that answers this one. :)
Great listen - I couldn't turn it off.
The performance was great and it was a nice change of pace to have several narators. The story of course is a classic. Worth the listen.
Use of different voices
Van Helsing - loved his accent
When Johnathan gets waylaid by the three female vampires
one of the best
different narrators for different characters
A film has already been made...Bram Stoker's Dracula.
This is a classic story made better through narration.
I am a Company Rep in Central Qld. I travel around 60,000klms a year and rely on my Audiobooks to keep me company on my Country Trips!
I cannot recall reading this when I was a youngster! Listening to this Audiobook brought all the emotion of the story to life. Strong character portrayals by the cast made this a thoroughly enjoyable listen!
I'd recommend this audiobook to friends, in fact, I have. I really like the narrator's voice.
I "bought" the Kindle book for $0.00 (free) and got this audiobook for free after "buying" the Kindle book. I wanted to test the new Whispersync for Voice, and it's great. You buy the Kindle book first, then buy the Audible version at a discounted price. It gets better! You can start reading the e-book or start listening to the audiobook. When you stop, the place you stopped reading or listening will sync to the other device, so you can start listening or reading where you stopped. I started reading on my Kindle. Then, I was able to open the Audible app on my droid phone and start listening to the story where I had left off reading. I have checked out other books with Whispersync for Voice Kindle/Audible matches, and for less than the price of the audiobook alone, you can frequently get the e-book and audiobook. This is a stroke of genious. I love that the two versions of the book are linked and discounted when bought together. I just hope they keep the prices down as they are great right now. Great job, Amazon/Audible!
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