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)
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!
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
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.
I'm not going to compare it to other books, the style was unique to me.
Tim Curry's yes, much better this time.
The Evil Bloodsucker Must Die
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.
I love the BBC and British mysteries, but my tastes are very eclectic. I live with my husband and menagerie of rescued cats and dogs.
I would definitely recommend this book because of the incredible performances. I read the book several years ago and liked it, but listening to it...I LOVE it! If you've never read Dracula, this is the version you want; if you have read or listened to Dracula before, you still want THIS version. This is sure to be considered the definitive version of Dracula.
Mina Murray was a stand out character. As performed by Katherine Kellgren, Mina was a strong female character who managed to remain feminine. Further, Kellgren voiced the other characters in Mina's narratives very distinctively.
I was particularly struck by Renfield's characterization in this version. In the movie versions and even in my own reading, I had envisioned Renfield as a victim. In this version, Renfield is clearly a manipulative madman, quite creepy even before we find him influenced by Dracula. Looking back, I was surprised to see that no single person voiced Renfield because his character was so well-defined and cohesive across different narrators.
The cast of narrators is like a list of my own favorite narrators. Each one is so good at his or her job that this novel comes to life.
Audio books are growing. I have listened to books for months now, But I prefer my books in paperback/hardback format.
I'm a huge Dracula fan but I didnt like this book as much as I thought I would have. I guess I can say I like the movies better.
I'm a speaker at Odd Salon in San Francisco as well as an actor, singer and all around performing monkey. I am crazy about Frank Herbert!
I'm an adult Goth so Dracula has been in my community zeitgeist for a long time. I never got around to reading the actual book until this year. It was every bit as delicious and scary as I'd hoped and more. This production really brings it to life by voicing every scrap of correspondence and news clipping together with great actors the whole story really came alive. That combined with the Sleep Timer and I've been only too happy to be read to sleep each night by Alan Cumming and (God Bless him Tim Curry who is awesome as Van Helsing!) so bravo all around.
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
What can one say about one of the most influential books of all time? A book that one feels one has read due to the great amount it's been copied in one way or another by various authors, movies, radio shows etc. One can't accuse it of using over used plot devices that the book itself invented.
Honestly this book was very well written and would have felt completely modern if there had been a touch more action and a slight change to some of the dialogue. In fact the I felt if the final conflict with Dracula would have been much better with at least a little bit of fighting, but alas books written in the 1800's just didn't have the same amount of fighting that we are accustomed to today.
Different experiences, but definitely more entertaining.
Mina, because the actress read so well and did all the other dialects in a fascinating way.
I had no idea how enjoyable listening to an audio book could be until I listened to this title. I half-listened and half-read the book this time around, aided by Whispersync, which worked beautifully. I really enjoyed being able to listen in the car on the way to work right where I left off reading the night before.
And the performances on this title really amazed me! Listening to the actress who played Mina read in a Texas drawl when Quincy had dialogue was a true pleasure. And all the actors really did the same, bringing out all the character's voices in a unique way during dialogue. Van Helsing's lines were also a blast. The performance was magnificent, and the climax was read with such verve that I found myself at the edge of my seat in my car, hands gripping the steering wheel.
I recommend this performance to anyone. I've listened to two other titles using the whispersync, and this one is by far the best, though Alice in Wonderland was charming well.
The narrators made it so exciting, giving dynamics and personalities that made the story even more captivating.
The Dr read by Alan Cumming- There was so much dimension added by the narrator through the development of the horror in the story.
The performance was outstanding. The full cast of characters just the made the experience breathtaking. It was theatrical wonder!
There so many moving scenes, but the first glimpse of Harker's looming doom as he is being led up to Dracula's castle by the Count himself and Harker's description of the ominious scene of the castle, the moon, the wolves and the dreaded reaction and blessing from the locals on his journey up to meet his horrible destiny...I'm getting chills just thinking of it!
What a fanstastic reading of a classic.
"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!
"A wonderful production"
My third read of Dracula and first time on audible. Enjoyed this production more than my previous reads since the different actors reading the individual character journals made the story clear and less confusing. Such a professional production and well worth a listen.
"Good story several issues"
If I have major problems with a book I will not finish it. This is not bad. In fact it is good in many respects. However, even considering when the book was written I believe that when stoker refers to important developments early in the story he can't then ignore these later on. Also, if Dracula is a master tactician as he is referred several times he would not have made so many glaring errors in the face of his enemies. Having said this the narration is generally good and overall I enjoyed it.
Some god voice acting. Did feel that Mr Seward sounded a little bit sexually threatening.
"Beautiful story let down by performance"
Partly - the story is wonderful, and Dracula is one of my favourites from the Gothic genre. This audio book feels long and drawn out, let down by a very poor performance from a large part of its cast.
"Dracula" is a beautiful story, wonderfully written, and should lend itself perfectly for a dramatised narration such as this. However, this Audible version of the book is a mixed bag. Though some of the narrators were enjoyable (Jonathan Harker), I found others less fascinating (Dr. Seward) or even annoying (Lucy and Mina).
Mina's voice feels harsh and loud, whilst I always imagined her to have a kind and loving voice. Lucy's could have done with a warmer and deeper sound - the strangely girly and coquettish narration did not work at all for me, and I came to dread the parts where both Lucy and Mina were talking.
In the case of Dracula, the words are so over-dramatic at times, that when reading them in a very dramatic way, some of the power is lost. Underplaying the performance in parts, and giving a dryer reading would have done this audio-book adaptation a much better chance of succeeding.
"a classic brought to life."
found some of the voices annoying but overall enjoyed it. brought the book to life.
"A timeless masterpiece"
This is a timeless masterpiece that needs no introduction. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent quality of narration by a team of artists. Absolutely superb!
"A memorable classic!"
I will look back at my time reading this book and think fondly of it. It is very intriguing and mysterious. From only knowing Dracula from recent movies I did not know what to expect in terms of story.
The story was very enticing and I found myself constantly looking out for things which are associated with vampires, and speculating about what is going to happen next. The characters are very relatable and likeable and make you feel that this could really have happened. The story is a bit slow so if you are looking for action and excitement this may not be the book for you. However in the whole the story is very interesting, and is quite fulfilling once the whole book is read.
In terms of the narration it was very good however the only flaw is that I found it hard to differentiate between some characters as one of the narrators had the same voice for every character. Apart from that overall it was very good and the voices were easy to listen to and enjoyable.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has seen any movies about vampires or Dracula as it is great when piecing together the puzzle of vampire lore in your mind.
My first audio book in years, I loved the ease of being able to absorb the story while getting other things done. I enjoyed most of this book until around 3/4 of the way through. It seemed to me as though the book had been slowly simmering towards something which never quite materialised. The ending felt nothing short of a cop out; at best an ending which deserved more attention from the author, as the rest of the book received..
"Superb and Excellent"
I'd recommend it to everyone. A classic story performed brilliantly.
I loved all of it. It built and built to a superb and exciting climax, even though we all know how it ends already.
As good a performance as any I've heard.
All round excellent book and performance, despite the fact that Van Helsing seems to change his voice at the end.
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