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)
Though I had read Bram Stoker's classic tale in high school, listening to the Audible production was an unexpected treat. The numerous film treatments of the subject that I have seen over the years did not detract from the pleasure of listening to the original, unabridged literary work as it was read to me. The images that the narrators' words formed in my mind were at times enhanced by the memory of Hollywood character actors' portrayal of Eastern European inn keepers or London's working class. In fact, many of those mental images were recalled in black and white, with an occasional and strategic splash of red. The world class cast of narrators made this a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience worth repeating time and time again.
Dracula by Bram Stocker is a wonderfully written, riveting story that holds up perfectly today. Alan Cumming is brilliant as usual, as is Tim Curry. I wish the narrator who portrayed Mina would have taken her cues from those great actors, who let the author's words be the stars. It is the words that show the reader/listener the character, not the narrator's bizarre idea of an accent. Alan Cumming never changes his accent when he is reading the speech of another character (though he has toned down his own Scottish accent for the entire reading). The narrator playing Mina reads the part of a man telling a story in the deep, gruff voice a child would use who was imitating a grownup. It's her interpretation of Van Helseling that is the most annoying. Suddenly this Dutchman is Russian, in an accent so thick its almost not understandable. So amateurish in what should have been the most professional of products. I couldn't wait for her parts to be over and fast-forwarded through many of them. That said, Alan Cumming, Tim Curry and most of the other narrators make this a must-listen.
I had a different version of Dracula, done quite well. I was drawn to this one for the sample of Tim Curry in my ears. The main narrator was just okay. The number of narrators doesn't equal more dramatic effect. Really absorbing story of a classic vampire.
Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?
Individual actors portray the characters and read from their respective character excerpts -- providing a rich and colorful storyline.
Jonathan Harker's Diary -- the beginning of the book captures you.
A rich and colorful language and deeply well read
The best so far.
My favorite character is Jonathan Harker, but Dr. Van Helsing is a close second.
The first chapter has quite a few good scenes with Harker in Dracula's castle. The scenes with Dr. Helsing talking of Dracula and his history is interesting as well.
The Sacred Wafer! Just kidding. That would be terrible. The beginning first chapter could be it's own mini story called Jonathan Harker's Diary. The first chapter is very possibly my favorite (partly do to the awesome narrator) so I could read and or listen to it by itself.
It was originally named the UN-DEAD, but I like Dracula far better then that.
The name just looks cool in red letters and is menacing in itself.
I don't think things like God's Unholy is better then the simply evil Dracula.
The full name of Dracula could be used for a book specifically about him in his younger years right before he become a vampire. Since Bram Stoker is long past deceased his great great (possibly more great) grandchild (I forget his name but he is also a writer and has written a sequel to Dracula,) could write it.
I really enjoyed the story. The way in which it is told (through letters, diaries, newspaper clippings, ship's logs) lends realism to the story and a kind of off kilt feeling to the events that gives a unique and observing experience.
I am not really a fan of horror, but I would suggest this to anyone looking for a good story well told and a new experience in storytelling.
Bram Stoker is one of many talented Irish Writers.
Dracula is known by many as his most remarkable work
Harry Turtledove fan
All the characters sounded the same accent
Maybe the narrator should listen to his own book before attempting to narrate another. Listen to Ray Porter Joe Ledger novels.
oh-ho-ho-ho! if you're tired of the glut of modern vampire literature, and want something to really sink your teeth into (har har), look no further. nobody sparkles here, vampires are not sexy-but-slightly-pale people from 1860-something, and there's no vampire politics.
what you will get is the slow, tortuous reveal of a true monster. everything about the count is properly horrible. no extra blood and gore are necessary. little details are painstakingly added up, the characters slowly work through the perplexing evidence, and even though we all know the answers, you can't help but be mesmerized. by the time you get a good solid look at Dracula your skin is probably crawling.
the many voiced narration worked well with the original format of the book: the different voices helped remind me who's diary entry / letter / etc I was listening to. (I personally found Lucy's narration to be a little tedious, but it's so thoroughly in character that maybe I just found Lucy tedious...).
I've made it through 40 years without having to read this story. but when i saw the cast on this (katherine kellgren is one of my favorite narrators) along with well known actors like tim curry and alan cummings, i was instantly curious. i know this is one of those books i'd have slogged through and hated every moment of it. but listening to them perform the story, i was hooked the entire way through. definitely the version to listen to if you want to experience dracula the way it should be experiened!
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
"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.
"In many way's great, in other ways not so great"
Alan Cumming's Dr Seward, and John Lee's (other persons) performances are great. I also enjoyed Simon Vance's Johnathan Harker. The whole thing comes together very well, with exception to only a few irritations.
Difficult to say, as most audio books I've heard have only one performer, or narrator. Being rather fond of John Lee, as a narrator, and with consideration to another 'classic,' a revenge masterpiece in this case, I would strongly recommend The Count of Monte Cristo. However, it's a very long, unabridged listen (50+ hrs), compared to this much shorter, unabridged audio book (c15hrs).
Alan Cumming's Dr Seward
I never do - always too many hours to sit through!
I wasn't terribly keen on the female parts of this particular narration. Perfectly clear, and well read, however the characterisation in no way appealed to me. I thought for a while that Mina Murray/Harker (Katy Kellgren) and Lucy Westenra (Susan Duerden) were performed by the same person, there being only minor character alterations between the two, regarding tone and voice. More discernibly different voice actors in this case would have helped this particular version enormously. Susan Duerden's 'Lucy,' of the two female performers in this case, was the most annoying.
"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.
"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.
"It's a cliche beater!"
The full cast narration was one of the best features of this audiobook. All accomplished and convincing audio actors, they do a great job of establishing empathy with the characters and creating a real sense of impulsion to the story. I expected cliched and over played 'horror' story. The reality was much more subtle and engaging. There was nothing not to like!
The most interesting aspect of the plot was the team of individuals that came together to bring Dracula down. Least interesting were the somewhat forced plugs given to the 'surprising' ability of a woman who masters both shorthand and typewriting to help her husband with his work!
The ghost ship sailing into port. Fabulous tension.
Yes. I went so far as to hire the DVD of the 1998 film. What a travesty! Camped up and totally unwatchable.
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
Twilight it's not. Thank goodness.
I had never read the book and my only knowledge of the story is the 1990 film starring Gary Oldman which I hadn't particularly enjoyed.
As is often the case the book is actually so much better. A tense and horrifying tale that had me on the edge of my seat throughout and shutting the window and checking under the bed at night!
Brought to life by an excellent cast, Tim Curry as Van Helsing stood out for me particularly although all the voice actors did an amazing job at building the tension.
"Will disturb your sleep"
As preparation for a project set in Whitby I downloaded Bram's Stoker's classic "Dracula' to as useful way of getting a feel for the place. This is a very unnerving story and rather than providing me with local colour on Whitby, the novel kept me awake for 3 nights as I became fixated with the plot and characters. It does not matter how many second rate horror movies have been made of this story, the original does not fail to chill. Stoker's detail and multi-vocal perspective seems innovative and designed to entrap the reader. Read with restraint and precision by an able cast, this is a must listen.
A brilliant performance of this wonderful book. How could it be otherwise with Tim Curry and the rest of the cast? Characterisation good and storytelling just too good to pause. Stoker at his quirky, articulate best.
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