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)
Loved it. Great story and performances. I would highly recommended this. It was great to experience the whole story.
This book is boring. The writing is bad, I would say excruciatingly bad. I do not think it is simply because it is an old book. The Count of Monte Cristo was written about the same time, I believe. That book doesn't have a dull moment. Don Quixote was published in 1605, and it reads like a gem even in translation. The writing in this book is bad, the characters flat and the descriptions overly detailed. The format (diary entries) just does not work with every moment of every single day recorded in perfect detail.
A not about the narration - while I liked the other voices, Lucy was always speaking in a sort of whisper, like a girl too good to be true. It does get very annoying very quickly.
Ok so Dracula is a classic book but its a classic book in the sense that Emma and Sense and Sensibility are classic books. If you are into that type of long winded conversation and old school manners then this will be perfect. A very strong start and end but lags a lot in the middle. That said it was a book ahead of its time and I did very much enjoy many parts of it.
Very entertaining right down to the last word. The narrators were on point.
Well done Audible!
"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.
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
"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.
"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.
An enthralling adaptation of what could have been a very complex book. the original is a classic but also betrays it's age and period.
"Superbly accurate and atmospheric"
A great production of a great work. Very highly recommended. Yes it is written in a style where the book is made up of segments of diaries and letters, this is how Stoker wrote it! Buy it and enjoy.
"I love vampires"
great book, love this story. very well narrated. it was a pleasure to listen to.
"Slightly Disappointing Casting Of Some Characters"
I don't know which actors played Jonathan and Mina, but both voices felt wrong for the parts. Jonathan sounds too old for the part, I just couldn't picture the voice matching the character. Mina's voice is a bit harsh, it ground on me after a short while.
I would listen to other books narrated by some of the cast. Alan Cumming and Tim Curry did a fine job especially... although none really shone to be honest.
It's a great book, so always worth the time to listen. I think there could be a better full cast version though... and I've heard another great version read by Rob Goll.
"Original story that the films have yet to beat"
Definitely, if you've not read the book then you've probably been lead up a garden path in terms of what Stoker imagined, the films have never done the book justice.
The book is constructed from a series of journals and diary entries of the main characters rather than a continuous 3rd person narrative. sounds like a laborious way to grasp a story but is a great tool for building tension.
The cast did an excellent job in bringing the story to life, much better than if the entire book had been read by a single narrator doing voices!
Not really that kind of book, did give me the creeps at points, which was a surprise given that the genre of horror hadn't really been fully fleshed out when it was written
Well worth a listen, especially if you've picked up and put down the actual book a few times.
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