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 can respect and honor this book for the incredible impact it's had on horror as a whole, but in modern times the sweeping misogyny makes the book a bit difficult for me to enjoy personally. I also don't understand the choice to ignore or minimize Van Helsing's accent during parts of the narration. It makes his broken speech sound like the result of idiocy rather than the non-native speech that is intended. The final product is greater than the sum of its parts, however, and I did end up enjoying this book more than I expected to going in.
I loved the first part (Jonathan Harker's Journal)
I liked Van Helsing
Good, vivid and cool (Everyone but Lucy Westenra's voice)
The Vampire's King
It was quite annoying Lucy Westenra's voice when performed as the old man in Whitby
It was much better than any of the movies, a very detailed story just as Bram Stoker originally intended it to be. Having a cast of different people read each character made you feel like you were right there in the story as it happened.
The detailed ascent up to Dracula's castle in both the beginning and end of the story.
Every scene that each character had interacting with Dracula.
I would love to be able to listen to this entire book in one sitting and it would have been easy to do because of The progressive pace of the story, but 15 1/2 hours is a long time to sit for anything,
I was very surprised at what Dracula actually looked like and the Different powers and limitations he had in Bram Stokers book as compared to the movies.
assuming if you are listening to this you already love the story of Dracula, using a full cast for this classic tale was an excellent choice, it brought the story to life in exquisite detail. with a movie/Screen play you always lose some of the original work or the story changes. When you read a book you get the full story, when a full cast reads a book you get the story come alive to you and you can envision all the details of what is occurring and each person in turn, you loose the fact that is a book and it becomes real. this telling of Dracula does all those things. One of the best audible books I have listened too.
I loved hearing the different voices for each charcter. Since this was written as a journal it made it so much better of a listen.
When you find out about Lucy.
Having a different voice for each character.
Alan Cumming was great as the Doctor.
I wish Tim Curry would have read more but his part had small sections in the book.
Somehow I had made it through life without ever having read Dracula so I decided to give it a shot on a road trip to Oregon with my husband. Bad idea. Long, winding roads + Dracula = nodding off behind the wheel.
I was expecting something different (probably expectations that came through from horror movies and such), but the book was much different. Still great in its own right, but with a lot more discussion of a proper lady's marriage prospects than I had anticipated.
As for the audio, I found it odd that each actor had a different accent for Van Helsing. One made him sound Russian, another German, etc. Tim Curry got the Dutch correct for his own reading, but the inconsistency started to drive the linguist in me bonkers by the end.
I like Irish and Swedish crime thrillers and sociological exposes concerning African American life from Colonial times to the end of WWII. Recently I have taken a real liking to the works of Neal Stephenson and Fyodor Dostoevsky as well.
It's a nice retelling of Dracula but I just wished it could have made more of its full ensemble cast a la The Historian and His Dark Materials Trilogy i.e. each character's voice being performed by a different actor.
Jonathan Harker's account of Castle Dracula in the beginning. I was expecting MUCH MORE from Tim Curry as Van Helsing. He seemed to be a bit bored with the role. He read it quite slowly with none of the energy I have associated with the role.
Professional, Variety, but Limited
It is a movie and I have seen it. Coppola's was the best if not for the unnecessary love story.
If only each letter had assistance from each characters voice when they had a line, it would be better. Also, I thought Mina and Lucy's voices should have been switched.
This story is regarded as a classic book for good reason. It is well told, has interesting characters and the story moves eerily along to the conclusion.
This particular performance is spectacular. [Note: I've never read Dracula before nor seen any vampire movies but I love classic novels]
I listened to most of the book until about 2/3 through and then I switched to whisper sync to read for an hour. The amazing thing was that the characters voices read the text to me! The characters voices were inside my head. Then I switched back to the audio version to reach the conclusion.
The last chapter came when my family and I were camping. So I warily listened to chapter 24 sitting around the campfire (by myself!) in the dark looking at the stars. It was a magnificent way to end this novel. I was very sorry that it had ended.
Get this audible version now. You will love it. And if you can listen to it around a campfire I highly recommend it.
Read with the lights ON!
Suspenseful and action packed. It was a great ending! The vantage point from which the last scene was told was perfect!
The narration made this book! Simon Vance had me so terrified of Count Dracula and the castle that I had to open the blinds and windows to remind myself I was not in Transylvania! With out a doubt Alan Cumming had me hanging on every single word! Each narrator completely personified their character and brought them to life. I felt as though I was sitting around the fire with them sorting through diary entries.
I have read Dracula before and each time skimmed much of what I considered the boring and repetitive parts. The Audible version made me listen to all of the book. The women in Dracula take on a whole new dimension. A dimension I admittedly skimmed through when I read it. That alone is worth the listen.
I also found the repetitive parts of the book added another facet I hadn't felt before. As a reader you already know Dracula is a vampire. So you tend to become bored and say in your mind "Oh dear lord - yes he is undead, yes vampires exist - oh do hurry up and get to the action parts". By listening to Audible I was held back from racing through these parts and gave myself over to the characters as they try to come to terms with something that is simply out of their ability to really accept. If you don't believe in ghouls and goblins - witches and undead creatures - and even the concept of Heaven and Hell is more an abstract than part of daily thought - and then you start to believe maybe you have to kill someone you love in order to save both them and others from an undead reality how would you feel? The doubt that you are doing the right thing would be torment. I now see a lot of the repetitive parts as a more genuine coming to terms with what is happening than stories where the characters quickly come to accept something that to them should be inconceivable.
Audible changed they entire dynamic of the story. Loved it!
The narrators were excellent. Nothing but praise for all of them. They really brought the story alive.
Dracula himself. In both this book and many others that have followed you never really get to understand him. Brilliant man of his age. Brave, heroic among other descriptions. Yet you never really get to figure out what drives him. As this character starts to be explored he just simply slips into being a monster. I understand he has become a monster but there must me more than that behind the whole scheme.
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