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Anno Dracula: Book 1 | [Kim Newman]

Anno Dracula: Book 1

With the versatile voice talent of William Gaminara, acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London. It is 1888, and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel tells the story of vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and British spy Charles Beauregard as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.
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Publisher's Summary

With the versatile voice talent of William Gaminara, acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London. It is 1888, and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel tells the story of vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and British spy Charles Beauregard as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.

Anno Dracula is a rich and panoramic tale, combining horror, politics, mystery, and romance to create a unique and compelling alternate history.

©1992 Kim Newman (P)2011 Audible Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Kim Newman's Anno Dracula is back in print, and we must celebrate. It was the first mash-up of literature, history and vampires, and now, in a world in which vampires are everywhere, it's still the best, and its bite is just as sharp. Compulsory reading, commentary, and mindgame: glorious." (Neil Gaiman)

"Anno Dracula couldn't be more fun if Bram Stoker had scripted it for Hammer. It's a beautifully constructed Gothic epic that knocks almost every other vampire novel out for the count." (Christopher Fowler)

"Bloody excellent. Kim Newman has exsanguinated the best of fact and fiction and created a vivid vampirous Victorian world uniquely his own. This clever, delicious extravaganza - Hammer horror meets True (Blue) Blood - is just the tonic for the year of a Royal Wedding." (Stephen Volk)

"Anno Dracula is the smart, hip Year Zero of the vampire genre's ongoing revolution." (Paul McAuley)

"A tour de force which succeeds brilliantly." (The Times, London)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (110 )
5 star
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3.6 (101 )
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3.9 (98 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 05-28-12
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 05-28-12 Member Since 2008

    I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brillant!"

    I purchased this awhile ago and just got around to listening to it. Now, I am kicking myself for waiting so long. This book is not only a brilliant reinvention of the Dracula world but also an insightful reinvention of the Jack the Ripper story. Kim Newman uses language to its ultimate potential to create a rich Victorian environment. Each character has a fullness and depth that adds to the quality of the story without losing its energy flow. The narration is also wonderful. There are quite a few characters in this story, but William Gaminara is able to give them all unique voices. This is a must-read for paranormal fans.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia Bermuda Dunes, CA, United States 01-10-12
    Virginia Bermuda Dunes, CA, United States 01-10-12 Member Since 2002
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    "Fun combo of history with famous fiction"

    The author did a great job combining historical figures with the prominent characters from Bram Stoker's Dracula (including Stoker himself). If the reader is not very familiar with the story of Dracula or such personages as Queen Victoria, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Jack the Ripper, the book may be less enjoyable.

    The narrator was perfection. Don't be put off by the accented narrator in the clip that Audible offers - that's only the short preface.

    My only complaint was the ending, which seemed to come suddenly, as if the author was tired of the whole thing. Given the excitement of the denoument, which got all my attention, there were more interesting stories to come. And then it was over.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Eugene, OR, United States 12-18-12
    Alex Eugene, OR, United States 12-18-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Interesting premise, failed execution"

    The premise of this book contained a lot of promise, but there is no real development of the story. Everything just sort of happens, without any real development or, quite frankly, point to it. The constant "name dropping" of the author, inserting both real and fictional characters was over the top. In addition the justification for the changes to a Victorian society and the setting required to even try to make this story work fails to be believable. There are a large number of potential plot lines that begin and then either fade out or are terminated without culminating into anything. The end result is that I have the feeling the author was trying too hard to create something brilliant and never really settled on what, exactly, he was trying to do. Even the central plot of solving the "Jack the Ripper" murders really becomes secondary and fails to really develop into anything overly central to the story. To illustrate this, the characters "solve" the ripper murders and the book goes on for another 40-50 minutes.

    The narrator is good and does his best with the material so I'd be willing to listen to other books that he reads, but I'm definitely not going to pursue the sequel to this book, or likely anything else Kim Newman does.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah United States 10-26-13
    Sarah United States 10-26-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Great Potential, Confusing Execution"
    Any additional comments?

    I liked this book, but I'm giving it three stars. Why? Because, while the story was compelling and filled with references to Victorian literature and history reshaped by Dracula, I found it hard to follow. There are just way too many characters to keep track of. I listened to this on my iPhone, so perhaps it's easier to keep straight if you are actually reading the book, but I found myself going back several times trying to figure out which character's POV we were in and who belonged to what name (one character confusingly has two names he swaps back and forth - even in his own thoughts). I don't think it helps that the whole thing is written with a 3rd person omniscient narrator. I would also add that the story starts off kind of slowly. I found my thoughts drifting off frequently for the first hour or so of listening. Again, this may not be a problem if you are actually reading. In conclusion, I will definitely be giving the second installment of the Anno Dracula series a listen. I think the idea has a ton of potential and am hoping it will be seen through in book two.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Hanlon 09-17-12
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    "Boring, Boring, Boring"
    Would you try another book from Kim Newman and/or William Gaminara?

    William Gaminara was excellent. Book was dull.


    Has Anno Dracula turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    What does William Gaminara bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great voice changes. Good pacing.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Moments of good world building. But mostly tedious discussions.


    Any additional comments?

    There are much better books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 01-13-12
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 01-13-12 Member Since 2005
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    "very well done"
    Any additional comments?

    I thought Anno would be a nice diversion, but I found myself very enthralled by it. I wasn't expecting the combination of alternate history, vampire lore allusiveness, Jack the Ripper, and Victorian manners. If you have a knowledge of vampire lit you will pick up on the many allusions to famous stories. Sherlockiana, ditto. Ripperology, ditto. Victorian lit, ditto. Famous literary characters, historical figures blend and move together. Very entertaining.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LadyDucayn@aol.com 05-16-13 Member Since 2012

    For background, my favorite authors are George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Jacqueline Carey, Ken Follett, Bernard Cornwell, Kevin Hearne, Jim Butcher and Margaret George.

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    "Dracula meets Jack the Ripper"

    I read this book back when it was first published and have always had a fondness for it thanks to its different take on the Dracula tale as well as the spin of Jack the Ripper. I figured I would try the audio version of it and I wasn't disappointed.

    It isn't the best vampire tale I've ever read but I do like it a lot. I liked the alternate history the author created and I enjoyed the appearances of various people one would recognize from both reality and fiction.

    The narrator wasn't bad but at times when using accents it was a little hard to understand if you weren't paying attention.

    In the end it was worth the $5 I paid for it but I don't think I would continue the series because I had always felt this book was just fine as a standalone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen BLOOMINGTON, IL, United States 02-12-13
    Stephen BLOOMINGTON, IL, United States 02-12-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I tried"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I love the premise of the book, but just couldn't manage to make my way through it. The performance was fine, but gave up after repeated attempts.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


    Would you be willing to try another one of William Gaminara’s performances?

    Yes.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    A terrific premise. I'm still curious about other works by Kim Newman.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-31-12

    I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.

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    "Awesome Fun"
    Any additional comments?

    There's so much to love about this book. If you're not familiar with the idea beyond the Wold Newton Universe, this book is an excellent place to start. The more classic Victorian literature you're familiar with, the better this book gets, and more geek-out-loud moments there are. And if you don't know any of it, it doesn't stop you from enjoying a fun vampire adventure. Predictable? Certainly. But in a good way.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flavius Morro Bay, CA, United States 06-24-12
    Flavius Morro Bay, CA, United States 06-24-12 Member Since 2009
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    "The Mystery Behind the Mystery"

    Although the premise of this novel is the hunt for the mysterious Jack the Ripper, readers become acquainted with his true identity early on. The mystery in this clever and entertaining novel are the forces in play behind the scene.

    Anno Dracula started out slowly for me, and early on I thought it would probably be a "put down" (i.e., maybe I'll read it later). Fortunately however (and for this very reason), I try to give every book a shot, and this one rewarded me for it. It's a fast-paced, confusing (but in the way a mystery is supposed to confuse you; not bad writing), sometimes amusing, sometimes gory read.

    Newman sets up an 1880s London which is fairly plausible, if one first accepts that Queen Victoria has taken as her new consort, Dracula of Wallachia. Vampirism has become THE social distinction, with social-climbing "norms" scheming to become undead. The book is well-researched, blending history,literature and mythology so well that it's hard to distinguish them from one another. Newman has obviously taken inspiration from many other great vampire works from the Nineteenth Century to the present, and in a classy touch, he unobtrusively references them throughout the book. I'm sure I missed several.

    The narrator seems very well-suited to this genre & time-period.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Sara
    London, United Kingdom
    2/15/12
    Overall
    "Jack the Ripper meets Vlad the Impaler"

    With the premise of Count Dracula being married to Queen Victoria, and many other Victorian characters, real and fictional being present, I was expecting Anno Dracula to have some humour about it. Actually, it's not a funny book, and it doesn't need to be, because it's a really entertaining gothic crime mystery. The main story revolves around the pursuit of 'Jack the Ripper', with subplots revolving around relationships between the vampires and the 'warm', set in a period of change as England gets used to accepting vampires into high society, even preferring them, and making everyday decisions over whether to 'change' to get ahead in life - after all, immortality, acute senses and impressive strength can be useful.

    The dark setting of Victorian London is brilliantly depicted, as are the really graphic accounts of the murders, and visceral actions of the vampires. All of this gives a wonderful filmic quality, where the vivid imagery is quite horrible, and would be a challenge for the best special effects departments. The cameos from names you recognise serve to add colour, and allow you a rye smile as names like Oscar Wilde, Jekyll and Hyde, Dr Moreau and even Bram Stoker are all given a context. Brilliantly narrated by William Gaminara, who really captured the characterisation of upper class London.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Warwick, United Kingdom
    2/3/12
    Overall
    "Chilling, Thrilling and Blood-Spilling!"

    Think you know about Jack the Ripper? Kim Newman in his inimitable way weaves the dark tales of Dracula and London's first serial killer into a strange alternative thread of reality that sees the undead as social superiors, Queen Victoria married to the infamous Count and Fu Manchu in charge of the vicious underbelly of the capital's crime. Exquisite, erotic and enthralling this macabre tale is brilliantly read by William Gaminara and stands out as an unusual, shadowy and occasionally, horrifying gem. Highly recommended and hope to see the sequels added soon!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Adam
    East Grinstead, United Kingdom
    4/17/13
    Overall
    "Anno Dracula"

    I read this book many years ago and i must say i enjoyed it even more with William ( silent witness) Gaminara narration.

    It's an inventive slant on the Victorian period with many cameos from villians in that era. I so hope someone will make this into a mini series or better yet a film.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    Ballyclare, United Kingdom
    1/18/12
    Overall
    "Very enjoyable"

    I bought this after Professor Moriarty and the Hound of the Durbervilles, which was excellent.
    I didnt enjoy this one just as much but it is still very good and well worth the credit.
    The way the story is woven in with history and fictional characters from different stories is very skillful and I would recommend this author highly.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Karlis
    GB
    9/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Solid Enjoyable Fantasy Horror"

    I do enjoy a book that gives a good feel for the setting and world within which it occurs and this book does that.
    The idea behind the story is great to begin with but don't expect a classic horror style for this book, it is very much a modern style of story despite it being set in the past.
    The characters are likable and interesting, the amount of detail about supporting characters is enough without being too much and although it does seem to lose its focus towards the end it is well thought out and well structured to deliver an enjoyable story in an interesting reimagining of the world.
    The narration was very good, the accents fine and the pacing of the reading suited the situation therefore it is an easy to listen to solid recording of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cosima
    SOUTH CADBURY, United Kingdom
    8/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History Meets Hammer Horror With A Modern Twist"

    No idea what to expect when I chose this book, but was not disappointed.
    There are so many historic re-writes and characters brought into a strange and often disturbing world.
    I have since bought the next 2 in the series.
    They kind of remind of the best of the Hammer Horror films, with a very modern, slock horror twist on them. In places perverse an uncomfortable and in others pure horrific fiction.
    The narration is fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Susan
    HOVE, United Kingdom
    6/25/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No body does it better!!!!"
    What did you like most about Anno Dracula?

    No body does a fresh take on a familiar tale and characters than Kim Newman. Dracula, Queen Victoria, espoinage, the Diogonese Club, Jack the Ripper and a hunt to save Queen and Country from a dire fate..what isnt to like? Mullti-dimensional tale with depth and energy given to the characters and the story. Total escapism and very enjoyable. I would say this is, so far, the best and most anjoyable out of the "Anno Dracula" series.


    What other book might you compare Anno Dracula to, and why?

    Moriarty...also written by Kim Newman. Another excellent retelling of the old and familiar, making it fresh and new.


    What does William Gaminara bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Brilliant voices - clear narration which brings the book to life.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    all of it - stonking adrenalin fueled ending though...


    Any additional comments?

    Go on..do yourself a favour and use a credit. You wont be dissappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    SCARBOROUGH, United Kingdom
    6/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "BRILLIANT"

    AN EXCELLENT MIX OF FACT AND FICTION AS DRACULA IS COMBINED WITH THE JACK THE RIPPER SAGA, COMPLETE WITH A MIX OF OTHER REAL AND FICTIONAL CHARACTERS. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. WELL WORTH A LISTEN.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    United Kingdom
    4/19/13
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    Brilliantly put together, Bram Stoker himself could have penned a large portion of this one its that well written and is very gripping in places. William Gaminara brings the characters to life with their different voices. If you love the original Dracula novel you'll love this one, lots of well known characters roped in add interest and background. Well worth the credit, 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Winchester, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "An old theme well treated"

    This is an interesting exploration of how the book Dracula may have continued if Van Helsing's efforts had failed, and the what implications of profligate vampirism might have been on the London of the era.



    As in the best traditions of modern takes on the monster genre, the vampire is used effectively to magnify the obsessions, fears and power struggles of Victorian society. Humanity and inhumanity are displayed by vampire and 'warm' alike.



    There is plenty of action as well, and the story proceeds at a good pace. The narrative details make sense and work together to give the reader the strong feeling that events are building towards some inevitable confrontation.



    Many fictional personae of the era appear or are mentioned, and part of the fun of the book is in spotting them and enjoying Newman's treatment of how these lives might have been affected by this alternate history.



    The book is very well read and each character's dialogue distinctive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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