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
"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)
Like all of you, I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors. I am currently listening to 'Cold Days' by Jim Butcher.
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.
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.
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.
William Gaminara was excellent. Book was dull.
Great voice changes. Good pacing.
Moments of good world building. But mostly tedious discussions.
There are much better books.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
A terrific premise. I'm still curious about other works by Kim Newman.
An interesting idea...London is now a night city, with a large number of vampires wandering around a city ruled by Queen Victoria and her new Prince Consort...a certain undead Wallachian prince, who arrived in England a scant few years ago. The story is populated with familiar names from Victorian-era history and fiction....Sherlock Holmes is in a prison camp somewhere, but his brother Mycroft is still sitting in his club and his foil Inspector Lestrade is on the case, and so on.
In this setting, someone starts killing vampiric ladies of the night (in the traditional sense of the term). Someone known as "Jack the Ripper." Against this, various groups seek to solve the case while dealing with political unrest and London deals with the brave new world of vampires and the "warm."
I found the story starting out slowly, but picked up as it went along. But the ending was somewhat predictable...I found it worth listening to, but I won't bother listening to it again.
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.
The way everything was tied together, so many famous and well known characters sewn in seemlessly. The way the world was set up and organized so naturally.
The author managed to make a type of vampire that includes all the sexiness and attraction that most people think of when they think vampire, but also managed to make them as horrible and terrifying as any other type of monster. Mysterious beauty? Check. Horrifying _thing_ with too many limbs or joints, Check!
He has a rare bombo of gifts: Perfectly done accents and he does women's voices really well. He was a delight to listen to.
"Victoria: Vampire Queen of England"
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