The author did a great job combining historical figures with the prominent characters from Bram Stoker's Dracula (including Stoker himself). If the re..Show More »ader 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.
Better? No. But it is a great companion to the print version. The depth of the presented world forces me to constantly look things up if I'm using ..Show More »the print copy, but the audio version allows me to just enjoy the story for what it is.
a fun romp with the characters from anno Dracula... i know its not the last book in the series but if it did end here it would be a solid end. it was ..Show More »nice to revisit the people there and im curious to see where the next book may lead.
Just for the record, Audible has these mislabeled. This is actualy book 4. Book 3 is Dracula Cha Cha Cha. I tried to tell them, so maybe they've co..Show More »rrected this by the time you do a series search. Now the review...
Admittedly, I'm biased. This series, in my humble opinion, is one of the best reads I've ever laid eyes - or ears - upon. Looking back, I probably should have given more in-depth reviews of the other 3. After the wait and the self-perpetuating hype, I started out a bit disappointed with this one, mostly because it seemed so very different after the first 3. At first I chalked it up to the years between the stories. But then I realized the genius behind what Kim Newman was pulling, and the further it went, the better it got. Let me explain
The first 3 books are part of the alternate history known as the Wold Newton Universe, which is pretty much the mother of all crossover universes. Or to be more accurate, it's its own parallel version of that universe. Look it up - you'll either be amazed or overrun. I'd offer you a link, but Audible apparently frowns on that here (I tried!), so you'll have to rely on your Google Fu.
What Newman did with this one is interconnect a series of novellas (some from previous ideas he's put forth) and inject the whole thing with a large dose of metafiction. In the hands of anyone else, the stories contained herein would come across as cheesy and weak. Being of both the literary and movie worlds, this is basically like playing in Newman's backyard, and the level of verisimilitude he gives to this absolutely sells it. He proves yet again that he is a master of his craft.
But what makes it different than the other 3? Well... spoiler alert, Dracula was killed in book 3. Or was he? Newman knows as well or better than any of us that Dracula will live on forever in pop culture, and as a result there are different versions of him that don't line up with the classic story or with history. Enter Johnny Alucard. Building on concepts from the previous novels, Alucard is basically the Son of Dracula, but so much more than a cheap knock-off. This one has that certain something that made the original who he was - the drive, the hunger. Has Dracula truly been reborn through his progeny? But this one is an American, making him something far different than the Master might have expected. And from here, we're treated to subtle nods to different aspects of the character throughout pop culture, up to and including the Count from Sesame Street and several other off-the-wall incarnations most wouldn't even think about at one time. As I say, it would be wrong in the hands of anyone but Newman. Newman is just that awesome.
Along for the ride are Genevieve and Kate, who've been around since book 1 (and are found in different incarnations is Newman's other books). These two are two of my favorite characters now, and they are the real stars. It's through their eyes that we see not only pop culture unfold, but also get an understanding of the weight of what's transpiring. Their history and their personalities serve as ever-present connections to the past stories and keep us wanting more. To see how these immortals evolve, and how the alternate timeline evolves around them... it's just something you have to experience because Newman spins it in a way you won't find anywhere else. As I say, I'm biased.
For those not familiar with Wold Newton or not heavily immersed into yesteryear pop culture (and I do mean immersed), you will find a lot to enjoy about these books. For those who eat, drink, and sleep this stuff the way Newman does, you'll get a LOT more out of it. It's a pop culture scavenger hunt with more references than The Simpsons and Family Guy combined, and crafted in a way that it's not beating you over the head with it. Everything fits without being forced.
William Gaminara returns to narrate the series, and it's great to have him. He doesn't perhaps have the greatest voices for the leading ladies, but his strength of storytelling prowess makes you quickly forget that as Newman's tale comes to life. And he does a spot-on Orson Welles. That's hard to do properly.
All in all, a most welcome return by both Newman and Gaminara. It's great to have them back, it's great to have Gene Dee and Kate back, and it's a treat to have more stories in this universe. This volume is considerably goofier than the 3 previous versions, but it's hard not to love the geek-fest in these pages. Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here!
I actually requested this book for review by mistake, peeps. I've wanted to read Anno Dracula for a long time and thought this was the actual novel an..Show More »d not the collection of stories.
Oh, well. I did enjoy some of the stories, and I did get a feel for Kim Newman's writing which is very much a mix between Justin Cronin and Joe Hill.
So, the stories.
A bit of a drab reminiscence of a Martian's acting career. Not an auspicious start.
A DRUG ON THE MARKET
I got a kick out of this one, peeps. Someone revises Jekyll & Hyde's formula for the mass market with all the fun in the marketing and after effects.
ILLIMITABLE DOMINION & JUST LIKE EDDY
While I listened to both of these twice, I could not concentrate on the narrative it was so boring. Verdict: skip.
AMERIKANSKI DEATH AT THE MOSCOW MORGUE
Super creepy, trippy & entertaining. A fascinating concept of a world after the zombie apocalypse in the end of the 80s - beginning of the 90s in Moscow. I got another kick out of this one.
THE CHILL CLUTCH OF THE UNSEEN
30 Days of Night but the old guy in the chair is conversing with the monster instead. Boring.
ONE HIT WANDA
As in "one hit wonder", it's a fun story about a band with a cursed hit song which they can't stop singing.
IS THERE ANYBODY THERE?.
Another fabulous concept of a medium from 1920s trolled by a modern hacker, whom she entraps like a common spirit. Really entertaining.
This one left me confused. Either I missed something or wasn't clever enough to understand it.
RED JACKS WILD
One of my favorites, it's about a real Jack the Ripper hunting down his copycats. It was so good, I'd have loved to read a full novel about it.
SARAH MINDS THE DOG
It starts light and cute and quickly twists into something so much darker. It made me quite uncomfortable.
THE SNOW SCULPTURES OF XANADU & THE PALE SPIRIT PEOPLE
Not memorable at all. My mind kept wandering, and I could not understand the stories, especially the first one.
Awesome read. This was about a German Superman who worked with Nazis and is being interviewed years after by a monster hunter after the Wall collapsed. So freaking good.
Meh. Not worth the read.
Another meh. It was really tiring to listen to this one, and I'm sure the narrator didn't enjoy the mad recitation as well.
UNE ETRANGE AVENTURE DE RICHARD BLAINE
Another good story involving Nazis hunting monsters in Paris. Very atmospheric.
FRANKENSTEIN ON ICE
I loved the concept! It would have made a fab movie, and it reminded me of Justin Cronin the most.
YOKAI TOWN: ANNO DRACULA 1899
Now, this was a good introduction to the actual novel, which I now want to read. Vampires and samurai in the same script seem like a win-win scenario to me.
Overall, it's not a good collection. There are a few excellent stories hidden among average ones, which does not improve your reading/listening experience, - that's why my rating was pretty low. Choose for yourself if it's worth the read.