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Dracula [Audible Edition] cover art

Dracula [Audible Edition]

By: Bram Stoker
Narrated by: Alan Cumming,Tim Curry,Simon Vance,Katherine Kellgren,Susan Duerden,John Lee,Graeme Malcolm,Steven Crossley
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Editor reviews

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.

Using Bram Stoker’s original epistolary (letters) and diary structure and a multi-voiced cast of talented and well-known actors, the Audible Studios edition of Dracula is a real treat and has won two Audie Awards. The vampire Count Dracula, having fallen in love with Jonathan Harker’s fiancée, Mina, follows him from Transylvania to England, leaving a swath of dead bodies in his wake, their blood sucked dry. The all-star cast of this thrilling audiobook includes Alan Cumming as Dr Seward, Tim Curry as Van Helsing and Simon Vance as Harker.

Summary

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.

Critic reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Dracula [Audible Edition]

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good, but some miscast voices and dull chapters

What did you like best about Dracula [Audible Edition]? What did you like least?

The first half, full of the bizarre horrors of Dracula's castle and the slow build towards his journey to England, is great. Even after all these years, it's some really creepy and atmospheric text, which the cast do a very good job of conveying. Unfortunately, I thought that the second half could really drag on at times, with far too much time being spent on long, dull monologues about how lovely Mina is and how everyone loves her for being so lovely. The last couple of chapters seemed to be more concerned with train schedules and further discussion of Mina's loveliness, rather than building up to a satisfying climax.

The cast all does a very good at voicing the various journals, diaries, telegrams, and newspapers that make up the book, however the voice actor for Jonathan Harker sounds far too old for the part. I got used to this and accepted it because he was a great narrator, yet it still felt like an odd bit of casting. Also, you see "Tim Curry as Van Helsing" and think about all the great speeches that Van Helsing has, right? Well, Tim Curry doesn't actually say any of them! I would guess that over half of Van Helsing's dialogue is written in Mina's diary, which means that Mina's actress is the one who has to speak them with a not-quite-the-same-accent-Tim-Curry-is-doing accent. I can't blame the casting for this and the actress is a good enough narrator that you just get used to it, but it's still very disappointing that Curry isn't really given anything interesting to work with.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

The actress foorr. Luu-see. Has a strange-lee hypnotic waay. Of taalk-iing. I doe-n't knooww hooww. Best tooo. Des-cribe iit.

To be fair, I think she's just overdoing the "sweet and delicate" voice early in the story, because she does sound much more natural later on and actually gives a very touching performance by the end. The rest of the cast are far more consistent and I have to give credit to the actress for Mina, because her many chapters include a lot of different characters and she does a great job of managing all of them (except for what I think was meant to be a Yorkshire accent that she tries to do for a character early on, which was absolutely terrible). Also, Alan Cumming deserves top billing for Dr Steward, as his chapters tended to be the highlights.

Did Dracula [Audible Edition] inspire you to do anything?

Talk like Lucy in public places and then get asked to leave by very concerned staff.

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65 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Kallgren lowers the rating

They need to stop using her for English women. It's uncomfortable to listen to and such a shame as I love this book and the rest of the cast do so well. I toyed with giving up, as I have done with previous books she's narrated, but Cumming and Curry are just so good. Really is a shame about Kallgren, I'm sure she's a great narrator when tackling accents closer to her own. But these are just so painfully forced.

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49 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

awful accents almost ruined a classic

Most of the book is narrated well but either Katherine or Susan attempts some accents and the outcome is truly awful, A Seaman sounds more like a Rastafarian and Van Helsings voice is insanely bad especially compared to the other narrators Van Helsing.

Dracula deserves better.

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19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One annoying voice (which luckily stops)

You shouldn't cheer for someone's death, but one voice is so grating you end up doing so. I won't mention because I don't want to spoil, but thank God that character bites the dust just to not have to listen to the awkward, forced inflection at the end of every sentence!

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17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D
  • 07-07-14

Classically wonderful

Would you listen to Dracula [Audible Edition] again? Why?

Oh God Yes!

What did you like best about this story?

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.

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

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.

Any additional comments?

This is a classic that will be revisited several times in my life.

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13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Such a shame

I love the story of Dracula but my goodness the poor and honestly painful voices of Mina and Lucy made me want to stick sharp objects in my ears! So so awful it completely put me off. So montone and without feeling. Couldn’t even finish it. Shame because Jonathan Harker was so good!

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love vampires

great book, love this story. very well narrated. it was a pleasure to listen to.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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

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8 people found this helpful