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Audible 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.

Publisher's 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.

What the critics say

"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)

Featured Article: 20 Best Celebrity Audiobooks for Storytelling by the Stars

What do you get when you pair literary classics with expert narrative talents? A listening experience like none other. Enjoy your favourite titles brought to you by top A list actors and actresses. From expert narration to full-cast readings, these celebrity Audible titles pull out all the stops. We’ve compiled a list of some of the 20 best celebrity audiobooks narrated by some of your most beloved famous actors. Enjoy the tales you know and love read by acclaimed celebrity audiobook narrators that put their own personal spin on these classic tales.

What listeners say about Dracula [Audible Edition]

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Narration is hit and miss

I love this book. It’s a timeless story that sparks the imagination of readers (and listeners). I was excited to listen to this version because of the full cast of voice actors. The actors they chose are excellent, adding emotion and passion to the story.

However, I am very disappointed in how they used the voice actors. The book is a collection of letters, diary entries, newspaper articles, etc. They chose only to have unique actors for the authors of said writings. So, for example, there is no voice actor for Dracula because of course Dracula never wrote anything himself. When Dracula speaks its one of the other actors speaking in an attempted Transylvanian accent. Very annoying. It’s gets even more annoying when one voice actor imitates the voice of another actor. For example, when Mina is quoting Van Helsing, the female voice actor speaks in an attempted deep Dutch accent. What the hell? Why would they not use the Van Helsing actor? By the end of the book I was thoroughly annoyed by this. Thankfully the story is good enough to get through it.

4 people found this helpful

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Classic literature done very well.

Enjoyable start to finish, this version retained the classic charm of Dracula through and through.

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

loved readind this book, but its made brilliant by Audible. highly recommended. And i think i will listen to it again and again. classic ❤

2 people found this helpful

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The best Dracula out there!

This reading of Dracula is engaging, dynamic, and a joy to listen to. Not only is the cast top notch, but having each character represented by a different voice actor keeps it from getting stale. Each actor brings such colour to their character (and their character’s impression of the others). I honestly couldn’t stop listening and finished it within days.

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful recording!

Dracula is one of my favourite books, and this recording really does do it justice. The voice actors are wonderful. I recommend it most highly!

1 person found this helpful

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Difficult to follow

I listen to many audio books. This one is not a traditional novel. I found this book difficult to follow. Did not like it at all . With all the different voices , it was like watching TV with only the sound, without the picture.

1 person found this helpful

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What's to say.

It's a classic that everyone should experience, casting couldn't have been better. Just great in every way.

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Dracula is pretty good

It's a classic for a reason but boy can it be boring at times. For every scene you get that's chilling and mystifying, you get another that's full of one man writing about how another man interviewed another man about the whereabouts of another man who maybe saw Count Dracula. The presentation of the entire narrative by way of notes, letters, and transcriptions gave a sense of wonder to each chapter. This character obviously survived the experience depicted in the scene, but would they ever write again? Do they die immediately following it? You can never be sure. The voice cast of the audibook is stellar, all the different accents with each character narrating their own writings really draws you in and compels you. Alan Cumming has Dr. Seward was probably my favourite, though I did enjoy Katy Kellgren as Mina Murray/Harker very much as well. Dracula is, of course, a product of its time, and 'problematic' or dated. The idea of the vampire could be traced to antisemitism and fears of immigration at the time. Women are treated like objects to be posses for the Count, but most of the book too is spent with our protagonists being brave men who are defined by their willingness to protect the women in their life- and the women will go at lengths to describe just how inferior and lesser they are to the men. The ending, too, is a pain. I sit and see that there is half an hour left in the audibook... and it feels nowhere close to the end? It is so abrupt, with nothing but a paragraph of falling action afterwards. It's almost cheap! Like the novel is unfinished! Of course that is not the cast, and what more could characters write about their experience to be captured in letters when there is none left to talk about? More story would not make sense given the style the novel is presented it. But still it cheapens it. Overall... it's Dracula! It's a classic! Most of what bores or irks me are things that would not have had anyone bat an eye when the book was written, or are staple elements of the 'vampire' genre that owe so much of their identity to this book in particular. It's a good book. It's a fantastic audibook experience to listen to. And while it won't make the list of my favourite all-time books it definitely earns its place as a classic that's definitely worth checking out.

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Better Than Most of The Vampire Movies

Having never read the original novel, it was thoroughly enjoyable to have it narrated to me. I found myself totally absorbed in the descriptions and scenes that developed much more so than the “Schlock/Shock” versions in movies that have been presented to us over the years. Detailed descriptions add so much more to the imagination(as do all good books) than just having the same old Blah, Blah, Blah !
Just as a follow up, I decided to watch Francis Ford Coppola’s “Dracula” and was surprised as to how he stuck to so much of the details although I thought Keanu Reeves and Wynona Ryder’s roles to be a bit weak. I guess that was just Coppola’s riding the young wave of the time.

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The movie is better.

One of the rare times where I preferred the movie over the book.
Having visuals with the letters was better...also Gary Oldman is a boss!
I swear that dude can play anything!!!

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  • Nicole
  • 2014-08-15

Mina: A Heroine for the Ages

Insomnia is my thing lately. Don’t sleep; stay up forever. Might as well write, right? So here it is, a book review. I know you’ve been dying for it, and I gotta say, I’ve been dying to write it.

Dracula was one of those books that I pretended to read in high school and then glossed over in college. Horror isn’t really my thing (Although Stephen King is probably one of my favorite writers ever. His genre of choice is unfortunate). Recently, I decided that I wanted to read more classics and so I bought a few on Audible. Audible is the bomb.

They had an Audible Studios edition of Dracula narrated by a full cast and oh, my. It was perfection. Alan Cumming was Dr. Seward. Katherine Kellgren was Mina Harker, Simon Vance was Jonathan Harker, and Tim Curry was Dr. Van Helsing. The narration was spot on. The narrator who did the voice of Lucy was irritating (her name escapes me at the moment), so I found Lucy irritating, but I think I would have anyway. Audible did a terrific job producing this.

The story is told in a series of diary entries, letters, and telegrams (the official word for those are epistolary novels, fyi). I didn’t know that before, or I might have read it sooner. I have an affinity for stories told in this manner. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of my favorites for that exact reason. It credibly shows what each character was thinking or feeling without putting the reader in the omniscient perspective. It was perfect for the chilling story which was told.

The plot differed widely from the Dracula I had come to know through popular culture. Dracula is truly creepy and super old. He’s not redeemable, not good, but pure evil. And ridiculously smart. This isn’t Frankenstein’s monster or some mindless Edward-like vamp. This is a genius who pits his wits against a motley crew of Britain’s finest.

Dr. Van Helsing is also brilliant, but definitely needs the help of his little band.

The story starts with Jonathan visiting Dracula’s castle and realizing what he is. It’s very creepy and I had to stop listening for a time so I could reasonably get over it. Then Lucy becomes a vampire and thus the Band of Awesome is born. That’s just the title I gave them in my head. You’ve got Arthur, Lucy’s former fiancé. He’s a bit squeamish, but willing to undergo any trial to pay Dracula back for changing his darling girl. Then there are her two other suitors who were rejected: Dr. Seward (my personal favorite), and Quincy. Seward runs an asylum and Quincy is an American Cowboy. I love that Americans are represented in this tale. Seward calls Van Helsing, who knows more about Lucy’s “disease”, to help heal her. However, they fail and she is transformed into a child-eating vamp. Then Jonathan and Mina join the group as they discover they have all endured similar circumstances and that a grave danger faces England should Dracula move to London, as is his intent.

I have to say, Bram Stoker wrote women rather well for a man of his time. Wilhelmina is no delicate flower in need of rescuing. She is rescued, but she’s strong and contributes to her salvation by keeping spirits high and organizing all the information and, in the end, going with Van Helsing to Transylvania. I admire her relationship with Jonathan so much. He trusts her to do her own thing and respects her strength, mentally, emotionally, and morally. And she loves and respects him and his passion for his work. She wants to be a part of his life and he wants to be a part of hers. It’s a really awesome relationship. They are basically the perfect couple and were it not for the pesky vampire they would have had a delightful life.

I don’t want to tell all that happens because I enjoyed listening to it so much. Even if you’ve read it before, the Audible version is golden; you should go listen to it. It’s intense and beautiful. It’s intensely beautiful. This book is definitely on my favorites list.

107 people found this helpful

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  • Angel Toribio
  • 2018-10-23

Not what i anticipated but great just the same.

This isn't your average First Person or Third person novel. instead It takes the form of multiple different characters' journal entries. This could have been confusing in Audio-book form but Audible took care of that by bringing on a full cast of narrators. Now while that does make the separate journals easier to follow, it presents a problem. Occasionally, different characters (narrators) will quote different characters other than their own. (narrators will do impression of other characters.) at these times it becomes clear that the various narrators all recorded their lines separately. So it can become a little confusing early on when Person A and Person Bare both quoting Van Helsing, but sound nothing alike.

The book itself is very entertaining and can get plenty spooky. give it a shot.

18 people found this helpful

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  • WickedGoodYarn
  • 2012-03-11

Well Read, Throughly Enjoyable!

Would you consider the audio edition of Dracula to be better than the print version?

I feel the audio version makes the characters truly alive!!! When I read a book, I

What did you like best about this story?

Alan Cumming's Dr. Seward and Katherine Kellgren's portrayal of Mina Harker.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

They brought this characters to life. I felt I was experiencing the story first hand with all it's horror and nuances.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I listen in my car because my commute is long. I had to force myself to turn off the car and get into work. I didn't want to stop listening!!!

65 people found this helpful

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  • Janice
  • 2013-08-26

Back to basics

I am one of many who have only known the infamous Count through Hollywood productions. Horror has never been my favorite genre, and I found Bela Lugosi too campy, and Gary Oldman too bizarre for either to be very frightening. The only motivation I had to even select this book was my admiration of most of the fine cast and the rave reviews for a classic. A majority of reviewers have already praised the reading, and I will simply say that I concur.

What made this an outstanding story to me is that the count is NOT the central character. The mistake the films made was in making the best written characters mere supporting players to the count whom we see the least of. The power of Dracula is his lack of physical presence – half the thrill is the anticipation, and Stoker plays that card better than the film makers ever did. His tale is robust with the superstitions and beliefs of the day, whether religious, medical, psychological, criminal or supernatural, giving it a wonderful period feeling. There is enough detail to spark the imagination, and enough restraint to let the imagination provide the fear. By learning the story through the diaries and letters of the principal characters, we are intimately caught up in their horror, giving us someone and something to root for.

The writing is excellent and surprisingly moving, especially as the group of friends mourn the loss of a loved one and pledge their lives to banish the evil that caused such sorrow. There is plenty of adventure as the chase is on to end Dracula's reign of terror and free one of their own from his grasp. This could be a story about any group of everyday people finding the moral courage to fight any sort of evil and is a much more universal story than I had imagined. I loved this band of comrades, and I am so glad I took a chance on this classic.

78 people found this helpful

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  • N. Houghton
  • 2012-02-24

Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good

This was well worth it. Alan Cumming is a favorite and so versatile. Tim Curry never disappoints. The only thing missing from Audible's production is a cast list. I recognized some narrators that I had listen to before, but think they all deserve credit for the job well done. Lucy's naivety, and Minna steadfast strength for instance deserve crediting. I was disappointed when this was not a part of the concluding credits.

If other reviewers could not be swept up in the production, perhaps it is due to a distaste for the genre. I like a good vampire tale as much as the next person, but this sheds so much light on how far we have come from the mother of all tales, where more is implied than exposed.

134 people found this helpful

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  • Mel
  • 2012-09-23

The Curtain Falls...Applause, Applause, Bravo

Hearing the final words, "Audible hopes you enjoyed.." it's hard to resist vigorously clapping your hands together and jumping to your feet to whoop out a "Bravo!" While it looks like some reviewers are more familiar with the particulars of each narrator, I must be less fussy; I thought it was a perfect cast that produced a dark gothic atmosphere that Stoker would call worthy of this masterpiece.

The story is longer than I thought it would be, the flowery speech style of the Victorian era no doubt adding to the length of the journals/diaries of each articulate character, that comprise the tale -- a style that, if you are unprepared for, may be too verbose to your liking (but authentic to the time--think Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats). Where one during that period might say:
"Dear Madam, by God, your neck! May perhaps I suggest more wreaths of the garlic flowers to be festooned around your lovely neck to prohibit a further attack from this most vile blood-sucking fiendish creature of the night which has befallen upon you most unfairly, dear sweet lady?"
We today, 100 years later, might say:
"Huh, vampire bite. Want some garlic (was he sparkly)?"
You can see how this could take up some pages. But the profuse Victorian vernacular combined with the fine reading puts you in the necessary frame of mind -- where a dark red-eyed character in a cape could creep around a deteriorating castle, summon wolves from the fog, and morph into a bat flapping against a pane of glass. (It was a little amusing listening to the breathy and fragile Lucy and Mina...considering the time frame in which this was written. While Stoker had them helplessly swooning away, across the pond, Susan B. Anthony was gathering her own minions.)
Bram Stoker truly affected history with this book -- Audible's production was a great homage to a literary icon as well as a fun engaging production, well worth the purchase.

103 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2015-11-05

IS THAT NOT SO?

THAT'S SO
Let me start with the performance. All of the narrators are professionals, not a amateur in that batch. The add very much to the book. If you by chance have never read it, this would be the edition to listen to.

THE WOMEN LOOKED PRETTY EXCEPT WHEN YOU GOT NEAR THEM
I really debated on how to rate this book. If it was not for Stoker, we would not have all the movies, books and TV shows that have followed it. No Buffy the Vampire Slayer, no Hammersmith movies, no Count Dracula cereal etc...It is all here along with many things you may have forgotten. I had forgotten the part where Dracula climbed head first down a castle wall. Did you know Dracula had hairy palms? So, this gets five stars for creating such a great character. I gave the story three stars, as I was thinking about Today's Reader. The book is made up of letters and journals and almost everything is something that has already happened and your getting a personal account of it. This was popular during Stoker's time, but it is rarely done today. For today's reader it is way too long. A lot of it reads like a soap opera. I was sick of Lucy, hours before she was finally done in. I was ready to cut her head off myself.

I LOVE YOU, YOU LOVE ME
This is a must read or listen due to the historical aspect. It also has great language. I love listening to how people talked during this time. I loved the manners used in speaking, it is lovingly written. I was also amazed in how often the word love and lover were used.

I KNOW NOT WHY

178 people found this helpful

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  • Dana
  • 2012-02-27

Wonderful, accurate performance of Stoker's novel

Would you consider the audio edition of Dracula to be better than the print version?

I love this edition for many reasons, but mainly because it is an accurate rendition of Stoker's novel. Every film version changes the story somewhat, and this edition does not. Readers get the treat of the accurate story along with great narration.

What did you like best about this story?

I love Tim Curry's voice, and think he does an excellent job.

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

Reading the book deprives you of the emotional range the human voice is capable of that add so much detail and color to the story.

50 people found this helpful

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  • TaelonOne
  • 2012-02-24

The Best Dracula Audiobook Ever!

What made the experience of listening to Dracula the most enjoyable?

All the seasoned actors and narrators.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Anyone Tim Curry plays will always be my favorite character. All the narrators do an excellent job.

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

That they are all such season actors that listening to them makes you feels as though you are really there.

If you could take any character from Dracula out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Tim Curry. Does one need a reason?

Any additional comments?

You can't go wrong with this audiobook. Simon Vance, Simon Prebble, Alan Cumming....honestly, could a book get any better than this. This is well worth the credit!

58 people found this helpful

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  • P. de Greyt
  • 2019-12-19

The original critics were correct

After being into a couple of chapters of this book I recall the original critics of this book when the book made it's debut. I find the story far from organized, mr Stocker, attempt to tell a story comprised of a bunch of diary entries, letters, without really engaging the readers by endearing them to the characters or engaging them in an actual story. the book provides an interesting perspective and insight into the nineteenth century attitude toward life from a high society perspective, Although I feel looking at the characters , I find them shallow , self important, and the women in the story are portrayed as a bunch over dramatic little teenaged girls. I am trying not to let my twentieth and twentieth first century views cloud my judgment but even for the nineteenth century this as the air of a very cheap romance novel that has little to real meat to the book. I really don't understand how this book if you want call that ever became a classic if wasn't for the talented movie and stage directors who had the vision and talent to turn this book from a mangled mess into a an actual story that captured generations .
In this case the movie is better than the book. the performance is over all okay, though I was hoping to hear more from mr Curry, who is one of my favorite actors when he plays a villain, sadly the format of the book doesn't do the actors justice, you really can't capture the essence of the characters since they them are viewed from the perspective of the writers of material trying to relate to events. in summary I have thorughly disappointed with book not the actors although the production kinda sady and lacked making this book more appealing.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Pierre Gauthier
  • 2017-06-11

Pathetic!

There is little positive to say about this very long work except that it will satisfy the reader’s curiosity as to who first wrote about vampires and the associated lore (garlic, crucifixes, etc.).

Poorly written as an epistolary novel, its characters are shallow and implausible and its plot eminently predictable.

The narration is poorly directed with various actors playing their part in different styles: some “naturally”, others with exaggerated emphasis, others with implausible foreign accents, etc.

It is best to shy away from this work altogether.

1 person found this helpful