Monday, October 30, 2017

Dracula [Audible Edition] by Bram Stoker



I listened to the unabridged Audible audio production of Dracula by Bram Stoker and narrated by an all star cast.

Listening time for Dracula by Bram Stoker is 15 hours, 28 minutes.

I initially chose to listen to Dracula by Bram Stoker for a number of reasons as follows:

1. I've never read Dracula before, although I've seen the classic 'Dracula' movie starring Bela Lugosi movie years ago. Each year, I try to make an effort to read classics whenever I have time and interest. This year alone, I've read roughly seven classics so far... So, am happy that I've added another classic novel to my list this year.

2. Halloween is tomorrow, so I thought it would be fun to read this Gothic horror novel in celebration of Halloween.

3. My husband read Dracula by Bram Stoker back in high school and it was one of his favorite novels. So, I thought I'd go ahead and read yet another one of my husband's favorite novels he enjoyed reading in his youth.

Let's start with the Audible all star cast and narration of Dracula by Bram Stoker. I'd personally say that the cast/narration of Dracula is hands down my favorite part of my experience with Dracula by Bram Stoker.

There were a few other redeeming perks of reading Dracula, for me as follows: 

1. I liked the way in which the story is told from the viewpoints of several different characters through a series of journal entries throughout Dracula

2. I also liked that Mina Harker is a strong female leading character created by Bram Stoker, which I would imagine to be a rare thing to see in literature in 1897! It's wonderful to read that Mina Harker is one of the heroes of the novel. So, kudos and applause to Bram Stoker for being so forward thinking to create such a dynamic character as Mina Harker.

Otherwise, I was not impressed overall with Dracula by Bram Stoker. I thought the novel was way too long in length and could have been shortened. The language was too flowery at times for my taste. Yes, I like a thriller and how it can build tension and suspense in a novel... And yes, I did enjoy reading the pursuit of Dracula, by the other characters in the novel... But, once again I felt the pursuit of Dracula was way too drawn out and could have been done differently in some way that could have been more appealing.

One topic to mention from reading Dracula by Bram Stoker is that a few blood transfusions happen in the novel. It was interesting to learn that blood transfusions from one person to another were known about back in 1897 in the medical community. However, blood types were evidently not known about back in the late 1800s ... In fact, I just learned online through Wikipedia that blood types weren't discovered until 1900 by Austrian physician and immunologist, Karl Landsteiner! Karl Landsteiner actually won a Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine for his discovery... But I digress. One of the characters in the Dracula has a few blood transfusions from different people without regards to checking to see if the blood types were a match before the blood transfusion was given, which lead me to look into the history of blood transfusions and blood typing. 

Below is a summary for Dracula by Bram Stoker from Audible:
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. SewardSimon Vance as Jonathan HarkerKaty Kellgren as Mina Murray/HarkerSusan Duerden as Lucy WestenraTim Curry as Van HelsingGraeme Malcolm as Dailygraph correspondentSteven Crossley as Zookeeper’s account and reporterSimon Prebble as VarnaJames Adams as Patrick HennesseyNicola Barber as Sister AgathaVictor Villar-Hauser as Arthur HolmwoodMarc Vietor as Quincey MorrisJohn Lee as Introductory paragraph, various letters
I thought Dracula by Bram Stoker was simply an okay read. I am glad I read this classic Gothic horror novel, but wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it to others. I am giving Dracula by Bram Stoker a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

4 comments:

  1. Hmm I'm a bit torn if I still want to read this! Like you, I have it on my list basically because it's a classic so OF COURSE I have to read it. But I'm still fighting my way through It (that book is crazy long and I have negative time right now, especially with NaNoWriMo) so maybe it's best set aside for next year. I am glad to hear that you thought it was all right for being a classic so maybe I'll just read it quick and be done with it. Lovely review!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and leaving me a comment! I look forward to reading your review of Dracula when you decide to read it.

      Good luck with NaNoWriMo next month!

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  2. Thank you for a comprehensive review. I read this, as in reading the actual book, two years ago. It was way better than I expected. I guess I didn't mind the flowery language because I figured that was how they wrote in those days. Think Charles Dickens. Then I saw both of the movies also. Here is my review: http://keepthewisdom.blogspot.com/2015/12/dracula.html

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    1. Thank you for stopping by as usual and leaving me a comment!! It seems like we read a lot of the same books, which is cool. :-)

      I read your review of Dracula and was happy to learn a few more interesting details about vampires as well as Bram Stoker.

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