Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Julie's Review: Dracula

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Author: Bram Stoker
Series: None
Publication Date:February 20, 2012
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 15 hours and 28 minutes
Narrators: Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, etc
Obtained: purchased via audible
Genre:  Classic, Horror
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Really can't go wrong with this one
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: 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. ~audible.com

Review: So, I finished this at the beginning of the month and my intention was to originally finish it in October but there's a little thing called life and more simply work. That didn't stop me from enjoying this audio version immensely. To say that it transports you to another time and place would be cliche, but it does. You can feel the drafts in the castle and you can feel the fear and horror as the characters uncover what is going on.

As I listened to the story, bits and pieces of it came back to me. Now I have no clue when I read it but I'm sure I did and what struck me as the most noticeable was how the Count wasn't the main character. He was the catalyst for the horror and was in the peripheral but never the main focus of the novel.  It's funny how Hollywood changes the story and since that's what most people know, they never get the true depths of the novel.

What Stoker does so well is create a great sense of foreboding that keeps building and building until the very end of the novel when it explodes. I love that the entire novel is based on journals/diaries of all of the main characters. It is through this that we get a well rounded view of the characters and the horror they experience.

My favorite character has to be Dr. Seward. Perhaps it's because one of my favorite actors narrates his sections but I found him to be refreshing and even having a little humor at times. He also seems to be the rock that keeps them from becoming completely unhinged. On the other end of the spectrum was Lucy, she was just the most annoying character. So shallow and vain. It's a wonder her and Mina were even friends.

The ending of the novel happens furiously and rapidly. I had to pause it and start it again several times, afraid I was going to miss something important. I also enjoyed having an epilogue to see where the characters ended up and how they got on with their lives.

If you've never read Dracula, then I highly recommend this audio version. You can't really go wrong with Simon Vance, Alan Cumming and Tim Curry each playing a part.


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