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Dracula

Dracula by Bram Stoker
By: (1847-1912)

Dracula tells the tale of a sinister Transylvanian aristocrat who seeks to retain his youth and strength by feeding off human blood.

The author, Bram Stoker, a young Victorian theater professional, was probably inspired by the strange epidemic of vampirism that occurred in remote parts of Eastern Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. These stories were recounted by travelers who later arrived in England and other parts of Western Europe. Stoker initially meant the tale to be written as a play in which he wanted Sir Henry Irving, a leading Victorian actor, to play the role of the malevolent Count Dracula. However, as circumstances would have it, Irving never played the part and Stoker's story finally took the form of a novel.

The book, published in 1897, is constructed in a very interesting format. The story is told via a set of letters, diary entries, ship's logs and newspaper reports. It begins with the journey of a young lawyer, Jonathan Harker, who is traveling to Transylvania on his legal firm's business, to finalize the transfer of a property in England to an East European aristocrat, Count Dracula. Harker is initially charmed by the suave and debonair count's hospitality, but gradually comes to realize Dracula's malevolent intentions.

The plot takes up the tale of various other people in the story – Harker's fiancée Mina, her friend Lucy, a former suitor Dr Seward and his teacher, Professor Van Helsing. A host of other characters adds to the twists and turns in the narrative.

Dracula represents the dawn of Gothic horror fiction in the contemporary era and its earliest reviews called it “blood-curdling” though it didn't receive much commercial success. However, it really caught the public imagination with its American publication in 1899, and in the 20th century, when film and television versions began to appear. Today, Dracula-theme tours are one of the hottest attractions in countries like Romania in Eastern Europe and studies have uncovered the historical figures who actually existed behind the fictional character of the evil count.

A great read for a dark and gloomy night. Just make sure your windows are tightly shut!


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 10 reviews)

Reviewer: - October 30, 2014
Subject: Criticism unfounded
I agree, this is read well by all narrators.
Reviewer: - September 4, 2014
Subject: Thank you
This is a great story and I have listened to this reading over and over. I don't understand the negative comments about MB and Denis Sayers. They both did a great job; really getting the character and atmosphere just right and I thank them both (and all readers) for giving up their time to read this story which has given me a lot of pleasure. Well done all - thank you. To anyone who hasn't listened, do yourself a favor and download it now.
Reviewer: - August 19, 2014
Subject: All readers - great job!
I was surprised by how much i enjoyed this book, and ALL readers - well done! I disagree with those saying the reader for Dr Seward and Van Helsing sound like Yoda, while vaguely similar in tone, i thought he did a great job of conveying the emotion and persona of the characters and gravitas of the situations. Ditto for MB, who cast a wonderfully somber and chilling tone in Harker's journals. Recommended to all!
Reviewer: - July 7, 2014
Subject: Dracula
Dennis Sayers reading Dr. Seward annoyed me to no end! I love this book, my favorite of all time! The narrators were wonderful but Dr. Seward and Van Helsing's voice were just the worst! YODA is all I could think about...waiting for him to say to Harker that Dracula was his father!
Reviewer: - June 10, 2014
Subject: Dracula
It was a great book but it needs a few tweaks.
Reviewer: - May 23, 2014
Subject: Kudos to Elizabeth Clat
To the reader of Ms. Nina, you have a fantastic reading voice, and read aloud as if not reading from a book. Out of the other character reading I have heard in this book and others, you should read for more books! Please read for more books!
Reviewer: - May 15, 2014
Subject: All voice acting great effort
Big hand to all the voice actors on this one, keeping each voice the same the whole way through. I must add MB was fantastic! Start of the book was by far my favorite and MB did a fine job of making the setting feel like you were really in Transylvania, speaking with both a ghastly yet formal tone with appropriate character emotion. Didn't make a difference to me if she played a male she spoke with fear in her voice just as Harker would have. All voices were great and MB kept me reading.
Reviewer: - February 4, 2014
Subject: Multiple narrators used effectively
The use of different narrators to read each character (even though Dracula is not a play) was a risky move, and it worked very well. I have to admit I did not enjoy the story itself nearly as much as I was expecting, as I was disappointed by the use of a what seemed to be a few cheap literary devices. However, I'm sure that more discerning critics than myself would disagree.
January 31, 2014
The reader MB spoiled the whole recording. Apart from this I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for this book. 3 stars only because of the distracting voice of MB. I apologize to the specific reader in advance but I had to point it out!
Reviewer: - October 28, 2013
Subject: Dracula
Very enjoyable book with the help of many gifted narrators.


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