7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Atmospheric, tense and creepy,
This review is from: Dracula (Classic Fiction) (Audio CD)
I know my review has been clumped together with reviews for the book so sorry but this review is solely for the abridged Naxos audio book of Dracula featuring Brian Cox not the novel (although I do recommend that as well!).
A wonderfully tense atmosphere is created on this recording of Dracula, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it, easily envisioning Stoker's vivid and frightening imagery, which was supported very well by the talented readers, who left me genuinely unnerved at times.
This is abridged, however I didn't feel it lacked anything, in fact Bram Stoker's novel works very well in this format. This is not your average audio book being read by one actor, rather, this edition is replete with dramatic music, sound effects and a whole cast of actors to bring the various characters to life. Each character is played by an actor, all of which I thought were excellent in their parts, Brian Cox in particular is wonderful and the woman who plays Mina Harker also. No part of this famous story is told as it happens, instead each interlocking and overlapping parts of the mystery is conveyed through dairy entries, memorandums and newspaper clippings. I love listening to horror books, having dark tales whispered in your ear can be all the more chilling if the atmosphere of the tale is captured and in this case it definitely is and having each segment read by the various writer's makes the tone all the more intimate. I though that the music composed for the recording was good, not too overbearing, however I felt that the dramatic pauses between chapters were sometimes too long.
I don't think this has lost its edge, true there are trashy elements; there's copious amounts of garlic, smoke, wolves, flowing night dresses and women in need of rescuing. But all this is part of the tales charm and allure, as I've always been fascinated with its themes of transformation and sexuality, it is still an engaging, compelling and frightening. There as so many extraordinary vivid scenes that stuck with me; particularly the part when Harker comes across a 'sleeping' Dracula, that gave me shivers!
The strongest aspect of the novel is in my opinion the imagery. It is a little disappointing however that the first part where Harker reaches Transylvania and meets Dracula and discovers his terrible secret is the best part, the ending sequence didn't enthral quite so much as it a really just the main characters sitting around deciding what needs to be done, then calmly and systematically doing it, over a prolonged period.
This is a great buy, the price reflects the fact that it isn't very long but the quality is fantastic. I think this will be a treat for anyone who loves the book or a wonderful introduction to Dracula for any who haven't read it yet.