Item description for Dracula (Classical Literature with Classical Music) by Brian Cox, Bram Stoker, Heathcote Williams & Bram Stoker...
Outline ReviewDracula is one of the few horror books to be honored by inclusion in the Norton Critical Edition series. (The others are Frankenstein,The Turn of the Screw,Heart of Darkness,The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Metamorphosis.) This 100th-anniversary edition includes not only the complete authoritative text of the novel with illuminating footnotes, but also four contextual essays, five reviews from the time of publication, five articles on dramatic and film variations, and seven selections from literary and academic criticism. Nina Auerbach of the University of Pennsylvania (author of Our Vampires, Ourselves) and horror scholar David J. Skal (author of Hollywood Gothic, The Monster Show, and Screams of Reason) are the editors of the volume. Especially fascinating are excerpts from materials that Bram Stoker consulted in his research for the book, and his working papers over the several years he was composing it. The selection of criticism includes essays on how Dracula deals with female sexuality, gender inversion, homoerotic elements, and Victorian fears of "reverse colonization" by politically turbulent Transylvania.
A young lawyer on an assignment finds himself imprisoned in a Transylvanian castle by his mysterious host. Back at home his fiance and friends are menaced by a malevolent force which seems intent on imposing suffering and destruction. Can the devil really have arrived on England's shores? And what is it that he hungers for so desperately?
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Format: Abridged, Audiobook
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5" Height: 6" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Publisher Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN 9626341157 ISBN13 9789626341155
Availability 0 units.
More About Brian Cox, Bram Stoker, Heathcote Williams & Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker (1847-1912) was born in Dublin. After attending Dublin University, he spent ten years as an Irish civil servant, trying to keep up his writing in his free time. By 1871, he had become the drama critic for the Dublin Mail and had gained experience as a newspaper editor, reporter, and short story writer. In 1878 he became the personal assistant to Sir Henry Irving, the foremost Shakespearean actor of his day, accompanying him on tours and managing Irving's theater. After Irving's death in 1905, Stoker worked on the literary staff of the London Telegraph. Dracula, his most famous work, was published in 1897. Leonard Wolf is a teacher, an author, a leading translator of Yiddish literature, and an award-winning authority on Gothic literature and film. He has edited such volumes as Wolf's Complete Book of Terror and Blood Thirst: 100 Years of Vampire Literature. Jeffrey Meyers has published forty-five books and 630 articles on literature, film, and art. A distinguished biographer, he's written lives of Hemingway, Lawrence, Conrad, Poe, Fitzgerald, Frost, Orwell, Bogart, and Modigliani. He's had twenty-five works translated into twelve languages and published on six continents. He is one of ten Americans who are Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature, and in 2005 he received an Award in Literature "to honor exceptional achievement" from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Reviews - What do customers think about Dracula (Classical Literature with Classical Music)?
AN ACTUAL REVIEW OF THIS NAXOS AUDIO DRAMATIZATION Jun 3, 2008
I've been a fan of Dracula since I was 6 years old. The original Stoker novel, the many film adaptations (some wonderful and memorable, some commendable attempts, and some that are outright horrendous), and the innumerable comic books/graphic novels, novels, documentaries, television shows, etc. have given me tremendous pleasure and fun. I've even played Dr. Seward in a terrific new stage production of the original story. In addition, I've studied the actual historical figure of Vlad Tepes, or The Impaler, the fifteenth century Wallachian ruler from whom Stoker drew so much of his inspiration and background material for the novel. So I'd like to think I know whereof I speak here.
This is a marvelous audio production. The acting is spot-on. No weak/fake British accents here! The primarily young cast give terrific performances as the heroes and heroines of the classic tale. Heathcote Williams is a wonderful Dracula, his deep, snarling voice dripping with menace and the tiniest bit of arrogant humor. Brian Cox, already a well-established veteran actor, does a lively and heartfelt job as Van Helsing. All in all, the cast perfectly personifies the original characters.
But it's not all dramatic readings of the novel; there are some sound effects (a few more wouldn't have hurt, nor would they have been intrusive, since the performances are the main attraction and draw the listener in nicely), and even an atmospheric background score which helps to set the mood (Naxos has provided the source materials for the music as well in its thorough liner notes).
And finally, this particular abridgement/adaptation is well done. It's edited tightly enough that the story keeps moving inexorably forward, and features some wonderfully horrific scenes in the book rarely if ever depicted on film. The only glaring omission is Mina's description of the scene wherein Dracula attacks her - one of the most harrowing and erotic of the novel. It's disappointing it is not included in this dramatization, but it does little to detract from the rest of the production.
Anyone who is a true Dracula fan and wishes to listen to a quality audio version of the original story would enjoy this well done production.
silly, not scary. May 11, 2008
my oh my, some of the books that pass for classics! i have read compulsively for around 26 years, but this sort of book could make me give up the activity. i so deeply regret the loss of the six evenings that i wasted slogging through the pages of this ridiculous thing. the characters are annoying flat caricatures, and the plot/action is simply silly beyond belief. if this book can be considered a classic, then anything is possible. maybe in a hundred years Brittany Spears will be considered on par with Bach and Beethoven in the history of "classic" music? could happen, i guess.
An old fashioned tale that doesn't offend Jan 22, 2008
Bram Stoker's "Dracula" was first published in 1897, and as one reads this work, it is overwhelmingly apparent that it was written during a time when morals and virtues were held in a much higher regard than they are today.
The book is comprised primarily of various journal entries from six main characters. Two of these main characters are remarkable women, possessed of lofty talent and high moral character. It is when both of these women encounter Count Dracula himself and fall under his poisonous and deathly spell that the remaining main characters in the book--all courageous and gifted and accomplished men--spring to the aid of these women.
I, for one, loved the old fashioned language, the rigid formality and courtesy, and the unyielding respect that the main characters demonstrated in their interactions with one another. Chivalry was certainly not dead in 1897, if one were to use this book as evidence. The graciousness and loyalty that the men in this book showed the women is inspiring, and the moral refinement and sensibilities of the women characters caused me to yearn for an older time, away from the immorality and crudeness apparent in today's society.
I had to smile at one point when reading the book when the two main women characters found themselves out late at night after a frightening experience. They were both in their full-length bedclothes, which apparently covered every part of their bodies but their bare feet. One of the women, not wanting to appear immodest dabbed mud on their bare feet so as not to offend anyone who might see those exposed parts.
This book is filled with suspense and plausibly thrilling episodes. It stands as a wonderful classic of good-natured fright, which proves that tension and drama and expectation may be created in a work of fiction without all of the offending elements of bloody violence, gore, vulgarity, sex, and devilishness thrown into the mix. Its ending is noble, with at least one of the main characters revealing remarkable compassion when she sees the look on Count Dracula's face during the final decisive scene in the book. This book was a pleasant surprise, as I wasn't suspecting a work of such high literary value from a "horror" novel. Thus, I highly recommend it.
There is more than meets the eye Jan 22, 2008
Though it had been made in to multiple movies and changed into other forms of media, Dracula's characters and the evident Victorianism makes it one the greatest horror novels ever written. It does move slowly at times and the ending is anticlimactic but the good outweighs the bad in Bram Stoker's classic novel.
There are many "good-guys" in Dracula but there is never a true apparent protagonist and this does anything but detract from the story. Jonathon Harker does seem like the intended protagonist but Mina, Van Helsing, and Dr. Seward could all be put on the same level as well. In fact it is Van Helsing who makes the plans to try and destroy Dracula. The way the book was written (diary and journal entries) the reader is drawn closely to the group of heroes who pledge there lives to one another to fight an evil they all wish to destroy.
Also the elements of Victorianism are seen through out the masterpiece. Stoker is able to maintain the characteristics of the era while still writing a horror novel. Mina is able to rise above what women were expected to be able to do and "play with the big boys." She plays a vital role in the fight against Dracula proving that even with men and all their wisdom, sometimes it takes a women's mind to come up with ideas and conclusions that the men had not thought of.
Though it is a bit gruesome, slow, and anticlimactic at times, Bram Stoker's Dracula is a masterpiece for the ages.
Did I miss something? Dec 5, 2007
While not typically driven to review, I was puzzled by the other reviews for this book. There is an overwhelming amount of, not just good but, great reviews for this book and an average rating of 4-1/2 stars. Actually, the only reason I looked at the reviews for this book at all is that I found it to be the most disappointing book I've ever read. Like a few of the other 1 star reviewers, I actually liked the first few chapters. Stoker develops a nice gothic atmosphere until the story moves west. To each their own but when I read the reviews that claim this to be the best gothic story ever written, riveting, exciting, and any other description that wouldn't apply to watching paint dry or grass grow I wonder if we read the same book at all.