If you’re anything like me, I bet you read “Dracula by Bram Stoker, read by Christopher Lee” and though, ah, that’s brilliant! Because that’s what I did! I saw the above on Audible for a lovely low price, knew RIP was coming up, and snatched it right up.
Without noticing that it was abridged.
Yes. Abridged. That scourge of classic readers the world over and a particular pain in my neck.
I finally read Dracula for the first time during last years’ RIP challenge (my review) and I fell head over heals in love with. I knew I would want to reread it during this years’ RIP challenge and audio has become my method of choice when it comes to rereading. And Christopher Lee did exactly what I was expecting of him. His lovely deep macabre voice brought life to Dracula (ha!) (I mean the book.) exactly the way I thought he would. I was actually surprised by how well he read the feminine characters. He did a fantastic job.
The problem here is the abridgment. Gone is all that lovely tension leading up to the ending. The thrill, as they say, is gone. I felt like almost all of Mina Harker’s sections were gone. That taunt chase across the continent, to beat Dracula to his lair felt like it took mere minutes. One of my favorite sections is that race to catch Dracula, all because of Stoker’s mastery of suspense! His mastery with words! Gone! Bye bye, see ya later, arrivederci! *sigh*
So. What I’m saying is: read the book if you have never read Dracula because it is a truly amazing piece of horror fiction. Or find an unabridged recording if you really want to listen to it. If you know the story well, and just want a brief revisit, this is worth your time for Christopher Lee’s performance. Just don’t go expecting anything much. The thrill, as they say, is gone. *poof*
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Jen at Devourer of Books has started a new meme where she collects audiobook reviews every Friday for her Sound Bytes feature. Stop by and read her review, then click over to see what others have posted. You can link up your own audiobook reviews from the week!