Length: Approx 17 hr.
Reader: Rick Kistner
The book: My impressions of Dracula are heavily influenced by my first reading of it when I was in middle school. This was a revelation to me: that an old book could also be good. Dracula certainly deserves its reputation as a classic. Although some parts are a bit slow, others carry a profound spookiness that is untouched by the bombardment of gore and cheap frights of many modern horror movies.
Despite its many adaptations to film and other media, I'm not sure that Dracula the novel is ideally suited to audiobooks. For one thing, it's a long book, an aspect which telescopes in the spoken word where slow parts drag on. Complex action is difficult to re-read. Stoker makes heavy use of letter, diaries, and false documents to tell his story. These lose some of their feeling of veracity then taken off the printed page. There are some stories which are enhanced by the sound and rhythm of voice, while others are documents which take full advantage of the physical medium of the book. To Dracula's great credit, even though it belongs in the class of a primarily physical book, it still works well in the spoken format.
The reader: Kistner has a deep voice that is full of color. He alters his accent and tone for the different characters, making them recognizable. The pace of his reading is not always ideal, but overall this is a decent reading. The main complaint lies with the recording. There is some background noise. Lip smacks and breathing are clearly audible. These issues are excusable to some people, while others may find that they make the book unenjoyable. I'll allow you to decide whether or not the quality of the story and reader make up for some audio noise.