Dracula

Dracula

Audio Other(Other - 19311 Blackstone)

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Overview


Jonathan Harker’s story begins innocently enough, with a trip to Transylvania for a business transaction with Count Dracula. And yet, Harker swiftly falls captive to a spell that will follow him to London and threatens to overtake those closest to him.  A fascinating and terrifying novel, Dracula has captivated readers all over the world and across time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786134632
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 03/28/2005
Edition description: 19311 Blackstone
Product dimensions: 4.24(w) x 6.28(h) x 2.72(d)

About the Author

Formerly an editor at the educational publisher Weekly Reader, Michael Burgan has been a freelance writer for 17 years. He has written more than 250 books for children and young adults, specializing in U.S. history, geography, and biographies of world leaders. He has also written fiction and adapted classic novels. Burgan has won several awards for his writing, and his plays for adult audiences have been staged across the United States. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in history. He currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his cat Callie.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter I Jonathan Harker’s Journal
(Kept in shorthand.)

3 May. Bistritz.1–Left Munich at 8:35 p. m., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible. The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube,2 which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule.
We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh.3 Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem., get recipe for Mina.) I asked the waiter, and he said it was called “paprika hendl,” and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.4 I found my smattering of German very useful here; indeed, I don’t know how I should be able to get on without it.

Having had some time at my disposal when in London, I had visited the British Museum,5 and made search among the books and maps in the library regarding Transylvania: it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a nobleman of that country. I find that the district he named is in the extreme east of the country, just on the borders of three states, Transylvania, Moldavia and Bukovina,6 in the midst of the Carpathian mountains; one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe. I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordnance Survey maps;7 but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina.

In the population of Transylvania there are four distinct nationalities: Saxons in the South, and mixed with them the Wallachs, who are the descendants of the Dacians; Magyars in the West, and Szekelys8 in the East and North. I am going among the latter, who claim to be descended from Attila and the Huns. This may be so, for when the Magyars conquered the country in the eleventh century they found the Huns settled in it. I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)

I did not sleep well, though my bed was comfortable enough, for I had all sorts of queer dreams. There was a dog howling all night under my window, which may have had something to do with it; or it may have been the paprika, for I had to drink up all the water in my carafe, and was still thirsty. Towards morning I slept and was wakened by the continuous knocking at my door, so I guess I must have been sleeping soundly then. I had for breakfast more paprika, and a sort of porridge of maize flour which they said was “mamaliga,” and egg-plant stuffed with forcemeat, a very excellent dish, which they call “impletata.” (Mem., get recipe for this also.) I had to hurry breakfast, for the train started a little before eight, or rather it ought to have done so, for after rushing to the station at 7:30 I had to sit in the carriage for more than an hour before we began to move. It seems to me that the further east you go the more unpunctual are the trains. What ought they to be in China?

All day long we seemed to dawdle through a country which was full of beauty of every kind. Sometimes we saw little towns or castles on the top of steep hills such as we see in old missals; sometimes we ran by rivers and streams which seemed from the wide stony margin on each side of them to be subject to great floods. It takes a lot of water, and running strong, to sweep the outside edge of a river clear. At every station there were groups of people, sometimes crowds, and in all sorts of attire. Some of them were just like the peasants at home or those I saw coming through France and Germany, with short jackets and round hats and home-made trousers; but others were very picturesque. The women looked pretty, except when you got near them, but they were very clumsy about the waist. They had all full white sleeves of some kind or other, and the most of them had big belts with a lot of strips of something fluttering from them like the dresses in a ballet, but of course there were petticoats under them. The strangest figures we saw were the Slovaks, who were more barbarian than the rest, with their big cow-boy hats, great baggy dirty-white trousers, white linen shirts, and enormous heavy leather belts, nearly a foot wide, all studded over with brass nails. They wore high boots, with their trousers tucked into them, and had long black hair and heavy black moustaches. They are very picturesque, but do not look prepossessing. On the stage they would be set down at once as some old Oriental band of brigands. They are, however, I am told, very harmless and rather wanting in natural self-assertion.

It was on the dark side of twilight when we got to Bistritz, which is a very interesting old place. Being practically on the frontier–for the Borgo Pass leads from it into Bukovina–it has had a very stormy existence, and it certainly shows marks of it. Fifty years ago a series of great fires took place, which made terrible havoc on five separate occasions. At the very beginning of the seventeenth century it underwent a siege of three weeks and lost 13,000 people, the casualties of war proper being assisted by famine and disease.
Count Dracula had directed me to go to the Golden Krone Hotel, which I found, to my great delight, to be thoroughly old-fashioned, for of course I wanted to see all I could of the ways of the country. I was evidently expected, for when I got near the door I faced a cheery-looking elderly woman in the usual peasant dress–white undergarment with long double apron, front, and back, of coloured stuff fitting almost too tight for modesty. When I came close she bowed and said, “The Herr Englishman?” “Yes,” I said, “Jonathan Harker.” She smiled, and gave some message to an elderly man in white shirtsleeves, who had followed her to the door. He went, but immediately returned with a letter:–
“My Friend.–Welcome to the Carpathians. I am anxiously expecting you. Sleep well to-night. At three tomorrow the diligence9 will start for Bukovina; a place on it is kept for you. At the Borgo Pass my carriage will await you and will bring you to me. I trust that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you will enjoy your stay in my beautiful land.

“Your friend,
“Dracula.”

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Dracula"
by .
Copyright © 2007 Bram Stoker.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

The castle of horror — Dangers in the night — A mysterious death — The undead — The hunt begins — On the run — The end of Dracula.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"John Lee gives a superb performance of the malevolent Count Dracula, the original vampire. His relaxed low tone, while unexpected for a horror reading, works perfectly. Precise timing and eerie vocal inflections ratchet up the fear factor in each scene." —-AudioFile

Reading Group Guide

1. Dracula relies on journal fragments, letters, and newspaper clippings to tell its story. Why might Stoker have chosen to narrate the story in this way? Do letters and journal entries make the story seem more authentic or believable to you? Likewise, discuss the significance that many of the male protagonists are doctors (Dr. Seward) or men of science (Dr. Van Helsing). Why is this important to the story?

2. How does the novel invert Christian mythology in its description of Count Dracula's reign of terror? For instance, what specific elements of Stoker's story parallel scenes or images from the New Testament? Why might this subversion of Christian myth be significant?

3. Discuss the roles of Lucy Westenra and Mina Harker in the novel. How are the two women similar? Different? What accounts for their differences? To what extent does the novel depend on both of these women to propel the narrative forward?

4. Discuss the role of sexuality in Dracula. Would you say that Dracula attempts to reproduce himself sexually or by some other means? In what ways does the figure of Dracula subvert conventional notions of heterosexuality? Consider, for instance, his predilection for drinking blood and his habit of making his victims feed from his chest.

5. What are the elements of vampire folklore? For example, what, according to the novel, attracts or repels a vampire? How do you kill a vampire for good? Although Stoker did not invent the mythology of the vampire, his novel firmly established the conventions of vampire fiction. Choose another novel that deals with vampires and compare it with Dracula. (Consider, for example, one of Anne Rice's vampire books.) In what ways are the novels similar? Different?

6. Consider Freud's essay "The Uncanny" in relation to Stoker's Dracula. How would Freud describe the world that Stoker evokes in the novel? Is this a world of common reality? Or is it a world governed by supernatural belief? Or both? Discuss Freud's claim that the writer of gothic fiction is "betraying to us the superstitiousness which we have ostensibly surmounted; he deceives us by promising to give us the sober truth, and then after all overstepping it." In what ways does Stoker's narrative strategy of employing newspaper clippings and journal entries promise the "sober truth"? To what extent do you think Dracula achieves a sense of the uncanny?

Customer Reviews

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Dracula 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 193 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am glad that I picked this up one day on a trip to B&N, I had always wanted to read it. It was a very good book, an interesting read. I liked how the book was written, but the language was hard for me to get through easily.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful book. However, the archaic style this book is written in (the book was written in the late 1800s) may cause some readers to find this book difficult and as a result also find it boring. Overall, though, this is a good read that can be very scary at times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Worth reading this classic once. Quite a few typos in the free version.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome. Aside from the fact that the old-english is strange, the plot, characters, and writing style is FAN-FREKIN'-TASTIC.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Classic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sweet!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is an all time classic and i think that bram stoker was an excelent writer. After reading this book i accually found out there is a real vampire culture who did come on tyra . I have also seen the first dracula movie ( obviously in blach and white) called nosfuratu. If you do your research you csn find many interesting facts about the real dracula who was a military leader and other people in history who did drink blood.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really! You can get this book for free! Just search up in the shop dracula free, and it should pop up!
hms More than 1 year ago
I felt like I needed to pay homage to the original vampire creator....worth reading but the entire book led up to one single action, was ended up a bit anti-climactic. Interesting format - written in diary and letter format was pretty cool. Worth a shot, but certainly not fast paced.
bort170 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Awesome. Way better than twilight.
laxer9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One could say so much about a book like this. But one word might just sum it all up, Classic. Not classic as in boring and just old, but Classic as in when your done reading it you will want to go back and read it again. For me when i was getting towards the end i was getting mad because i didn't want the book to be over, you just want more action and more of the suspense. This is By far a Classic, and a must have for anybody from any background. Go out and buy this book, and read it. YOU'LL LOVE IT.
detweilermom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What can I say about Dracula that hasn't already been said. It did bring something out that has been bugging me alot lately. You can write a great book without all the language and violence. Yes there is violence in Dracula (how can you not have it in a book about vampires) but it isn't the main focus. I listened to this book on audio ( a freebie I got from Audible) and really enjoyed it. I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise. It is a classic worth giving a try, read like a pretty modern story
Helena81 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book a lot, although as usual with epistolary novels there was some odd moments as characters are forced to over-explain their actions. Overall, very enjoyable, lots of twists and turns and engaging characters.
Jthierer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think the first 50 pages or so of this novel are some of the best ever written. Harker's naive excitement about his first big assignment quickly turns to horror. The rest of the story continues the spooky vibe, which I think is actually enhanced by the detachment introduced by the storytelling convention of revealing events through the journals and letters of the main characters.
dragonimp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading this is like stepping back in time, both because of the setting of the story and because of the style and pace of the writing. It is a story of suspense, but told in a much quieter, calmer fashion than modern horror stories.Dracula is told as a series of journal entries, which takes some suspension of disbelief beyond the acceptance of vampires. Although the journals belong to several different characters, there is little noticeable difference in "voice," and the level of detail in meticulous and exact. The pace is often slow, but the story is complelling and intriguing, and well worth the read, if only for the historical significance.
Poetgrrl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i'd heard about the myth. never got soaked in the story... read the book in 7th grade and it felt difficult...as an adult i've re-read it and came to appreciate the language and the tale...
mzzkitee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book surprised me. Its different than what you think. I'd recommend this book to anyone.
sweetsarah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this is probably one of my most favorite books ever. i loved how Jonathan Harker had to deal with and try and figure out who the count really was. the part about Dracula taking the blood of the innocent and virgins was a little creepy but other than that it was and still is one of my favorite books.
Smiley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The orignial horror story. Hard to surpass and hard to put down once begun.
iamslim More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge Dracula fan but I didnt like this book as much as I thought I would have. I guess I can say I like the movies better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate when people ruin it for everyone else by telling what happens in the book, IN THE REVIEWS:(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book, and i dont care what people think. Its a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scary.(not)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would give this book 5 stars if the text in some parts was not jumbled. Other than that, it was a very good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago