Bursting with intrigue and suspense, they resurrect the deepest and darkest of all our fears: that a monster lurks, and it lurks within us.
Introductions by Dr Maria Mellins and Dr Peter Howell, Senior Lecturers in Gothic literature at St Mary's University, London, this collection offers additional insight into these audiobooks, their authors and their legacies.
Starting with Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Richard Armitage tells the story of a conflicted man who seeks to free the monster inside him from the clutches of his conscience.
Following his celebrated performances of David Copperfield and David Hewson's Romeo and Juliet for Audible, Armitage delivers another powerhouse performance as the narrator of this Gothic tale.
Shilling shocker enthusiast Stevenson was celebrated throughout his life. In contrast to Mary Shelley, who was often overshadowed by her husband's work, Stevenson lived comfortably by his pen.
It was only with the release of Frankenstein that Shelley finally distinguished herself. Frankenstein was groundbreaking in its ability to fuse passion and romance with gore and horror.
Narrated by Dan Stevens, who rose to fame through Downton Abbey, and Beauty and the Beast, the story of science student Victor Frankenstein has been artfully retold.
Testing the limits of science, Frankenstein fashions a living being from the conjoined body parts of rotting cadavers. Horrified at the end result, he abandons his monster, leaving him to endure a life of isolation and loneliness.
A poignant example of human weakness and our inability to take responsibility for our actions, Frankenstein is both moving and terrifying.
That leads us to the gruesome tale of Count Dracula, the bloodthirsty father of the undead.
Narrated by Greg Wise, star of The Crown and Sense and Sensibility; Greg depicts a young lawyer whose services are hired by a sinister Transylvanian count.
Releasing Dracula 80 years after Frankenstein, Bram Stoker was greatly influenced by Shelley's writing style and similarly propels the story along through diary entries, letters and newspaper cuttings. Possessed of grisly imagery and unexpected twists, it's no wonder that Dracula still manages to shake us to our very core.
All that remains is to offer a note of caution: this collection is not for the fainthearted. Old as these tales may be, do not mistake the unsettling nature of their content.
Grab some popcorn, turn the speakers up and enjoy. Just don't say we didn't warn you.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mrs. R. G. Koren on 07-11-17
What an absolutely wonderful experience. I highly recommend this collection. 3 incredible stories for just one credit. Such amazing writing. I loved every minute. My favourite was Frankenstein. You can truly understand after listening to these stories, exactly why they've taken their place in literary history.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Valentina Ancilotti on 05-11-17
A masterful performance from Richard Armitage
This interpretation of 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by Richard Armitage left me with goosebumps. His switch from one character to the other is a show of never-heard-before talent. A masterpiece in narration. Thank you Audible and thank you Mr Armitage.
19 of 20 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Denise on 21-12-17
Best for... First!
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was for me the best of the 3 books, both in terms of performance and story wise.
Both Frankenstein and Dracula were too melodramatic for my taste and as much as I enjoy watching both Dan Stevens and Greg Wise onscreen, neither of them has Richard Armitage's knack for audiobooks.
In this first book, each character really had their own voice, sometimes to such an extent that I could no longer recognise the familiar tunes of Armitage's own voice. That's how good it was.
I particularly enjoyed the voice transitions that revealed the switch from Jekyll to Hyde and viceversa.
The book's theme was the most interesting, it wasn't too long so it never got boring (3h aka only 1/10 of TMC's runtime) and I finished it all in a day.
Performance ***** Story ****
As for Frankenstein it was probably the less stimulating of the 3. It was a continual retelling of life stories, one inside each other and Dan Stevens's voice, as soothing as it felt in the beginning, soon started to feel monotonous and not very modulated. The structure of the book didn't help much; still I feel like one telling their story seldom maintains the same entonation throughout the whole of it.
Walton was the character I most enjoyed hearing from. And to think that at the beginning I only wanted his letters to be over so it would finally get to the story, to the action...
I lost interest in the story from the moment of Frankenstein's reaction to his newly awakened 'monster'. I did enjoy the Coleridge quote right after that though.
Performance ** Story **
It made up 61% of the runtime but it thankfully wasn't as tedious as Frankenstein. It was again a series of intertwined accounts but it was much more organic. Once in a certain character's POV you had dialogue between several characters, so it wasn't as lonely and claustrophobic as being stuck between Frankenstein's complaining and the monster's winning. I didn't enjoy it per se but it wasn't a perpetual lamentation.
I was not keen on the remarks made by both male and female characters on the nature of the sexes. I've read older books that didn't feel as dated and medieval in that regard.
As to preformances, Greg Wise's reading of Dracula and of Dr van Helsing varied in tone but were both made in the same accent. The distinction between Jonathan Harker and John Seward was likewise minimal, if existent at all.
Saskia Reeves's Lucy and Mina were vert similar as well and her Dr van Helsing bordered on painful. Otherwise I think I liked listening to her more and both readers did a decent job in regards to voice modulation.
Preformances *** Story ***