cover image Dracula’s Guest and Other Stories

Dracula’s Guest and Other Stories

Bram Stoker, read by Rupert Degas. Naxos AudioBooks, unabridged, five CDs, 5.75 hrs., $34.98 ISBN 978-184-379-563-6

Having demonstrated a wry touch in his reading of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Brigadier Gerard stories, narrator Rupert Degas shifts gears smoothly with his narration of nine lesser-known works of terror from the author of Dracula. The title story—a section of the famous novel cut prior to publication—is a splendid introduction to both Stoker and Degas. Within a few short passages, the experiences of English solicitor Jonathan Harker, on business in Europe, change dramatically—particularly when he hears warnings against travelling on Walpurgis Night. Without added sound effects, Degas makes the reader hear the threatening cries and quiet isolation Harker experiences after his driver abandons him as night falls. A versatile array of accents enables Degas to ably portray all the stories’ many characters. “Burial of the Rats,” in which a tourist to France must flee for his life, is another highpoint. (Oct.)