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I have been waiting for this English classic to come out on audio for years. A brilliant performance by the narrator ranging from upper class English to serving maids, from lords to thieving brigands all rendered with exactness and enthusiasm that carries us through the narrative like a Harry Potter story. I'll have to reread my Jane Austen collection now that I can fully understand all her "Udolpho" references. One more benefit of this audio.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
So great to have the privilege of listening to this on audio by award winning Alison Larkin who is in dazzling form here. She should win an award for her portrayal of the villainous Montoni who very much reminds me of Scar in The Lion King.
Any serious fan of classic literature will recognize Ann Radcliffe as the grandmother of gothic fiction and the vampire craze we have to day owes much to her writing. This novel I believe was the first "best seller" and after listening one can understand why.
What separates a great book like this from the popular Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse novels is the obvious well rounded education of Ms Radcliffe. For example at the heart of the novel's mystery are the rogue italian militias that roamed the Apenines and Ms Radcliffe makes glorious use of the dark history. Where else would we learn about that? In addition the sentence structure and descriptive details are some of the best in literature and Ms Larkin renders them like Horowitz playing Chopin.
I've listened to it twice and look forward to at least a few more.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
You have to like gothic fiction to tolerate this book. Luckily I love it, so really enjoyed this reading of a book I already knew. Alison Larkin reads the sections of poetry really nicely, I often don't 'get' poetry but this made the passages enjoyable, rather than a struggle which I normally skip over to return to the narrative.
The characters are French and Italian in this book, but to differentiate between different persons, Ms Larkin uses Scottish, West Country and Yorkshire accents! This however does not spoil the story and makes it easy to tell who is speaking. The heroine Emily St Aubert is a little insipid for modern tastes perhaps, always with unsupportable spirits and fainting away, but remember what kind of novel this is and enjoy the luscious description of the landscape and, once about a quarter of the way in, a really gripping tale of mysteries.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of The Mysteries of Udolpho to be better than the print version?
Yes, I would never have the time or patience to read the novel.
Have you listened to any of Alison Larkin’s other performances? How does this one compare?
I have not but will look out for other titles.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
No, the whole novel was a sheer delight and difficult to stop listening to.
Any additional comments?
Pure quality literature and narration. So so enjoyable.