Within the first three minutes of listening, I felt transported. I could have been in the West End! Wow. Allison Larkin grasps the characters so well, that they become absolutely visible, tangible and delightful. A real joy.
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.
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