Lush music introduces this gripping tale and returns as the appropriate accompaniment when the action ebbs and flows. John Sessions's performance is splendid; his rich Scottish accent characterizes young David Balfour, and he portrays slimy Uncle Ebenezer with just the right tone. However, Sessions's best creation is the ship's captain, who sounds just like every sea captain should - gruff and strong willed. The subtle humor of porridge for every meal is revealed by Sessions's pronunciation of the lackluster dish. Sound effects add the perfect touch; listeners will feel that they're at sea when they hear summer storms and sea gulls. This is armchair adventure at its best.
When the naive David Balfour sets out on his quest for a long-lost relative, a terrifying chain of events is set in motion. He is plunged into a world of infamy and violence from which there seems no escape, until, that, is, he meets the enigmatic and valiant Highland, Alan Breck.
(P)1997 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.; ©1997 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.
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"Fantastic reading. Shame about the length!"
A wonderful reading by John Sessions who blasts life into Stevenson's characters and brings out the excitement, romance, humour and tragedy found in the novel. This is an example of the performance really enhancing the original text - I enjoyed it so much that I've already listened to it several times. The only problem is that this is an abridged edition - indeed all of the readings by Scots actors (Sessions, James MacPherson, Tom Conti, plus a newly-released Penguin audio book read by Robbie Coltrane) are ridiculously truncated, whilst the unabridged versions are narrated by a motley group none of whom can pull off even one decent Scots accent, never mind the variety of regional accents required to do justice to this great story.
A full-length version by one of our character actors and please, one with the skill or the background to read a 7-hour novel with convincing Scottish accents - Sessions or Coltrane, perfect - is definitely overdue.
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