The Doones are a clan of murdering thieves, and among their victims is John Ridd's father. The strong, noble Ridd determines to avenge his father's death; but his plans are complicated when he falls in love with one of the hated family - the beautiful Lorna. Lorna is promised against her will to another; and that other will not let her go lightly.
Set amid the political turmoils of the late 17th century, Lorna Doone brings West Country history and legends alive with wonderfully imaginative fiction. Brimming with vivid descriptions and cliff-hanging action, it is a true classic of romantic adventure.
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"First published in 1869, this great tale of well-born brigandage, yeoman valor and maiden peril set in Restoration England's West Country, Devon and Somerset, gives full expression to mid-Victorian longing for a vanished agricultural past. Its audio form releases the language from the page thanks to Jonathan Keeble, an extraordinarily skilled voice actor who takes on the archaic Devon accent as though born to it - which, as a native of the region, he was. The novel's quietly droll passages and paeans to nature are greatly enhanced by his country aplomb. Moreover, the dialect that snags the reader in print ("Whoy, dudn't ee knaw . . . as Jan Vry wur gane avore braxvass") emerges here as fluid speech, its cadence a joy to hear." (Washington Post Book World)
This was an excellent audiobook. I always loved the story (having watched the A&E miniseries and read the book before I listened to this) and this audiobook really brings it to life. When I read the book on my own, I had trouble getting into it because of the rural dialogue that was having trouble understanding. Jonathan Keeble's narration took away all my difficulties and let me really enjoy this beautiful book.
I had to restart the first 5 minutes 3 times struggling to catch the dialect of the book and reader. However, after that I listened right along without even noticing the brogue ( other than a particular character whose accent is quite thick.)
The story is a simple romance. What I found so engaging is the capturing in the story of the experiences of rural agrarian life in 17th century southern England. I became enchanted near the beginning of the second segment of the Audible recording where the excitement of harvest is shared by the reciting of harvest chants. This just magic to me in the way the thoughts, beliefs, love and understanding of life is conveyed by the story.
I understand now why Lorna Doone is a famous novel. It may not work for everyone but I'm very glad I listened.
I would most certainly recommend this book to anyone and have done so. It is so well read, that even my 8 and 12 year old daughters found it engrossing. The accent is authentic, right down to the almost untelligble Yorkshire, spoken by the workers on John Ridds farm. The beautiful sections of poetic descriptions are read with feeling and the different characters come alive under the reading.
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte is another epic and poetic love story. Although it is set in a later time there is the same variety of characters and breadth of story. The characters are beautifully developed as in Lorna Doone, and the romance, though different in the development, is as touching.
My 8 year old's favourite characters were Lizzie and Annie. She also liked Jeremy Stickles. I had a soft spot for Tom Faggis. His mischief and quirkiness are fun. The 12 year old couldn't get past the chauvinism of the time and so found John frustrating in his attitude to women, but had no real favourite. However the combination of the writing and the excellent reading brought most of the characters to life. Even Tom's horse Winnie is an interesting character.
This is a long story, told in the first person, that covers many years of John Ridd's life. There are good times and bad times. One of the more hilarious scenes is Uncle Reuben coming in on a donkey backwards. The story of the ducks being rescued by Tom is also quite funny. Near the end of the story is a tragic scene, and, even though I had read the book and knew the outcome, the performance still moved me amd my daughters to tears.
I loved the book when I read it and renewed my affection in hearing it.
A beautiful story with an excellent narrator. This story is very hard to describe because it seems to dwell in several genres. But it is a romance written by a man that can be appreciated by men and women.
This is one of the BEST BOOK that I have ever listened to!
Not so much because of the performance but because of the plot.
I am amazed that this book published in 1869 had such moving impact as story in these modern times.
The plot was totally unpredictable right to the very end. Having some foreknowledge of the story via a movie was more of a problem for me because the story was so different and contains much more substance.
I highly recommend this book.
Always looking for the highest insitghts to everyday life...especially those that reach into an interesting time or event in years past, and still holds true today. Everyday life may've changed drastically, but the core of what it is to be a human has not.
I had no idea that Lorna Doone was the name of a book...I thought it was a cookie. But the summary hooked me due to my interest in the period of history it covered and I got snagged by the hook of the book (real readers, listeners will know what I mean) by the idea there being pockets of complete lawlessness within the England of my imagination built by Austen, Dickens, Trollope and the like...I couldn't put it down. It's a classic yet unique set up...The protagonist is a staightforward yoeman, and the people working together in their communities being victimized by the Doones, their desperate struggle to pacify or evict the scoundrels by a system of law to which they had no access....Then there is a Romeo/Juliet love story going on as well...Well, it's just all gorgeous!
I recommend this book to any who love the authors I mentioned above. I've listened to hundreds of books and this is my first review...I don't spend my time with flummery. I love the classics and this is one is much overlooked. It may be a true story, it's written as one. Whether it really happened or no, it could have. One man doing his best to fight evil and rescue his girl, with a twist at the end that left me reeling.
An overlooked gem.
I found the heavy Scottish accent too hard to follow. I like the story in general but, unfortunately, I need a less authentic sounding narrator so I can understand what they're saying
"Atmospheric Reading of Classic Tale"
What a complete joy this audio book was. A first rate story, with a fabuous country background read by an actor with a rich west country accent. Thoroughly recommended!
I enjoyed so much listening to this story, which I hadn't read again in many years. Jonathan Keeble's narration is excellent.
I loved this book, I read the first review, took a chance and bought it. I was so glad. Just listening to the narrator I was carried back in time to the west country, his accent is brilliant. The language used to write this novel is rich and viabrant. Certainly a book I was sad to finish, and one I will listen to again.
A classic novel, very atmospheric with interesting characters also quite funny. Really enjoyed listening to this book on my commute, narrator superb!
"Totally marvellous book in every way."
Brought wonderfully to life by the narrator. Enjoyed every word. Must be one of the best pieces of English literature. Highest recommendation.
"Phew . . . a bit protracted"
Really the best bit was the end. Sorry to say i was desperate for it to conclude and breathed a big sigh of relief when it finally ground to an end. The worst bit was waiting for the end.
Classic tale of boy meets girl, boy "poor" and girl "rich" evil guardian. Boy wins girl. Ok, set in 17th century Somerset, written in the 19th century with loads and loads of historical/cultural references. Some of these were interesting but it did go on a bit!
Er, no sorry. All a bit grey and one paced.
No .Having already visited "Doone country" - very nice too, i have no great inspiration to revisit it because of the book. I will not be reading any more books by Blackmore
I do enjoy classics and was determined to finish this book despite its 24 hour length. To say it is very dated would be tautology but . . .it has not travelled well. Apart from the droning style the main characters were less than inspiring. The hero/narrator is a simpleton without charisma. I had expected the heroine of the title to be a spirited gal fighting adversity but she was a simpering halfwit.I've read it, as a classic of English literature I felt the need to.I cannot damn it with a single stsr as i have listened to far worse "modern" literature but i found nothing to recomend it.
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