The combination of fantastic sound effects (ghostly laughs, a fainting housekeeper, a speeding carriage) and Rupert Degas's expert performance guarantees that listeners are in for a treat. After hearing about its resident ghost, an American family nevertheless takes up residence in a haunted mansion. Degas presents American and English accents to perfection. His comic delivery is hilarious on lines such as this utterance to the ghost: "I must insist that you oil those chains." The moving conclusion completes an enjoyable listening experience.
A terrifying ghost is haunting the ancient mansion of Canterville Chase, complete with creaking floorboards, clanking chains and gruesome disguises - but the new occupants seem strangely undisturbed by his presence. Deftly contrasting the conventional gothic ghost story with the pragmatism of the modern world, Wilde creates a gently comic fable of the conflict between old and new. Rupert Degas's hilarious reading brings the absurdity and theatricality of the story to life.
©2009 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks
i read this long ago as a kid, it is in fact one of the earliest things i can remember reading and it stuck with me but it took many years for me to find it again. this is a great story, funny, touching, very visual. it is a story i always recommend to others, (after i re-discovered it years ago) and it is in my list of best short stories.
Bibliophile, English Teacher, Wordsmith
Lord Canterville is driven from his ancestral home by the family ghost. The American family that purchases Canterville Chase take a more pragmatic approach. Sir Simon, the resident haunt, is offered lubricating oil so his chains won't clank so loudly. A patent cleaner is applied to remove the centuries-old bloodstains on the floor. Sir Simon is startled by a ghost (he's never seen one before), but gathers his courage to meet the newcomer, only to discover it's a bed sheet artfully arranged by the twins to taunt him.
Game on, as Sir Simon determines to teach this frightful family the fear and respect he deserves. Who will be victorious in the battle for Canterville Chase? The delightful narration leads you through this charming, spirited romp, as Sir Simon ventures to overcome and return every disarming prank the family can muster.
This period piece by Wilde was not as enjoyable to listen to as were "The Importance of Being Earnest" or "An Ideal Husband" both of which were literary treats. This play merely seems to dramatize Americans' lack of appreciation for all that is British without being either funny or enlightening. I'm not partial to the favorable portraiture of Americans but the characters in this play were one-dimensional and not engaging, and I couldn't suspend disbelief in the premise of the story. I tried, but I couldn't listen to more than 30 minutes. Instead, I'd highly recommend the two plays previously mentioned.
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