The story is set circa 1790 in the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (based on Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. It tells the story of Ichabod Crane, a lean, lanky, and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel.
As Crane leaves a party he attended at the Van Tassel home on an autumn night, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, who is supposedly the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during "some nameless battle" of the American Revolutionary War, and who "rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head"
Public Domain (P) 2013 AudioGO Ltd
Martin Jarvis does an excellent reading here, but the attempt to dramatize the story with the use of music and additional voice actors posing as witches and singers took away from the quality of the audiobook. The story doesn't need help to amplify the creepiness. The additional narrator summarized each "chapter" before it started. Why? It's a very short story and simple to understand. The witches were lame and the songs were painful to listen to. I felt it was an attempt to beef up the story and the length of the program, but very poorly executed.
"Cool narration of this classic"
The ghostly laughter punctuating the chapters of the book are entirely fitting, and set teh scene for this classic ghost story. Martin Jarvis doesn't lay it on his American accent too thickly and thereby prevents it from becoming offputting. I have not read the book, although I had seen the Johnny Depp film, which I realise after listening, took rather large liberties with the text. The book is considerably shorter than I had thought (hence the less than one and a half hour narration), but the description of the ridiculous Crane and the duplicitous Miss Van Tassel are delightful. As for the headless horseman, well you'll just have to find out for yourself...
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