Wildly popular upon its release, The Mysteries of Udolpho is a Gothic novel of undeniable charm and power. The virtuous and loving Emily, the young protagonist, finds herself in the care of her aunt following the death of her father. Her aunt promptly marries the villain Montoni, a cruel and calculating man whose scheming leads him to lock both women in the dark and winding castle of Udolpho. Will they survive to tell of its terrors?
Public Domain (P)2016 Naxos AudioBooks
While Karen Cass does a fine job when using her own voice, she made the ill-advised decision to perform the spoken dialogue parts in a cringe-inducing and amateurish "French" accent, that becomes more and more onerous as the hours pass. And seeing as this is a 30+ hour book, that is onerous indeed. Audible really needs to make it a point to capture a representative passage for their sample narration, as if I had heard the baffling use of cartoonish accents, I would have sought another edition.
As above. It is understood the characters are speaking French, there is no need to flog us with inane accents to remind us of this at every spoken dialogue section.
I'm not commenting to review the book per se. It's a very long classic gothic novel, proceed at your own risk.
Full disclosure -- I have only listened to about a third of the book so far, but I may never finish it. The first 7 hours or so have been dull and slow and swimming in elegant but pointless verbiage. This is a gasbag of a book. I actually burst out laughing at one point -- the word 'blather' came to mind. For the love of God, get on with it! What is this all about and why should I care?
On the plus side, if you enjoy florid descriptions of nature, this is the book for you. If you love descriptions of other people appreciating nature and rhapsodizing to each other about it at great length, you have found Nirvana. Aficionados of stilted dialog will also be gratified. Apparently the gothic part of the book is coming, and with it some signs of life, but I don't think I will be along for the ride.
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