Set during the Reign of Terror following the start of the French Revolution... The title character represents the original "hero with a secret identity" that inspired subsequent literary creations such as Don Diego de la Vega (El Zorro) and Bruce Wayne (the Batman). The popularity of the novel encouraged Orczy to write a number of sequels for her "reckless daredevil" over the next 35 years. The original play was performed to great acclaim in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain, while the novel was translated into 16 languages. Subsequently, the story has been adapted for television, film, a musical, and other media.
Public Domain (P)2012 Trout Lake Media
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is a classic primarily because it is a very early example of the popular superhero form. While listening it occurred to me The Scarlet Pimpernel might be the very first superhero in literature. It looks like the pimpernel was number two in 1903 (Spring Heeled Jack was reportedly the first in 1867). This novel was mildly exciting but is basically like a single episode of any superhero adventure. It was also a bit odd that the story was pro-monarchy. There were a few places where ill treatment of the aristocrats was condemned (while, of course, the aristocrats’ oppression of the peasants was not even mentioned). The narration is quite good. I am happy to have listened to this, but can’t say I would recommend it to most modern listeners.
I had to read this story for my AP World History Class. It starts a little slow but it was overall a truly wonderful adventure. It was absolutely brilliant and kept me on the edge of my seat!
I enjoy this book very much, but I found that this narrator was difficult to understand. Her pronunciations were strange (though the French was good), and I had to slow her down to make this version work for me.
Well dramatized, I enjoyed the characters and story line embedded in a historical context. I liked the plot twists and found myself routing for the protagonists.
My reason for not giving the story more stars: I was disappointed in the author's use of profanity by a variety of characters throughout the story.
Narrator was fantastic which kept me going because the book was very slow paced. Not much happening for the supposed first appearance of the modern superhero. Nonetheless it's in a very interesting time period that will have me finding other books set around it.
Entertaining story. I enjoyed the reader's voice and inflections but thought she spoke too quickly. I tried slowing down the narration speed, but then the sound was distorted.
Classics are that because they are timeless and hundreds of authors readapt this themes to reflect the times in which they write. Is it dated, of course, but it is also groundbreaking in it's use of a heroine rather than simply a hero to tell the story. Like so many classics that "we" never get around to actually read, Audible makes it painless to experience these books. Interestingly, I found the narration to be distracting. The reader was excellent but I found her rapid presentation somewhat distracting.
It rolled along very well and drew you in.
It was very engaging and atmospheric.
Diction was very clear and easy to listen to but pronunciation of French words was not always accurate. I'm not a French speaker but I'm sure 'cure with an accent' (for curate) is not pronounced 'cure'.
"An old favourite."
I am not reviewing the story - it has been read by so many people for so many years.
I enjoyed listening to the book very much but the narrator speaks very quickly with a French accent. After a while she slowed down just a little.
I found that words ran together so much as they were being read that a person to whom English was a second language would find it difficult to comprehend as the sentences were spoken.
The lady narrator had a nice speaking voice and did put emotion and feeling into her speech but this was spoilt by the speed she used.
I like to do other things while my ears listen to narrators but with this book I had to concentrate hard and this book therefore was a "sitting down and just listening" audio book.
If someone had to read this book for a project or similar it would be fine to listen to while their eyes followed the words printed on the page as we all read with our eyes faster than we normally listen.
I will admit here that I did not listen to the sample that Audible put at our disposal perhaps I should have done.
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