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.
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.
I suppose the narrator was the best. Women narrators are generally irritating to me, but her voice was not. Least liked, I suppose, was simply that it was written in the rather overwrought drama of the times. How could I have expected otherwise? There are exceptions....
I thought I had figured it out, but then I got caught up in another part and forgot who I thought would advance the story....
I suppose when the men were sleeping at the ball.
A bit out of date, I think.
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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