Of course you've heard of the three famous swordsmen, but did you know that the novel is really funny, as well as replete with romance and adventure? John Lee does, and his narration plays up all three attributes to great effect. For those who need a reminder, Dumas's classic adventure presents the escapades of three of King Louis's musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, plus D'Artagnan (a musketeer in training) as they foil a few of Cardinal Richelieu's many devious plots. Amid much swordplay, they actually utter the famous line: "All for one and one for all." Lee struggles a bit with accents and characterizations early in the production. His hesitations disappear after a few chapters, however, and he gives fine voice to the rest of the madcap tale.
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I've only listened to audiobooks on long road trips before, so that was my intention when I purchased this audiobook. I was so captivated by the story; John Lee's excellent storytelling really brings Dumas' characters to life. I kept listening long after the trip was over. I listened while walking my dog, when I was working, and it made the best kind of bedtime story.
I quickly fell in love with the novel's protagonist, young D'Artagnan, who is around my age. He won my heart, but Athos won my everything else. Cool, clever, and with the irresistible "tortured hero" background story, it's no surprise he's a leader within the group.
John Lee made sure each character had a distinct voice, so even when it wasn't stated, I could easily recognize which character was speaking. Lee's voice is just a pleasure to hear and he narrated excellently. Every bit of tension feels so real; it feels like you're actually in the story!
Yes, and though it's nearly 24 hours in total and took me about 3 weeks to listen to completely, I devoted every second of my spare time to listening to this audiobook.
A must-have for fans of adventure!
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
First Dumas I've read, and it was a romp. Loosely on history of the King's Musketeers and the siege of La Rochelle which was a Protestant rebellion or the Huegenots, this is a tale of intrigue and the battle of good vs evil.
Fictionalized historic characters include King Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu, Monsieur de Tréville, Anne of Austria, Duke of Buckingham, and his assassin, John Felton. The characters, both historical and not, are fabulous, and the setting and descriptions wonderfully detailed.
While different from the many movies based on it, this makes me want to go back and see some of those treasures again, and to read more by Dumas.
John Lee's narration was superb and kept the pace of this book wonderfully.
I know. I know. One star?? A swashbuckling adventure novel beloved for a couple of centuries? Yeah, well.
I've tried to read this before. It had "me" written all over it: aforementioned buckling of swashes, romance and derring-do and so forth. But I never penetrated very far. There was a tone – perhaps to the particular translation I tried, perhaps to the work itself – that just put me off, exemplified by the instance of D'Artagnan selling the yellow horse after his father impressed upon him how he must never do so, and he promised faithfully that he would not. It was such a dishonorable, dishonest, ugly thing to do, in a book I had expected to be dripping with honor – and it was just the beginning.
Last year I finally went with the audiobook, on the theory that classics that have not held a huge amount of interest for me go down better read aloud. I hold the reader, John Lee, responsible for my being able to finish it with as much tolerance as I did; if I’d been just reading words on a page I think it would have ended up in the trash by page 200. I hated this. I truly, deeply hated this. I’ve seen at least a couple of movie versions; I’ve enjoyed them, somewhat, as frothy swashbucklers, of course. I always expected the book to be better, though.
One of my two Goodreads comments on the book was:
"These people are all horrible - honorless, slutty morons. And this is a classic, beloved by schoolboys for - what, over 200 years? God help us."
And that’s my biggest problem with the book. Perhaps it was supposed to be ironic, some kind of commentary on honor and courage and standards and morality through the depiction of noble swordsmen who were actually men you wouldn’t trust alone with a coin or a woman. I don’t remember ever coming across that take on it, though.
Athos, Porthos, Aramis, D'Artagnan. These are the heroes I wanted to read about. The brave and loyal soldiers, the champions of right and defenders of womanhood and of France … I have no idea where my ideas came from – the movies, perhaps? What I found as I listened to the book was that Athos was a hypocritical prig, Aramis was a hypocritical pseudo-religious, Porthos was a gluttonous gambling dandy, and D'Artagnan a cocky young jackass. They were all four drunkards, given any opportunity; they were all womanizers, cuckolding widely and wildly, dropping whatever girl they had been bedding to move on without a pause or juggling as many as possible simultaneously. And the much-vaunted all-for-one loyalty? I didn't see it. Every single one of them was as likely to throw his buddies under the 18th century equivalent of a bus as to support them, or to leave them in assorted lurches. Then get a good laugh out of it. And the interactions between these four and the man-servants they could barely afford but NEEDED made The Comedy of Errors seem like a shining illustration of workplace harmony. It was depressing.
D'Artagnan in particular was a letdown. The whole situation of swiving the maid in the room adjacent to her mistress, and vice versa – I wanted to throttle him. A lot. For one thing – seriously? They've let prepubescent boys read this for centuries? Oh, that’s just awesome. So, buckling of swashes, romance and derring-do and so forth? The swashes were askew at best; the romance was not the way Anne Shirley defines it (nor me), the doing wasn’t so derring. I only made it through the whole thing because it was an audiobook with a good narrator, and because I gritted my teeth in determination to see it all the way through. It was a deep disappointment, and I hated it.
My other Goodreads comment:
“Chapter 67: Conclusion
Oh, thank God.”
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
I wonder how many of us have actually read this clasic. Too many of us think we know the story from the movies, but I assure you it is far more clever, witty, complicated and suspenseful than any film rendition.
I had listened to another audio version of this book many years ago, but knew John Lee would bring it to life far better this time around. His timing, clarity, distinction of the character voices are excellent.
Do yourself a favor, listen to this classic and be taken away to the gallantry and intrigue of France in the early 17th century.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
It is easy to see how in the early days with little to read this was popular. If this was the way society was back in the day, I am glad I did not live then. These guys run around in gangs, there is a gang representing the king and a gang representing the Pope. They go around town and if they run into each other they sword fight, often leading to the death of many of them. If you are not one of them, you have to be careful, cause if you make one mad he might kill you. Just bumping into a guy can make him made enough to kill you. When they are not fighting, they are sitting around drinking, admiring each others clothes and talking about their lady conquests. Their object in life is to find a rich lady with a salary and to be kept by her. she buys them clothes, bobbles, purses, etc...
The main character is a kid who wants to become a musketeer. He seems at first to be appalled by these guys when he first meets them. He makes the mistake of upsetting a couple of them his first day in town, which means he has to duel each one. They represent the King. Just before these duels take place, they are attacked by the Pope's men. You can probably figure out how it goes from there. I only made it through the 6th chapter. It was not a Miserable book, but it was boring. I do not listen to boring books and now I have warned you, so you don't have to.
I love John Lee's voice.
Sadly, I think that BBC TV is doing a better job with the spirit of this text and the text does on its own. This book is far longer than it needs to be and is totally unfulfilling. The characters have highly questionable morals and the plot is just weak. John Lee is a brilliant narrator; The performance was great it's just that the text itself was disappointing.
The Three Musketeers is another masterpiece from the writer, Alexandre Dumas. Written with terrific skill, this novel relates the story of D'Ärtagnan and his three companions Athos, Porthos, and Aremis seeking to foil the schemes of the imposing Cardinal and faithfully serve the King. This novel contains incredible themes, intricate plots, and is a well written novel. The Three Musketeers well deserves its title among the top classics. The story kept me captivated and on the edge the entire way! John Lee is an outstanding narrator! With his incredible ability to change to the voices of the characters, he brought the novel alive. Overall, the audiobook, The Three Musketeers, is well worth the time and money!
Everything about this book and reading is 5/5 stars. I've listened to it 4 times now, and will probably listen to it at least 4 more times...
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