Two decades have passed since the three musketeers triumphed over Cardinal Richelieu and Milady. Time has weakened their resolve and dispersed their loyalties. But treasons and stratagems still cry out for justice: civil war endangers the throne of France, while in England, Cromwell threatens to send Charles I to the scaffold. Dumas brings his immortal quartet out of retirement to cross swords with time, the malevolence of men, and the forces of history. But their greatest test is a titanic struggle with the son of Milady, who wears the face of Evil.
(P)1997 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
a decent narrator
the action and the humor
never. the worst narrator i have ever suffered through. seems to have no other "voice" than that of what he imagines a perpetually bored aristocrat might choke out.
frustration at the horrible narration
i listen to a lot of audiobooks. a lot. sometimes i don't finish because the content isn't worth the time. in this case, the content is quite good, and moves with pace. but the narration was so bad i finally gave up. i just couldn't stand listening to the narrator behave as though every voice in the story were a bored aristocrat. all the dialogue is overwrought, and even very funny scenes are flattened by the reading. since i could not find another version, i have switched to reading the book. all the other books in the D'Artagnan series are available narrated by simon vance, who is one of the best, and was indeed the reason i started the series - with The Three Musketeers. i enjoy vance's reading quite a lot and often buy audiobooks i would not otherwise due to his narration. i therefore bought all the books in the D'Artagnan series narrated by vance, without realizing that Twenty Years After is the second in the series, and if one skips it one is lost in much of the story that follows. as a result, i put up with davidson's narration as long as i could, and managed to get through the first third, at which point i gave up and am reading it instead.
I extremely disliked this man's voice, his inflections, and his character's voices. His voices were not consistent and i occasionally had to rewind an entire chapter just to comprehend fully the author's intentions.
Addicted to life.
Yes, yes! Dumas (and his team) is my favorite author. His talent for story twists, characterization, humor, banter, historical fiction, and plot pacing are extraordinary. I have read this book twice in my youth, and this is my first audio experience with it. To me, Twenty Years After has more character development as our four friends experience new and deeper confrontations amongst themselves - opposing each other, brotherly love, frustration, betrayal, and divergent paths, and a new addition to our foursome. To me, this book actually has more humor than the first - just a bit more thought driven style of humor embedded in the dialogue and syntax of its delivery (akin to the Bob Newhart deadpan style humor). I prefer that style because when the "joke" reveals itself, it becomes a memorable experience, and I find myself exploding in laughter much to the amusement of people around me. I can only point to my headset and mouth the words, "This is awesome!" in my defense to their confused looks. This book needs to be made into a movie, but without diverging from the book - I want to produce and direct it to maintain its purity! LOL. Oh, my friend, please read or listen to this book. If you enjoy swashbuckling period stories, this is a must experience!
Usually I favor the relationship of d'Artagnan and Athos as my favorite "character" but this story had so much development for Porthos, that he won my affections. I also enjoyed the development of the lackeys, and their stronger roles in this story. But, Porthos! Omigosh, Porthos rocked!
Well, the narration was a bit overdone. d'Artagnan sounded constipated with a stuffed head cold the entire time. The narrator made him sound the oldest of the Musketeers, which continued to mess up my mental images I conjured while listening. I would like a "do-over" for this audio translation. Aramis, well, he sounded like a cartoonish Italian-mafia-Captain Hook decrepit. I usually love Aramis, but the narrator's voice and line delivery for Aramis really interfered with Aramis' role as a Musketeer.
Oh, gosh yes! But there is no way because of its length....which I am not complaining.
Please get another audio version of this book.
I'll start with reviewing the story. I enjoyed the Three Musketeers, which is why I chose to listen to this book. The Three Musketeers also took some time to get into, but this story took even more time. It was indeed slow going at first, and I wasn't sure where it was leading to and whether we'd get to any really good episodes, and then it got going and I enjoyed it. The most enjoyable and exciting part was the four musketeers' action in England with the deposed King Charles. Though I am very much opposed to the concept of any monarchy, the story still makes you root for the success of the musketeers (even though you know what happens in the end in history). After they returned to England, the story already lost some of its excitement, though it was still fun.
As far as the narrator, many of the reviews were quite negative, and, indeed, the reader for the Three Musketeers, Simon Vance, was far superior. However, I did hear this narrator, Frederick Davidson read Les Miserables, and that is definitely among my very favorite books and I totally enjoyed his narration. Perhaps it was the story itself that carried it. In the case of Twenty Years After, when the story was good, I really wasn't very bothered by the narration. It isn't bad, except for d'Artagnan, whose voice was just awful - he sounded like he was always in pain (or may I say "constipated" in polite company?). Why? What was the narrator thinking about his character to make him sound that way? This is such a fun guy to follow around his adventures (though I am not really in favor of solving everything by the sword, but, hey, this is fiction), and the type of voice that fits is much more like Simon Vance did it. If you like the musketeers, go for it. But as far as Dumas' writing, there is no comparing to The Count of Monte Cristo. (And the Librivox reading by David Clark is as good or better than any commercial version - indeed rare to find such a good reading in the public domain.)
I'm sorry to write that I find Mr. Davidson's narration irritating. I listened to the sample, but didn't think it would all sound like whining. I regret purchasing this version. Perhaps John Lee will cover this one some day.
I don't have time for a full review but suffice it to say that I read this book during my romantic years of young adolescence when we had no access to a television. I couldn't believe that Dumas had written such a clever an hilarious follow up to the Three Musketeers. This book is really a must listen / read to anyone who loved the original!
To those who hated the narrator, I completely disagree! His voice for D'Artagnon is a little bit of a jar at first but the insouciance in his voice and the sheer variety of all the other voices and accents sets him far apart from other narrators and completely in keeping with the self deprecating tone of the great Alexander Dumas. I give him a resounding 5.
It was hard to get through. The main characters sounded like idiots. Horrible storyline and voices.
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