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.
If someone told me I would become hooked on these Musketeer fellas in my sixties I would have called them crazy indeed. I hesitated buying Twenty Years After because of a negative review. However, another reviewer assured me all would be well. It was.
If you intend to listen/read this entire series I urge you to not skip Twenty Years After (or any of the books). It’s like coming into the 3rd season of Mad Men or Game of Thrones; you will wonder who everyone is and what is going on. Dumas wrote this saga in serial form. Much later it was divided into multiple books and given titles.
As of today the second book available on Audible, Twenty Years After, is narrated by Frederick Davidson. After listening to John Lee’s brilliant narration of The Three Musketeers, I admit that Davidson’s d’Artagnan was hard to accept at first. But I reminded myself that this is “20 years after.” D’Artagnan is no longer the wide-eyed innocent from Gascony. He’s a man disappointed with his lack of funds. He’s tired of waiting to receive his due from the powers that be. This is a long book – four parts, nearly 28 hours – and within the first hour I was hooked. With the 3rd book in the series, Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years After, I listened to Simon Vance. And, much as I love his narrations, I also had an adjustment period to his d’Artagnan.
I have listened to the entire series now, ending with the Man in the Iron Mask. It was a long, wonderful journey.
(One suggestion: For translated works I often download a copy (usually free for classics) on my Kindle, or I borrow a copy from my city library. I find it helpful to see foreign names and places in print. And I like to refer to a Table of Contents for the list of chapters.)
This is probably one of the worst narrated books I have heard. Sad to say, but save your money or credit for a different version. The voices are horrible and completely distracting.
Great story! It is perhaps better than the 3 musketeers. Initially the narrator's voice and choice of character accents and speaking mannerisms were extremely annoying and unnatural. I'm not yet sure whether it was I that became accustomed to the narrator or that he became more relaxed, but after a few hours of perseverance, the reading became quite enthralling. It was fairly easy to distinguish most of the main characters from their distinctive voices. I almost stopped listening to it after the first few hours do to the coupling of the narrator's voce and Dumas' typical long winded descriptions of irrelevant characters and events. I glad that I didn't abandon this audio book!
Play a sample of this before you get it. I personally find the narrator very hard to listen to. I'm constantly rewinding the story because I tune out this man's voice automatically. I wish there was another version because I just cannot listen to this reader.
This is the third book by Dumas that I have listened to. I was not disappointed by it. Dumas' characters are well developed, the story lines are rich and listening to the story can be more delightful than watching a movie. If you are looking for historical drama, intrigue with bold and daring conflict, this book has it all.
The characters are so changed in this continuation and so cynical that I didn't like them as much as before. Plus the theme of royalty didn't resonate with me, but I'll keep in going with the rest of the series.
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.
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.)
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