©1936 Daphne du Maurier Browning; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I first read this book as a girl and it was one of the spookiest experiences I can remember. I think it's a real shame that one of the other reviewers here chose to reveal key plot elements in the review because when I first read this I knew nothing of the plot and that added a lot to the experience (sort of bluebeard's chamber type suspense). I admit that coming back to it as an adult it lost a little eeriness: I think I could relate better to Mary's sense of being trapped at Jamaica Inn better as a kid than I can now. But if you like suspense I think you'll like this gothic novel with a cornish twist.
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I adore DuMaurier, so this is kind of hard. This is one of the few books of her's that I never got a chance to finish, so I figured taking the audio version on vacation would be perfect. Unfortunately this is my least favorite DuMaurier book so far. The narration is great, the story is interesting, and late at night I did get freaked out a little by one of the creepier parts (kudos to the narrator all around). But in the end I was left feeling a little let down by DuMaurier, possibly because I could read Rebecca or The King's General or Frenchman's Creek every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. This just seemed like she was barely warming up to her prime. Still, if you're a DuMaurier fan you will probably want to check this out. I dont think I'll ever read it or listen to it again, but as a loyal fan I'm glad I at least experienced it.
Well-written, interesting plot. Perfect for taking you out of the present day. Refreshing sophisticated read/listen compared to the more flippant, hip style of contemporary authors.
This book was full of great characters with lots of atmosphere and told a good story. However, I had the mystery figured out early on. I also had a problem with Tony Britton's interpretations of the characters. While his reading of the male characters was nothing short of brilliant, it was ruined by the way he read the female characters. The female characters were read in a high pitched, laughable voice, and the characterizations of the women made them sound weak and mindless with no character development at all. This may have worked for the character of Patience, but Mary Yellan is supossed to be independent and spunky with a mind of her own, and the narrator lost an opportunity in developing a stronger personality for her and her interactions with the male characters.
For me its a seven
The story told by drunken uncle Joss Merlyn about the wreckers
Mary Yellan, a strong and nice young woman
The voice of the performer in pritty
Canadian-Romanian. Librarian (MI), English (BA) 25 years old.
Highly because it got me out of a reading slump. I also had this audiobook as a companion on a long train journey. I enjoyed the gothic atmosphere and followed along in the book.
It definitely reminded me of Wuthering Heights because of the dark nights, the moors, the gothic romance, the bad improbable man
His voice as Joss Merlyn gave me the chills (which was good because you need that from an antagonist pirate)
Jem Merlyn because he was bad and good at the same time (so I guess you could call him well-rounded). There were some things he did that took me by surprise. I also found his first interaction with Mary to be vulgar and highly sexual but he also made me laugh. He basically asks the young girl if Joss had taken her on because she's young and if that means his older wife (her aunt) watches or if he takes them both at the same time. What a romantic meet-cute?!
Du Maurier is an excellent storyteller. Her descriptions, the atmosphere, character depth, and language uses are absolutely flawless. I will definitely read Rebecca in the near future. What I did not enjoy was that Jamaica Inn (published 1936) tried very hard to sound like Wuthering Heights(1847). The two works are almost 90 years apart and I think Du Maurier could have really accomplished more in her novel if she would have used the tools and writing techniques developed in that time for an atmosphere suitable for her contemporary audience (we're even past the Jazz age at this point). In addition, the romance which begins half-way through the novel feels very forced. The relationship is not developed nor explored and feels unnecessary, which is why the second part of the novel really lacks substance and the narrative takes several directions after the half way point. This is a shame because it really takes away from the great atmosphere built in the first half. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes Gothic novels, and pirates! Also I would count this novel as straddling the line of a "classic" and "mainstream literature from that time." It's not too heavy but it's well written. I will definitely read more by this author.
Think Wuthering Heights!
The uncle for his hideousness and pathos!
His characterisation of the different voices was very well done. The dialogue makes the story and Tony brought it to life.
When Mary Ellen arrives at Jamaica Inn and meets her uncle for the first time - you can completely visualise the horrible things that have happened in the Inn and what she will face over the coming weeks and months.
And when her uncle explains what he has been doing... sitting in the kitchen... it sends chills up your spine!
A wonderful story very well told with fantastic dialogue that moves the story on. It twists and turns and the plot isn't obvious at all. You can imagine the country side and the characters in it. A story worthy of the Brontes in the style of Wuthering Heights but not so depressing! A rip roaring read!
Tony Briton has a beautiful voice; however, his portrayal of the heroine sounded like Dustin Hoffman's rendition of Tootsie. It was fine for Tootsie but unbearable for Mary.
This was my first reading of this book. I found it interesting and suspenseful and as I expected from du Maurier, there was a wonderful heroine.
I would listen to another of Tony Britton's books if there were no women characters. Oops. That's not right. I would not be interested in a book with no women.
Plucky heroine prevails over ship wreckers. Happy ending. Du Maurier was sharpening her quill for Rebecca. Readable as such, otherwise rather dated.
A wonderfully read version, atmospheric as ever and the narrator really brings Joss Merlin to life as a frightening character and there is a lovely variety between the voices used. I have only given this 4 stars however because the female voices were not so good, although acceptable. The story itself surely needs no explanation!
"Great story, bad choice of narrator"
This is an wonderful story, full of suspense and excitement. A young woman, with no other relatives or friends in the world, travels to Jamaica Inn to live with her aunt uncle. Far from the safe haven that she had hoped for, dastardly deeds and terror await her there. Tony Britten is excellent in voicing the male characters, but very bad indeed at female voices. This did rather spoil the experience for me unfortunately.
"A grand story..narration not so grand"
The story is a classic and stands up throughout this audiobook. The problem is the narration - the poor bloke can't do women's voices! So if you are going to sound a little like a pantomime dame, don't do it!
Still worth a listen ,(you adapt to thinking that is how people on Bodmin Moor speak).
"could not finish it"
Unfortunately I could not stand the way the narrator made the female voices. The reading is otherwise perfect, but the falsetto tone he uses for the women made the dialogues ridiculous. Considering that two out of three main characters are female, I couldn't even get to the end, even though I like Du Maurier and was curious about the story.
"I loved this audio book"
This is the first audio book that I have listened to and I loved it. Tony Britton tells the story really well. I could not put it down.
"Jamaica Inn: from Michelle Henshal"
I find this book a most enthralling read! I have read this book twice in total, the first time loaning it from the Royal National Institute for the Blind's talking book service, and the second time loaning it in braille from the National Library for the Blind in Stockport, Cheshre. I am very fond of any books set in Cornwall, particularly ones with smugglers in them, and once I started the book, I could not wait to find out what happened next: it gripped me from moment one! I do find, however, that parts of this book are somewhat gruesome! Even though I have read this book twice already, when I located it on Audible's 'Classics' newsletter, I was determined to look it up and place it in my 'My Next Listen' folder.
"Shame about the character voices"
This reading is fine until it reaches some dialogue, then it becomes absurd . As others have said, Tony Britten can't do women and he overdoes the accents to the point of comedy. A great shame that the dialogue ruins it, because the rest of his reading is lovely.
"I'm not a fan"
The trouble with a well known book is that you have your own ideas and images, and although it was beautifully narrated by Tony Britton, I couldn't take to his "female" voices. I'd have preferred it if he'd read it straight, without any effort to copy a woman's voice. It came out all wrong, making strong female characters sound dopey and silly.
"A fine classic novel"
A fine classic novel by a great storyteller. The terrible cruelty of "The Wreckers" around the Cornish coast are brought to life with dramatic consequences in an historical tale of cruelty and passion. Well written with a polished use of language; a powerful and tragic tale
unfolds in which class and gender determine circumstances intermingled with tragedy, retribution and greed and romantic love.
The narration is absorbing holding characters and the plot together to produce atmospheric listening.
An enthralling experience.
"Comfort eating for a book reader"
I haven't read the printed version but I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book - so much that I have listened to it twice which is unusual for me.
The writer brings the atmosphere of the book to life so that I could feel the threat the lead character was feeling. There were moments when I had the hairs on my neck pricking up as I listened. I loved the book and the description of the wrecking was excellent.
There are several I enjoyed but to name one I would say escaping from Jamaica Inn.
The Moors are wild, and so are the people.
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