That hero is Matthias, a young mouse who must rise above his fears and failures to save his friends at Redwall Abbey. The villain is Cluny the Scourge, one of the most deliciously despicable rats of all time. The unforgettable cast of supporting characters includes the stalwart badger Constance, an irrepressible hare named Basil Stag Hare, and the elderly wisemouse Brother Methuselah.
But most of all there is Matthias, seeking his true destiny in a journey that will lead through danger and despair to true wisdom.
Don't miss any of Brian Jacques' Redwall series.
©1995 The Redwall Abbey Company, Ltd. (P)1997 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint Of Random House Audio Publishing Group
"This epic adventure contains elements of all grand quests, with heroic archetypes that will keep fans of Tolkien and King Arthur tales engaged to the final battle." (Publishers Weekly)
I was doubly a skeptic before downloading this title: I had picked up Redwall (in print) a couple of times before and failed to get into it; and I generally dislike any form of "full cast" production. But I took a chance, and I'm very glad I did, since I'm enjoying the heck out of this recording!
The key problem with most full cast recordings is that they usually involve drastic abridgements of the text, a failing that negates any benefit to having a bunch of voices. Here they use a much more sensible approach: the full text is still there, but when each character speaks, their dialogue is read by whatever voice actor is playing that part. The effect combines the best aspects of a radio play and an unabridged recording of a book: you still get all the narration and interior dialogue, but there's a wide range of distinct voices to bring the characters to life. A book that never really grabbed me in print became a pleasure to listen to.
The story itself is entertaining, though perhaps not brilliant, but overall it's great fun. It's my first exposure to this style of recording, and I'd rate it a success. I hope other books explore this method of presenting the text, rather than succumbing to the temptation to do highly abridged dramatizations.
I had read this book prior to downloading the audio version, and the voice talent used in this incarnation of the story made me love it all the more. The use of many voice actors appealed to me in the case of this story because it helped to flesh out the feelings of the many creatures who graced Redwall Abbey and the surrounding area. The story itself is a great revisiting of the classic good vs. evil plotline, and is written in a manner that is suitable for young adults. I assume by some of the writing style that the main target audience of this book and its sequels is the young adult audience, but any avid reader will appreciate the fine thread of the plot and the rich weave of the setting.
A colorful tapestry portrait is a key element in this story but the real tapestry is the audio. The many wonderful voices and accents are enough for a 1960s epic film. There are lots of fascinating characters and enough plot twists and well-made turns of suspense to keep you interested. The villianous rat is robust and evil from the tip of his nose to the end of his lethal tail and the noble inhabitants of Redwall Abbey are charming and unselfconscious. From the willing but unintellegible guild of moles to the hearty soldiering hare and the heroic baby squirrel this is an entertaining audio book for all ages.
This book, and infact this whole series is fantastic. Sure, after a while it becomes a little predictable, but hey, it's for kids! They like that! My ten year old brother has all the books from audible and has heard them all at least five times. Do not, however, confuse the book with a kiddie story, because there is a good bit of violence, especialy in the later books. I would recomend getting this, it's well worth your money.
Our whole family loved Redwall. Sometimes the characters were hard to understand at first, but well worth the effort. Great fun!
Redwall is definitely a book for the young or the young at heart, with a story and presentation of a quality on par with the recent action-oriented Disney animated films. The narrator does a great job and most of the full cast performance was excellent, though there were a few accents I did not care for--namely the irritating, stereotypical asian voices of the sparrows. Portions of the dialog were trite and some characters were a bit too cheesy, but for a story such as this with a possible younger audience, it was excusable. The biggest fault for me was the pace of the book; it was rather slow and I didn't find any real tension in the story until the last two hours. But overall, it was a solid read with no real glaring faults. There were memorable characters like Basil Staghare (wot wot!) and Cluny The Scourge, who I found hillarious when he was berating his troops and there were definitely some other funny moments (like when Matthias meets the Guerilla Union of Shrews in Mossflower, which seemed like something out of a Monty Python skit.) I was surprised to see death and war addressed in the book, though neither of which was dwelt on for any length of time and violence is no worse than a PG rating. Redwall is essentially a traditional hero's tale, and as such offers no real surprises or plot twists, but it remains a charming read nonetheless.
Although the accents of some of the characters make their dialog a little hard to follow at first, you are soon swept into the world of Redwall Abbey and the creatures who inhabit it. Our whole family thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I am reading the Redwall series and enjoyed listening to the story and finding a voice for Martin, Mathias, Constance, Cornflower and the Moles and the Rats I feel it would be a great book to listen to with a group of children
Not at all. If you haven't already read this story, it is absolutely worth investing the time into, but read it in physical format. The voice acting is completely over-the-top, and very strongly detracts from the story. For some reason, many of the voice actors felt the characters should only communicate by yelling at one another. Combined with overly-dramatic accents, it makes listening quite difficult and often annoying.
I first read this story almost 15 years ago, so it was great to read it again. It's a classic, fun good vs. evil story, but with rodents in place of humans. It's a very fun, lighthearted take on this type of story, and enjoyable for all ages.
The voice acting was very much overdone. Brian Jacques' performance as narrator was well done, but nearly every other character caused me to cringe after the first hour of listening. Many characters communicate only by yelling, which made listening a chore as I found myself constantly adjusting the volume down for 1 to 2 lines of dialogue. The accents and voices are also embarrassingly embellished, and don't add anything to the story.
If you have any interest in reading this novel, or any of the sequels/prequels, by all means do! They are great, fun stories for all ages. But please do not listen to this "Full Cast Performance." It was so painful I had to remember back to why I liked the book in the first place. Instead of listening, go out and get the physical book to read.
In reference to the person who gave this two stars, Redwall is not a story for children, nor is it a story for squeamish adults. There is violence throughout and anyone who buys this for their children will be shocked by the acts of violence. Redwall is, however, an excellent story full of interesting characters, a rich tapestry if adventure, friendship and courage. The two star review claims that Redwall is a disappointment similar to Watership Down. That would imply of course that Watership Down is anything less than stellar literature. Of course the plight of the animals in Adams story is bleak, and of course many of the characters meet violent ends, but what else is life for an animal if not short, violent, and bleak. As far as Redwall is concerned, the story demonstrates the turbulent life of medieval monks, the despicable nature of warlords, and the harshness if the animal kingdom. Even O'Brien's beloved Mrs. Frisky is confronted with despicable tyrants and violent upheaval. In that story, almost the entire population of mice who escape NIMH are killed in a horrifying moment by a blast of ventilated air. Furthermore, most beloved fables are terrible and violent. Does the flippant grasshopper nit starve to death while the diligent ant lives on through the lean winter months? Reality is not a carefully censored and adequately anti-violent Disney film. The mice at Redwall abbey live and die, sometimes their death is violent, sometimes quiet. And the heroes if Redwall are also capable of the same brutality and arrogance as the rats who lay siege on their precious home. Rats and mice, owls and shrews, foxes and death adders do not live together in harmony in the wild so then why should the same animals live as one when civilized by the fiction writer? Redwall is for adults, plain and simple, and anyone who would criticize an adult oriented novel for it's stark portrayal of life and death obviously needs to consider that some might have evolved sensibilities.
"Hooked from the start"
This was the first Redwall book (by Brian Jacques) that I ever listened to and I love it as much now as I did all those years ago. I'm thrilled that it's on audible as my tape copy died a long time ago from over use. A truly wonderful story that readers of all ages can listen to over and over again.
"Strong accents but lack of sincerity"
Plot-line is engaging, but unconvincing narration. It lacks sincerity.
Animals as characters, but anthromorphism doesn't seem right for this story.
WIth my 9 year old daughter, perhaps
Maybe after I finished the series.
I loved the funny voices for some characters and the accent of the author.
"brilliant story well told"
a brilliantly crafted and narrated story not just for kids discriptive and exiting story
one for all the family
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