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The Tale of Despereaux | [Kate DiCamillo]

The Tale of Despereaux

This is the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in darkness but covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. These characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and ultimately, into each other's lives.
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Audible Editor Reviews

What is it about mice? Ever since Aesop paired a little rodent with a mighty lion, mice have been the stars of literature. Stuart Little, the gallant Reepicheep of the Narnia books, the heroes of Redwall - mice all.

Now comes Despereaux, and he does his fore-mice proud. This is a wistful story that is given a properly dreamlike reading by Graeme Malcolm. You can imagine him sitting by a crackling fire as he tells the tale of a misfit, sensitive mouse who falls in love with a princess and finds his place in the world.

At 3-1/2 hours long, this is the perfect listen for a family trip. It's the kind of story that parents will appreciate for the lessons it imparts - and children will cherish for its memorable adventures of a determined mouse.

Publisher's Summary

This is the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in darkness but covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl with a simple, impossible wish. These characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and ultimately, into each other's lives.

And what happens then?

Listener, it is your destiny to find out.

Click here to see a full list of Newbery Medal Winners and Newbery Honor Books.

©2003 Kate DiCamillo; (P)2003 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

  • Newbery Medal Winner, 2004, Most Distinguished American Children's Book

"A charming story of unlikely heroes....With a masterful hand, DiCamillo weaves four story lines together in a witty, suspenseful narrative that begs to be read aloud....This expanded fairy tale is entertaining, heartening, and, above all, great fun." (School Library Journal)
"Forgiveness, light, love, and soup. These essential ingredients combine into a tale that is as soul stirring as it is delicious." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (370 )
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4.5 (93 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jingbo Palo Alto, CA, United States 04-17-13
    Jingbo Palo Alto, CA, United States 04-17-13 Member Since 2012

    Barking Books.

    ratings
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    2
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    "Complete Satisfaction"
    What made the experience of listening to The Tale of Despereaux the most enjoyable?

    The vocabulary and heartwarming characters, and its beautiful narrations.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me want to laugh at every word and cry at every sentence. Every single word this author used was ingenious and captivated me to the point where I believed entirely that I would weep at even the happiest ending.


    Any additional comments?

    There are those books and movies that make you want to cry and laugh and makes your insides twist and flutter at the same time. This is one of those books. Trust me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke Memphis, TN USA 12-30-12
    Brooke Memphis, TN USA 12-30-12 Member Since 2010

    Brooke

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    "Better read as a book than an audiobook."
    Would you try another book from Kate DiCamillo and/or Graeme Malcolm?

    This story becomes cumbersome when listened to. I believe it would be better to read in a traditional book. I became very tired of hearing the expression 'gaw' (or 'caw') from one of the main characters. It became extremely distracting. The story line is difficult to follow in the four books when listening instead of reading traditionally.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Kate DiCamillo? Why or why not?

    I would rather read her books in the traditional fashion.


    What does Graeme Malcolm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He did a good job of using different voices for the characters, but some of them sounded a bit odd or stilted at times.


    Did The Tale of Despereaux inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to write more.


    Any additional comments?

    I always think that books are better than the movies that are made of them, but in this case, I found the movie story line much more compelling and intriguing. This story, experienced as an audiobook, was slow and cumbersome in many points. It felt disjointed and difficult to follow.

    I do love the character of Despereaux and find him intriguing and inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    j CRESCENT CITY, CA, United States 11-19-12
    j CRESCENT CITY, CA, United States 11-19-12 Member Since 2012

    “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” CS Lewis

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightful for whole family"
    Where does The Tale of Despereaux rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best family-friendly audiobook we've heard yet.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Perfect listening for my 6 and 9 year olds. A bit too much for the 4 year old. Had just enough depth as well to keep adults well-interested.


    What about Graeme Malcolm’s performance did you like?

    Differentiated the various character's with nuance and proper passion.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It did make one member of the family cry at the end and there were many laughs throughout.


    Any additional comments?

    Great length for kids too - four hours or so? Perfect for road trip.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JANET WHITEFISH, MT, United States 11-05-12
    JANET WHITEFISH, MT, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Fantastic"
    Would you listen to The Tale of Despereaux again? Why?

    I bought this for my 9 year old to listen to during the drive to and from school. He loved it. He didn't want to stop the story each morning. He couldn't wait to listen to what happened next.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffery Sierra Vista, Arizona, United States 05-28-12
    Jeffery Sierra Vista, Arizona, United States 05-28-12 Member Since 2010
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    6
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    "Love this book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Tale of Despereaux to be better than the print version?

    The narrator's voice makes this book a pleasure to listen to.


    Have you listened to any of Graeme Malcolm???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    His voice is like silk! He differentiates each character expertly. I think this narrator is the best I've ever heard. I would listen to him read the phone book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I loved when someone finally asked Miggery Sow what she wanted.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lizel Duluth, MN, United States 12-18-11
    Lizel Duluth, MN, United States 12-18-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Great story, fantastic narration"

    This is one of those audiobooks that work perfectly for a family road trip. Our kids were on the edge of their seats, and the story is so well written that mom and dad also enjoyed it immensely.

    The narrator is absolutely fantastic, adding so much to the overall enjoyment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitlin Bakersfield, CA, United States 02-03-11
    Caitlin Bakersfield, CA, United States 02-03-11
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    "Brilliant! (Says the adult listener)"

    My younger sister first picked this book up in 4th grade, and has been in love with it ever since. I have been ignoring her pleas for me to read it for a very long time, thinking it was just another silly child's book about some cute furry animals. Boy was I wrong! I bought this audiobook, the book alone is a wonderful story, that slips in lessons on vocabulary that young ones will never notice, but will learn all the same, but then the narrator! The narrator tops it off. I have seen the movie already, and my friends, this audiobook is FAR better than the movie.

    It's just a nice story, that isn't "too nice." The story is well told. It had my 25 year old self chuckling at parts, admiring sentences at others, and clinging to the edge of my seat at many. I ended up staying up until 2 am to finish it (don't start it in the evening) and nostalgically sad that it ended. And at just over 4 hours long, it would be perfect for one of those long car trips with the family!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bettina Philadelphia, PA, USA 06-18-09
    Bettina Philadelphia, PA, USA 06-18-09 Member Since 2001
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    "Wonderful!"

    Wonderful story. Skillfully written. A true fairtale full of darkness and light, witty and wry, with a keen appreciation and love for the awkwardness and eccentricity of real life. Not for the littlest ones. Best for 10 or older. Great for adults. Graeme Malcolm is brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacquelyn Severna Park, MD, USA 12-30-08
    Jacquelyn Severna Park, MD, USA 12-30-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Delightful!"

    I bought this for my 10 yr. old daughter for Christmas this year. I started listening to it w/ her and couldn't put it down. What a wonderful story for all ages. You'll laugh, you'll cry, etc...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pete Little Rock, AR, USA 06-21-08
    Pete Little Rock, AR, USA 06-21-08
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    "Despereaux Tilling the Mouse"

    I have listened to this book with my kids. My kids are completely captivated by this story every listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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