On a bitter November evening, young Mary Yellan journeys across the rainswept moors to Jamaica Inn in honor of her mother's dying request. When she arrives, the warning of the coachman begins to echo in her memory, for her aunt Patience cowers before hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn. Terrified of the inn's brooding power, Mary gradually finds herself ensnared in the dark schemes being enacted behind its crumbling walls - and tempted to love a man she dares not trust.
©1936 Daphne du Maurier (P)2014 Hachette Audio
"A fine romantic tale... rich in suspense and surprise." (New York Times Book Review)
Daphne du Maurier is one of my favorite authors. The narrator here was fantastic, except for one thing: the voice he puts on for Mary Yellan. He makes her sound like a flighty simpering simpleton. Considering this is not her character at all and that she is such a strong character, that she is one of the pillars of the book, this is a fatal flaw.
The haunting, evocative descriptions of place - you really feel like you are there in Cornwall. The wonderfully chilling suspense. The characters. Everything about the book, really.
The voice of Mary is terrible. It pretty much ruins the narration, which is so sad, because otherwise it would have been an amazing audiobook.
I discovered Daphne du Maurier when I was in high school....in the 60's. I have a hard cover that contains 3 of her best works. REBECCA,FRENCHMANS CREEK,JAMAICA INN. I have read and reread them and have now listened to them.....they are all wonderful, Frenchman's Creek being my all time favorite. I was thrilled to see these books in audio...You can never go wrong with Daphne du Maurier....
Which came first... the books or the glasses?
Of course Daphne Du Maurier of "Rebecca" fame is an old school author who knows how to flesh out characters. Knows how to show more than tell the story. We don't have to listen to 100 or more pages of background setup before we get to the good stuff. And the narrator! I felt like I was listening to a PBS or BBC production. He was that good (although his female characters left a bit to be desired). This is definitely a classic in more ways than one. The story and the narration are (mostly) top notch.
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
When young Mary Yellan's mother, lying on her deathbed, makes her daughter promise she will seek out her aunt Patience for shelter, the dying woman can have no idea of the curse she is putting on her daughter. On the way to Jamaica Inn by coach, where Mary Yellan has learned her aunt has been living with her husband, she learns that the inn has earned a terrible reputation and that no proper lady or gentleman dare approach the place. Upon arrival, she discovers her aunt Patience is half mad with fear and that her uncle Joss Merlyn is a violent drunken brute who threatens her to keep her place and to take no notice of the nightly goings on; that she is to keep her eyes and ears shut and ignore any strange noises or risk bodily harm. But Mary is curious and headstrong and soon finds out her uncle is a smuggler involved in terrible crimes. She resolves to bring him to justice, putting herself in great peril, though she doesn't want to put her aunt at risk as well. An exciting adventure with truly evil characters and a surprising plot twist near the end. I really enjoy Rebecca du Maurier and only seem to grow fonder of her writing with every book of hers I read—her unique mixture of strange human behaviour with beautiful descriptions of the wilds of Cornwall make for an irresistible combination.
A note about the narration, as others have pointed out: Tony Britton is a first class reader, but for his imitation of women's voices which are truly terrible. I intend to re-read this novel eventually, but as I already have a beautiful print edition, will definitely choose that option next time to avoid hearing Mary Yellan's awful spoken voice on this audio version. Too bad as it's great in every other way.
I have to agree with an earlier reviewer about the Mary's voices. she sure didn't sound like the intelligent and strong character written by Du Maurier.
I highly recommend Jamaica Inn. Interesting characters and the story moved along easily. It was evocative of the early 1800's in the Devon/Cornwall area. It brought to mind Poldark and the Pirates along the English coast.
I had been hoping for something that could hold my attention like her popular "Rebecca". I was disappointed that this book wasn't as enticing, however, I overall tolerated it.
The narrator was fine, and my only complaint was a personal distaste for his interpretation of Mary Yellen's voice.
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