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Victor Hugo wrote this wonderful story while living in exile on the island of Guernsey, which is where the adventure unfolds. Set in the early 1800s, The Toilers of the Sea tells off a young reclusive fisherman who falls dangerously in love with a beautiful island girl. Her uncle, himself an intrepid seafarer, is the owner of a paddle-steamer, which plies its trade to and from St. Malo on the coast of Brittany. The vessel is wrecked on a remote reef in suspicious circumstances, and our brave young fisherman sets out alone to salvage the all-important machinery, the steam engine itself. If he succeeds, he will return home to the promised hand of the girl he daren't even talk to.
Like his contemporary, Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo paints boldly on a huge canvas. His characters are compelling and colorful. Through them, he explores the values and the morality of his times. In this novel, he pits them not only against each other and their hard circumstances, but also against the elements themselves in the rough and rocky seas of the "Norman Archipelago".
Patrick Dickson has intelligently abridged this terrific novel focusing on the drama of the adventure and the plight of its characters. Like Hugo, he spent 15 years of his life on the island of Guernsey, and he brings a unique sensibility to the storytelling. He is an actor with extensive narrating experience. This is his first self-produced audiobook.
I listened to this just after Les Miserables. I was curious to read another of Victor Hugo's writings. It was interesting. The added music and sound effects were distracting, and are totally unnecessary. Avid audio book listeners do not need these. But, I'm glad to have read the book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I've always wanted to listen to this book but have never found a well read version. This one however is perfect! Read by a true Guernsey man with a smattering of sound effects that really immerse you into the story. I listened to this whilst on holiday next to the sea in Cornwall and it was the perfect companion.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Toilers of the Sea in three words, what would they be?
Gripping, entertaining, Guernsey
Who was your favorite character and why?
Gilliatt, the hero, for his determination and generosity.
Have you listened to any of Patrick Dickson’s other performances? How does this one compare?
This is the first
Any additional comments?
Anyone who knows and loves Guernsey should listen to this.