Jamaica Inn

Narrated by: Tony Britton
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (222 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"A fine romantic tale... rich in suspense and surprise." ( New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An Exciting Adventure with Truly Evil Characters

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.

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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would be amazing except for one thing

Would you try another book from Daphne du Maurier and/or Tony Britton?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes!

Any additional comments?

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.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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But for the narrator

Enjoyable enough story , but the narrator made Mary sound stupid and old. It was hard to think of her as the vital young woman heroine that she was supposed to be.

5 people found this helpful

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I Liked it!

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.

4 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

Another great suspense novel. If you enjoyed Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, or The House on the Strand, you will love this one too.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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oh but for the female voices.

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.

5 people found this helpful

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Ok Overall

I enjoyed this story very much and although the narrator was very good, when reading the female lines his voice sounded odd to the point of distraction. This is of course just my opinion. I think Mr. Britton has a great voice for narration but being that the main character is female, this just wasn't the story for a man to narrate. Other than that, job well done!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not DuMaurier's best

Lots of moody discription, a slim plot, brooding characters. This isn't the best of Daphne DuMaurier's books, but it still has merit for its excellent prose. Other reviewers have noted that the narrator is just awful with female voices, although the rest of his narration is dramatic and well done.

3 people found this helpful

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one of my favorites

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....

3 people found this helpful

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Simply Sublime

I'm new to Audible and this happened to be the very first audiobook i listened to. I'd seen Hitchcock's film version and decided to hear the original source material. It's no wonder he adapted several of Du Maurier's novels into films as she is an excellent writer. Her prose is clear, witty, and very dark at times, but wonderful. The book starts off slow for the first few hours, and I might have put it down if I had read it in print, but the narrator kept me listening. I cannot praise Tony Britton's performance enough. His character voices are excellent, especially since the protagonist is a young woman; his pitch and resonance is different with each character and he captures the Cornwall dialect well. I loved listening to every minute of this.