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Redwall

Redwall, Book 1
Narrated by: Brian Jacques, Full Cast
Series: Redwall, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: Kids, Ages 8-10
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,595 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Redwall was published in 1987 it catapulted author Brian Jacques to international stardom. And small wonder! This enthralling tale is jam-packed with the things we long for in a great adventure: danger, laughter, hairbreadth escapes, tragedy, mystery, a touch of wonder, a truly despicable villain, and a hero we can take to heart.

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jonathan
  • Bloomington, MN, USA
  • 03-21-04

A childrens book for adults.

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.

32 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Two paws up from an initially skeptical listener

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.

59 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A colorful tapestry of voices

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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An epic story

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Too Much Fun!

Our whole family loved Redwall. Sometimes the characters were hard to understand at first, but well worth the effort. Great fun!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Production

This unabridged reading of Redwall is almost a full radio drama! It is wonderfully done with different voices for different characters. It was a very enjoyable listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Listen

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The makings of a good Disney flick :)

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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Anthropomorphism is for everybody.

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.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible book, mediocre volume control

The book is amazing! If you haven't read this story or if you're coming back for more I definitely recommend. The production cast is incredibly talented and the voices are on point, however this was recorded in 1997, and it shows at times. The volume control is off at times. Brian will be quietly narrating, then the Scourge will LOUDLY yell something... it can be a bit jarring.

Still recommend though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clare
  • 01-13-11

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-28-18

AMAZING 😉

I really like this book. I recommend it for 8 year old boys and girls. I will listen to it again another time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Meera
  • 04-06-18

A story that never grows old

I used to read and listen to this book all the time as a child. I loved it then and still love it now. While a simple plot it has ingenious twists in it and shows no mercy to the realities of death and war. A great read that sees the growth of the main character. Ok, I see some of the darker sides of it now but even then watching Matthias grow and change as the book goes on still has me hooked every time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 03-29-18

We used to read this series to our daughter!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Great story for those aged 6 - 10.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Matthias - he's the central character, bold and mischievous.

Any additional comments?

Why haven't Audible got the rest of the series? There are at least 5 books missing. Please hurry up and release them.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathanael
  • 09-19-17

Solid first entry

it hasn't found it's feet yet, but this perfectly charming entry to the series is a great place to start your adventures with the world of the woodland creatures of Redwall Abbey

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Lollingsgrad
  • 09-11-17

Weirdly brutal fairy tale

I really wanted to like this book but it's just too hard to get into. It has the violence of an adult fiction but the characterisation of a young children's book. None of the characters have any depth so I had trouble caring about anything that happened. The violence isn't especially graphic but somehow the fact that all the characters are so childishly portrayed makes it kind of grotesque. Like an episode of Peppa Pig where the characters all start murdering each other. It might've been alright if it was like a brother's Grimm fairy tale where there was a moral or otherwise sinister undertone but there's none of that. This book is both boring and unsettling. Good narration though, but I wouldn't have picked that accent for Clooney.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kristian falat-marsh
  • 04-26-16

A very good story for older kids.

The story was very well performed, a good cast of clear but varied and interesting voices and voice actors. The story seemed very much that of a fantasy war story but aimed at kids, while this is not bad, I was a little suprised having not looked fully into it before purchasing.
It was, however, still a very fun story and as said before, well performed.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andy Goodwin
  • 05-20-15

Strong accents but lack of sincerity

What did you like best about Redwall? What did you like least?

Plot-line is engaging, but unconvincing narration. It lacks sincerity.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Animals as characters, but anthromorphism doesn't seem right for this story.

Would you be willing to try another one of Brian Jacques and Full Cast ’s performances?

No

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

WIth my 9 year old daughter, perhaps

Any additional comments?

none

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Milo
  • 02-23-15

Good audiobook

Would you listen to Redwall again? Why?

Maybe after I finished the series.

What other book might you compare Redwall to, and why?

Narnia

Have you listened to any of Brian Jacques and Full Cast ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

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

No

Any additional comments?

I loved the funny voices for some characters and the accent of the author.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-21-13

brilliant story well told

a brilliantly crafted and narrated story not just for kids discriptive and exiting story
one for all the family

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jackson
  • 03-06-19

Great Cast

Great cast. Captures the setting well. Story not as great as my childhood memories had told me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-18

An unexpectedly beautiful story.

I loved this book so much. I didn't expect much, but soon fell in love.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-17-18

So much fun and adventure

This is by far my favourite audiobook so far. So well done, all of the characters really came to life and I was totally taken away to a wonderful world of fantasy. Great break from regular adulting.