• The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

  • By: Howard Pyle
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Merry England, in the time of old when good King Henry the Second ruled the land, there lived within the green glades of Sherwood Forest near Nottingham Town a famous outlaw whose name was Robin Hood. No archer ever lived that could speed a gray goose shaft with such skill and cunning as his, nor were there ever such yeomen as the sevenscore merry men that roamed with him through the greenwood shades.

He stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and in so doing became an undying symbol of virtue. But most important, Robin Hood and his band of merry men offer young audiences more than enough adventure and thrills to keep them listening intently. Filled with action, villains, and surprises, who could resist the arrows flying, danger lurking, and medieval intrigue?

Public Domain (P)2008 Tantor Media

Critic Reviews

"Experienced reader Vance's proper British accent and sprightly pacing keep the action humming.... Not just for kids, this audio holds adult appeal as well." ( Booklist Audio Review)

What listeners say about The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Childhood favorite brought to life

Howard Pyle's Merry Adventures of Robin Hood was a favorite of mine from a young age. The roaring, rollicking Merrie Olde England was amazing, but as an adult, I appreciate some of the commentary thrown in about the social order drawn in crayon strokes -- it IS a children's book, after all!

It is meant to be a series of tales about Robin Hood, but Pyle did something unique (for the time) and strung together the stories so that while each one is self-contained and enjoyable, is still retains a narrative and a plot. Even though the text is over 100 years old, it has a very fresh feel to it.

The narration was amazing, though I don't know why I bother to mention it. Simon Vance IS one of the best in the business, and I've never been disappointed by a performance of his.

4 people found this helpful

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Daydream

The style of this book can be summed up in one word: daydream. The men are all stout and hearty, the women fair and bright, and the days peaceful, sunny and full of song and ale. Although somewhat repetitive and incredibly unrealistic (steel wasn't invented until centuries after this period and where did all the Merry Men sleep?), it is an enjoyable and worthwhile listen. Simon Vance does a masterful job narrating, as usual.

1 person found this helpful

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Good book, Great reader!

I really enjoyed this audio book, and the narrator did an amazing job! All the different voices were great!

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant

terrific time travel to childhood.

listening was a challenge due to the Olde English language, but after a time I began to "hear" it and enjoy.

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An old classic

It was great to hear so much more of the story. Admittedly, I'd only previously been exposed to movie versions. A much deeper story than I had imagined. Not really for children tho...

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An early collection of Robin Hood tales

This book is a late nineteenth century compilation of Robin Hood tales set into a kind of Shakespearean English intended, no doubt, to give it a Middle Ages sound. This book certainly influenced the classic 1938 “Adventures of Robin Hood” film. I was expecting the Shakespearean English to be difficult to adjust to, but it really wasn’t- though that might be due to my listening to this as an audiobook. I found it interesting that Maid Marion had no part in the plot. Her name was mentioned in passing twice as a woman Robin fancied, but nothing more than that. I kept waiting for the Maid Marion tale, but it never came. I was also surprised at the small parts that Guy of Gisbourne played. Similarly, I was surprised that Richard the Lionheart only comes in to the story at the end, and the whole malevolent Prince John angle only comes in as an afterthought in the postscript. Don’t expect this to be a retelling of the popular legend. Most of these tales are stand alone, though they do build consecutively to the story line. I often thought of the Wiley Coyote/Roadrunner cartoons. Most of the stories involved either a prank, a quarterstaff duel, or an archery contest, with the various results being the Sheriff of Nottingham or some other rich snob being tricked or a new member added to Robin’s merry men. It did become a little repetitive. Still this is a book that Robin Hood fans should read. Simon Vance was excellent as narrator.

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Kind of boring and difficult to remain interested?

In addition to being boring it was hard to follow. Usually if Simon Vance is narrating I can hang on but not in this case.

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Truly outstanding narration

Uplifts the solid prose of Pyle to engaging drama. Sustains the narrative as a living document over many hours. The rare performance that is truly a “tour de force.”

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My ratings

I would suggest this book to audiobook lovers it is amazing to me and my family and friends

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  • KC
  • 01-27-20

A hearty boys’ own story

Like most children in the 1960’s my home had a single black and white television and the viewing choices were made almost entirely by my father. I therefore saw many cowboy and war films and, of course, Robin Hood. I played lots of make-believe games about this story until someone pointed out that a girl could never be a merry man. However, I’ve always had a soft spot for the story based around the idea of being with a group of very good friends who feasted, played and worked together. Howard Pyle’s book does justice to the spirit of Robin Hood and I enjoyed the charmingly archaic language and characterisation. The descriptions of the forest are also very good.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tina
  • 07-24-16

Classic for good reason.

I did enjoy this book, but I admit I lost interest at times. Would put it aside and come back to it, refreshed and interested again.