I absolutely loved reading the Moonstone (in paper) years ago, and was excited to get the audiobook. It does not disappoint. The individual character of each persons narrative (different characters are used to relate the same story) is preserved perfectly by the use of different voices cleverly done, not over accented. Although this may be considered a classic, I would suggest really it is a comedy, lots of laugh out loud sentences while driving along in the car! Highly recommended.
You have to like gothic fiction to tolerate this book. Luckily I love it, so really enjoyed this reading of a book I already knew. Alison Larkin reads the sections of poetry really nicely, I often don't 'get' poetry but this made the passages enjoyable, rather than a struggle which I normally skip over to return to the narrative.
The characters are French and Italian in this book, but to differentiate between different persons, Ms Larkin uses Scottish, West Country and Yorkshire accents! This however does not spoil the story and makes it easy to tell who is speaking. The heroine Emily St Aubert is a little insipid for modern tastes perhaps, always with unsupportable spirits and fainting away, but remember what kind of novel this is and enjoy the luscious description of the landscape and, once about a quarter of the way in, a really gripping tale of mysteries.
I have read reviews of this which have said "I first read this when I was 8" and having now read it I am surprised! There are a number of graphic scenes of hunting elephants, elephants goring humans, humans killing other humans, all-out civil war, crushing etc etc. it is a blood-bath. Not for the faint hearted, but actually a very gripping romp. I couldn't wait to get back in the car to listen to the next bit! You can't say too much about the content of the book without giving away too much, as the story is actually very short and concise, my usual read is about 30 hours - this seemed too brief! Has made me want to read the rest of the Quartermain books he has written. I loved the characterisation of the 3 white male characters, very much of a different era, and typical masculine gung-ho types. Toby Stephens is a great narrator, has just the right accent for this type of book, but could do a believable African accent.