(P)1998 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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"Great Story, Terrific Narration, Horrible Sound"
I first checked this audiobook out from my library, but I liked it so much I decided to buy it here. That was a mistake. While the story and narration were still excellent, the sound quality of this Audible version was terrible. It sounded like they had taken the original recording to a tunnel and made a cassette tape copy of it there. Oddly enough, the chapters didn't match up either. For example, clicking on chapter four not only takes you to the middle of a chapter, but the middle of a sentence. I was extremely disappointed and will be returning this audiobook.
"An engrossing read..."
I selected this book because it was "on sale," thinking it would be low risk if I didn't like it. I loved it! The story is engrossing, the narrator excellent. My only gripe is with the sound quality -- there seems to be a lot of background noise/feedback.
"A fascinating history -- and Dumas as well"
Le bon roi Henri is the most beloved king in France's history. Catherine de Medici is one of the most despised (rightly or wrongly) figures of the Renaissance, the archetype schemer and poisoner. La reine Margot became one of the fairy tale princesses of French history. All because of this book. It's a great story, a true story, mostly, and Dumas is the greatest storyteller in history. Unfortunately, the gallant style is not Robert Whitfield's (Simon Vance's) forte, but he still does a passable job. It's worth the money/credit. I would bet that you listen to this more than once in your life.
I absolutely loved this book. Fast paced swashbuckling adventure, brotherly love and Bromance, Romantic intrigue with beautiful women, and the murderous machinations of Catherine de Medicis! Lust and vengeance at every turn!
What's not to like?
The two Heros are very much in the style of the later humorous and wonderful Musketeers of the 'D'Artagnan' series by Dumas. Those readers, like me, who've craved for similar stories of honour and adventure and the goodness of men against evil, will thoroughly enjoy this book and it's brilliant narrator, Robert Whitfield.
"Beautifully read, but not up to Dumas standard"
Somehow, I keep getting bogged down. The story drags, although this IS Dumas, and the reader is excellent. The prose is elaborately wordy, which might read better on paper than as a listen. But if one gets bored in listening to the description of a major battle and desperate rescue, there is a problem...
"Queen Margot (Unabridged)"
This wasn't the best book for me. It's written in "old fashioned" style, so while I find the subject fascinating, I couldn't get past the verbose prose. Someone who likes reading period books in period style would like this book.
"The last French Kings of Valois and their Mum."
Catherine de Medici, mother of Charles of France must vie with Livia, the wife of the Emporer Augustus of Rome (as described in 'I Claudius' by Robert Graves) as the nastiest, most evil woman in European history.
I was reminded too of Eco's 'Name of the Rose' in the attempt to poison Henry that ended with Catherine's murder of her son. I think I could find many other gems of plot that have been developed by later authors in the construction of other authors' subsequent novels.
With great humour Dumas presents us a Grand Melodrama.Though I do not know this, it was possibly published in serial form in the newspapers of his day.
This story written in 1845 is set in the late 1500's. Religious massacres and gross betrayal, contrived by Catherine, follows the diplomatic marriage of her daughter, Margot to the Huguenot King Henry of Navarre. Having lulled the Huguenots to drop their guard the Saint Bartholomew Massacre of the Huguenots begins.
Read so very well by 'Robert Whitfield', I found this Audio far more enjoyable than my reading of the hardcopy and the movie made in the 1990's.
"Not Dumas' best"
but still a compelling romance full of political intrigue.
This was very disappointing. Frivilous plot, feeble characters, unsatisfying and vague ending. Seems like Dumas, whose work I love, was so bored with it himself he decided to just abruptly end it and move on.
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