© 1951 Daphne du Maurier (P) 1989, 2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"Rachel - my torment!"
What a brilliant listen! It did take me a while to get into this: Jonathan Pryce's style may not be to everyone's liking, but it grew on me. Du Maurier weaves a twisting tale of intrigue - such that you are constantly switiching allegiances between Rachel and the narrator. Who is the mad person? At one moment you're sure it's her - the next, it's obviously him! There is a strong seam of feminist thinking here. Listen carefully as Du Maurier describes the differences between men and women in the stereotypical language of her days: women are seen as emotional, lacking in stability etc; - this plays directly into the narrators assessment of Rachel and is something to keep in mind as you assess his judgment of who Rachel is and what she has done to Cousin Ambrose!!
"Everyone should listen to this book!"
This is a startlingly good book. Jonathan Price reads in calm, hypnotic style which complements the burgeoning bewilderment the story weaves around the listener. It is a consummate description of the way men cannot understand women and vice versa.
Philip is so likeable and so real that you almost want to shout out encouragement or warning to him, depending on your take of cousin Rachel! Rachel is the cleverest of characters, an ethereal, not quite there person, you struggle to understand other than by the ways those around her react. That this depiction of a man's man so utterly in love with a woman, was crafted BY a woman is a credit to Du Maurier. As a story in its own right, it is perfect, and stays with you long after you finish it. If you loved Rebecca -you will be amazed at how different this is and yet how accomplished. If you havent read/listened to any Daphne yet...I urge you to start here. Bliss.
An atmospheric story of romance and destruction, My Cousin Rachel is arguably just as good as the more famous Rebecca. The plot is centred around the mysterious woman who unexpectedly comes into the life of Philip Ashley, when his idolised cousin Ambrose marries her in Italy, and subsequently dies. Philip, who was raised by Ambrose, is heartbroken by his cousin’s marriage, and devastated by his death, and harbours a strong resentment towards the woman who stole Ambrose’s affection and kept him away from Philip. His anger is driven by the troubling letters he received from Ambrose not long before his death, letters which seem to suggest that Rachel was the cause of his untimely demise… When Rachel turns up at Philip’s Cornish home, high emotions come to the fore, and fate has more cards to play.
Du Maurier’s work is spell-binding because of her admirable skill in characterisation. She manages to portray the moods of the young and immature Philip Ashley so convincingly that the reader at once understands his narration from his point of view, but is also able to see further than he can himself, and interpret his behaviour – and that of the other characters – more than he does himself. The book’s plot is tantalising and engaging, the characters well-rounded, interesting and sympathetic. The prose is beautifully executed, and the structure of the book is magnificent.
The narration by Jonathan Pryce is excellent. He is a fantastic actor and does justice to this incredible book, reading very convincingly and engagingly.
"My Cousin Rachel, A good holiday read"
I listened to this book with great delight, although slow to start, it soon turned into something I couldn't put down. My daughter, aged 15, listened to it too, after loving "Rebecca" by DduM she duly loved this too and is now on a DduM phase! We both found the story line a little predictable, but that didn't detract from the whole, evocative listening fest.
Mrs. Amanda Rothwell, Dordogne, France
"WOW LOVED IT"
My biggest question is why is Daphne du Maurier mainly known for Rebecca - a good book don't get me wrong - but this was brilliant, and having Jonathan Pryce narrate it was such an excellent choice. His voice is velvet.
I expect Rebecca is more famous because of the film but this is more than worthy of being put to film - Give it a go I am sure you will not be disappointed.
This is an exquisite reading of a gripping book. Mystery, intrigue, paranoia, love, all set against the backdrop of a bleak Cornish landscape. The reading is simply stunning. The book was superbly written. My first encounter with Du Maurier - I will definitely download more. All up, it is about an hour too long (so 4 stars not 5 - but if I'll download the unabridged version, what should I expect?).
"Doesn't get much better than this"
Superb reading by Jonathan Pryce. All the characters thoroughly convincing. Difficult to find any faults whatsoever. Definitely worth the money.
"super and clear writing"
This was my first audible book and superbly narrated ... loved every minute of it
A wonderful story and excellently read by Jonathan Pryce. I have read the book a couple of times, but having it read to me was a real luxury. It was hard to tear myself away.
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