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Summary

The Doones are a clan of murdering thieves, and among their victims is John Ridd's father. The strong, noble Ridd determines to avenge his father's death; but his plans are complicated when he falls in love with one of the hated family - the beautiful Lorna. Lorna is promised against her will to another; and that other will not let her go lightly.

Set amid the political turmoils of the late 17th century, Lorna Doone brings West Country history and legends alive with wonderfully imaginative fiction. Brimming with vivid descriptions and cliff-hanging action, it is a true classic of romantic adventure.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2011 Naxos

Critic reviews

"First published in 1869, this great tale of well-born brigandage, yeoman valor and maiden peril set in Restoration England's West Country, Devon and Somerset, gives full expression to mid-Victorian longing for a vanished agricultural past. Its audio form releases the language from the page thanks to Jonathan Keeble, an extraordinarily skilled voice actor who takes on the archaic Devon accent as though born to it - which, as a native of the region, he was. The novel's quietly droll passages and paeans to nature are greatly enhanced by his country aplomb. Moreover, the dialect that snags the reader in print ("Whoy, dudn't ee knaw . . . as Jan Vry wur gane avore braxvass") emerges here as fluid speech, its cadence a joy to hear." ( Washington Post Book World)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tei
  • Banbury, Oxon, United Kingdom
  • 21-04-11

Atmospheric Reading of Classic Tale

What a complete joy this audio book was. A first rate story, with a fabuous country background read by an actor with a rich west country accent. Thoroughly recommended!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb narration

I enjoyed so much listening to this story, which I hadn't read again in many years. Jonathan Keeble's narration is excellent.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lorna Doone

I loved this book, I read the first review, took a chance and bought it. I was so glad. Just listening to the narrator I was carried back in time to the west country, his accent is brilliant. The language used to write this novel is rich and viabrant. Certainly a book I was sad to finish, and one I will listen to again.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent novel

A classic novel, very atmospheric with interesting characters also quite funny. Really enjoyed listening to this book on my commute, narrator superb!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Vocal performance was fantastic!

This was a very long listen but the narration and range of accents were brilliant

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

excellent interpretation

the reader really brought the story to life and the story is EXCELLENT. so surprised this story hasn't been given better coverage in literature classes

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Miss
  • Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
  • 17-12-16

Slow burner

It took a good number of hours before I was hooked on this book. It is a looong yarn where some parts you wonder their relevance, but still gradually follows along the basic storyline of a love story.

I loved the character of John Ridd - he 'narrates' this himself so you really get a feel for his character and opinions. The guy who narrates this book is top notch. He doesn't flag all the way through with injecting little snorts, laughs and asides etc which bring the whole thing to life as realistic. The accents are good and each character is easily differentiated from another.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Totally marvellous book in every way.

Brought wonderfully to life by the narrator. Enjoyed every word. Must be one of the best pieces of English literature. Highest recommendation.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Phew . . . a bit protracted

What did you like best about Lorna Doone? What did you like least?

Really the best bit was the end. Sorry to say i was desperate for it to conclude and breathed a big sigh of relief when it finally ground to an end. The worst bit was waiting for the end.

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

Classic tale of boy meets girl, boy "poor" and girl "rich" evil guardian. Boy wins girl. Ok, set in 17th century Somerset, written in the 19th century with loads and loads of historical/cultural references. Some of these were interesting but it did go on a bit!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Er, no sorry. All a bit grey and one paced.

Did Lorna Doone inspire you to do anything?

No .Having already visited "Doone country" - very nice too, i have no great inspiration to revisit it because of the book. I will not be reading any more books by Blackmore

Any additional comments?

I do enjoy classics and was determined to finish this book despite its 24 hour length. To say it is very dated would be tautology but . . .it has not travelled well. Apart from the droning style the main characters were less than inspiring. The hero/narrator is a simpleton without charisma. I had expected the heroine of the title to be a spirited gal fighting adversity but she was a simpering halfwit.I've read it, as a classic of English literature I felt the need to.I cannot damn it with a single stsr as i have listened to far worse "modern" literature but i found nothing to recomend it.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • vhuggins
  • 19-04-12

Much better than reading it

This was an excellent audiobook. I always loved the story (having watched the A&E miniseries and read the book before I listened to this) and this audiobook really brings it to life. When I read the book on my own, I had trouble getting into it because of the rural dialogue that was having trouble understanding. Jonathan Keeble's narration took away all my difficulties and let me really enjoy this beautiful book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • 20-11-12

I fell in love with this book

I had to restart the first 5 minutes 3 times struggling to catch the dialect of the book and reader. However, after that I listened right along without even noticing the brogue ( other than a particular character whose accent is quite thick.)

The story is a simple romance. What I found so engaging is the capturing in the story of the experiences of rural agrarian life in 17th century southern England. I became enchanted near the beginning of the second segment of the Audible recording where the excitement of harvest is shared by the reciting of harvest chants. This just magic to me in the way the thoughts, beliefs, love and understanding of life is conveyed by the story.

I understand now why Lorna Doone is a famous novel. It may not work for everyone but I'm very glad I listened.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda
  • 02-09-12

A beautiful story, wonderfully read.

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

I would most certainly recommend this book to anyone and have done so. It is so well read, that even my 8 and 12 year old daughters found it engrossing. The accent is authentic, right down to the almost untelligble Yorkshire, spoken by the workers on John Ridds farm. The beautiful sections of poetic descriptions are read with feeling and the different characters come alive under the reading.

What other book might you compare Lorna Doone to and why?

Shirley by Charlotte Bronte is another epic and poetic love story. Although it is set in a later time there is the same variety of characters and breadth of story. The characters are beautifully developed as in Lorna Doone, and the romance, though different in the development, is as touching.

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favorite?

My 8 year old's favourite characters were Lizzie and Annie. She also liked Jeremy Stickles. I had a soft spot for Tom Faggis. His mischief and quirkiness are fun. The 12 year old couldn't get past the chauvinism of the time and so found John frustrating in his attitude to women, but had no real favourite. However the combination of the writing and the excellent reading brought most of the characters to life. Even Tom's horse Winnie is an interesting character.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This is a long story, told in the first person, that covers many years of John Ridd's life. There are good times and bad times. One of the more hilarious scenes is Uncle Reuben coming in on a donkey backwards. The story of the ducks being rescued by Tom is also quite funny. Near the end of the story is a tragic scene, and, even though I had read the book and knew the outcome, the performance still moved me amd my daughters to tears.

Any additional comments?

I loved the book when I read it and renewed my affection in hearing it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew Stone
  • 05-12-14

Fantastic Fiction with Romance

Any additional comments?

This is one of the BEST BOOK that I have ever listened to!

Not so much because of the performance but because of the plot.

I am amazed that this book published in 1869 had such moving impact as story in these modern times.

The plot was totally unpredictable right to the very end. Having some foreknowledge of the story via a movie was more of a problem for me because the story was so different and contains much more substance.

I highly recommend this book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Greg and Sara Masarik
  • 29-05-15

I historical romance that is timeless and lovely

A beautiful story with an excellent narrator. This story is very hard to describe because it seems to dwell in several genres. But it is a romance written by a man that can be appreciated by men and women.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • 16-10-12

An overlooked gem!

I had no idea that Lorna Doone was the name of a book...I thought it was a cookie. But the summary hooked me due to my interest in the period of history it covered and I got snagged by the hook of the book (real readers, listeners will know what I mean) by the idea there being pockets of complete lawlessness within the England of my imagination built by Austen, Dickens, Trollope and the like...I couldn't put it down. It's a classic yet unique set up...The protagonist is a staightforward yoeman, and the people working together in their communities being victimized by the Doones, their desperate struggle to pacify or evict the scoundrels by a system of law to which they had no access....Then there is a Romeo/Juliet love story going on as well...Well, it's just all gorgeous!

I recommend this book to any who love the authors I mentioned above. I've listened to hundreds of books and this is my first review...I don't spend my time with flummery. I love the classics and this is one is much overlooked. It may be a true story, it's written as one. Whether it really happened or no, it could have. One man doing his best to fight evil and rescue his girl, with a twist at the end that left me reeling.

An overlooked gem.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Robin Phillips
  • 04-06-18

Not for young readers like me!

I was 12 when I read this and it was very tiresome and boring and hard to understand. So if I were you I would wait till I was say 15 or older.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tad Davis
  • 03-06-18

Overlong but enjoyable

Part swashbuckler, part romance, part hymn to the beauty of farm country. It reminds me a bit of Poldark - the original novel, not the TV version(s). Lorna Doone is episodic and a shade too long; what saves it and holds it together is the genial, self-deprecating common sense of the narrator, John Ridd. Jonathan Keeble delivers the entire book in regional dialect. It’s a bit softened, and perfectly understandable, in John’s case, but for the dialogue of some of his fellows, it’s full-blown. (Even there, though, the general sense is always clear.)

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Marlo Clarice
  • 23-05-18

Read the Abridged Version

This book is long. I half listened to, half read the unabridged version with my Classical Literature book club and none of us really enjoyed it. There were a lot of seemingly unnecessary plot lines going on, and a lot of rabbit trails. Save yourself some time and find a good abridged version. The actual audio performance was very good! It kept me interested despite the long novel.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shirley Kanno
  • 16-02-18

This is a complex story.

I had to listen and read together, in order to understand the various dialects. Wonderful!