I recently took up a free Kindle Unlimited trial. I wasn’t that impressed with the choice of Kindle books available; most of the recent publications seem to be self-published authors I’ve never heard of. However, it does offer free Audible downloads on audiobook versions of many classic novels, which is giving me the opportunity to read some older books I probably should have read years ago.
Here are quick reviews of the three I’ve listened to so far:
The 39 Steps by John Buchan
This must have been a novella as it’s only 4 hours long. It’s very well read by Robert Powell with a slight tongue-in-check tone at some of the old-fashioned English. The pace of the book in the beginning is great, it trails off a little towards the end once the main character teams up with the authorities rather than being a man on the run. It’s enjoyable and an interesting intro to origins of this genre of thriller.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Another novella, only 3 hours long, read by actor Martin Jarvis. This is a really peculiar story, narrated by lawyer John Utterson relating the story of Jekyll and Hyde with a strange sense of detachment. It loses some of the sense of urgency and excitement by being described after the fact by a third party. It’s still interesting and quirky but probably my least favourite of the three audiobooks I’ve tried.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Often when you read classics they feel cliched, no matter how original they were when they were first written, because they been referenced so often in modern fiction. Dracula does not suffer from this problem it was sublime, I loved it. It was probably helped by the fantastic audio version which is read by a full cast including Alan Cumming and Tim Curry. It is brilliant, I cannot recommend it highly enough! I loved the cast of characters in this novel teaming together to defeat the evil Count Dracula (who surprising barely features in the book), they have fantastic relationships with each other. The story is tense and exciting and really well-paced.