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The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy
By: (1865-1947)

The Scarlet Pimpernel narrates the story of a rich English baronet who rescues French aristocrats facing the guillotine. He also taunted his enemies after each rescue by leaving behind a card that has a small flower on it – the scarlet pimpernel. It is a brilliant adventure story set at the time of the French Revolution. The plot is fantastic and rarely lets the readers pause for breath as it oscillates between London society and the dark night in Coastal France.

The story follows a beautiful Countess who escapes from Paris as a committee there was making arrangements to send her to the guillotine. She is smuggled out by the Scarlet Pimpernel and brought to England. There she encounters young people who are part of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel and all have sworn to live and die for their leader.

There is also Lady Blakeney, the wife of one of the most fashionable gentlemen in England, who is threatened by the French Ambassador to find information about the Scarlet Pimpernel. She successfully gathers the required information that would identify the man. The final stages of the book take place in France where everyone is vying to discover the hero's true identity.

The Scarlet Pimpernel depends much on illusion and is a master of disguise. There is little doubt that the author is a master storyteller and the tension is successfully sustained till the climax of the story is reached in the final pages of the book. The background is historical and very complex in nature but it has been successfully used to weave an enthralling adventure story. It is a fantastic story written along the styles of Alexandre Dumas and won't disappoint the adventure seeker in you.

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Reviews (Rated: 4 Stars - 21 reviews)

Reviewer: - March 11, 2021
Subject: purple pimpernel
well done
Reviewer: - January 17, 2021
This is an excellent story, but the changing voices are distracting and the quality varies too much.
Reviewer: - June 21, 2018
Subject: Varying Quality
I had to stop listening at chapter 2. The different voices were distracting and varied greatly in quality. It sounded like some of them were recorded without a mic. The parts where the crowd was suppose to speak was unbearable. All of this was really unfortunate because i really liked the narrator.
Reviewer: - August 16, 2017
Subject: Horrible accents
Had to stop after chapter two. Accents distracting. Taking you out of the story. Hoping it can be re-read without dramatic reading.
Reviewer: - September 19, 2016
Subject: Distracting
As others have noted, the different voices chiming in were distracting. Characters were not portrayed accurately, such as the innkeeper w/ an exaggeratedly Southern (American) accent, Percy with a French accent. The narrator parts were excellent.
Reviewer: - August 8, 2016
Subject: The Scarlet Pimpernel
Dreadful accents for many of the characters.
Reviewer: - February 26, 2015
Subject: A bit fiddly ...
This is a good classic read and I really did enjoy the story, although I only listened through Chapter 6. The quaint dialogue and the drawn-out etiquette scenes are charming and the first chapter sneaky trick captured me. The problem I had, though, was the uneven production. The narrator's volume was "normal" but often other characters' audio would burst in at higher volume - distracting ... no, disturbing. The other issue is heavy accents of some characters - the French characters are clear, but some of the English characters have garbled mumbly voices. I'm thinking mostly of the baronet husband with the beautiful French wife - his voice in Chapter 6 was unintelligible - but there are others as well. All in all it is a good story but the production seems rushed and not quite ready for release.
Reviewer: - December 15, 2014
The Reader of Chapters 17 and 18 was very hard to listen too
Reviewer: - March 8, 2014
Subject: HORRID reading
Terrible reading. We had the guy from Mississippi, his daughter from the Midwest, their friend the leprechaun, the man who was read by a woman and a narrator from Australia. Baroness would roll over in her grave! In my Opinion it would have been best if the narrator from chapter three had read the whole book. I've never heard such a terrible recording.
Reviewer: - November 3, 2013
Subject: Review
I stopped after the 2nd chapter. I couldn't tell what was going on with so many people trying to read this book. If it was just one person it would have probably been very good. Sorry, just couldn't take it any more!
Reviewer: - October 19, 2013
Subject: Scarlet Pimpernel
The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my favorite stories. I've been enjoying it since my childhood. When I saw it on the list of audio books I was thrilled. Having just finished a fantastic rendition of "Scaramouche" from this same great website, I began "The Scarlet Pimpernel" with much excitement and anticipation. From the first few lines, my hopes were dashed. It was obvious from the outset that this reading would be of far less quality than the other book I had just completed. Yet, I was determined to proceed for love of the story. However, once the multiple character, voices, readers, and especially the large group talking over each other began, I couldn't take any more. I got two minutes into the second chapter and turned it off once and for all. I am giving it two stars because I respect the effort that this group put into it, even if it did not turn out the best.
Reviewer: - August 21, 2013
I don't understand why you would interrupt some very good readers with 'the cowboy drinking in an English Tavern' in chapter 2, ‘the inebriated Russian’ in chapter 6 (Who is supposed to be one of the most ‘well spoken’ characters in the book) and the list goes on. I feel sorry for the actual readers, if they had just read the chapters this would be a 4-5 star. The 2 I have given is solely for them. I had to stop listening to this although the chapter 2 is worth a listen for comical value.
Reviewer: - August 11, 2013
Subject: Scarlet Pimpernel Audiobook Review
The recording was a poor quality (sound mastering was uneven or non-existent). The conglomeration of various voices throughout made it impossible to listen to. Thankful for the free recording, but it was, overall, very distracting and disappointing.
Reviewer: - July 20, 2013
Subject: Scarlet Pimpernel
The reader of ch.13 was horrible.
Reviewer: - July 6, 2013
Subject: Review
Although not all the voices were great, overall I thought they were collectively outstanding and made for an enjoyable story. Very entertaining.
Reviewer: - June 20, 2013
Subject: Scarlet Pimpernel
While I understand the desire to introduce drama in the form of different voices, this book was written to be read, not dramatized. The choice of accents was dubious and added a further distraction. I'm afraid I could not listen past chapter 3. Voices used for dialogue sounded tinny or dull.
Reviewer: - June 5, 2013
Subject: Scarlet Pimpernel
This was just a lot of fun. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Any minor defects in the reading did not detract at all. Worth every penny I paid, and a lot more.
Reviewer: - June 5, 2013
Subject: The Book
Reviewer: - May 7, 2013
Subject: Scarlet Pimpernel
The ONLY reason why I listened to this recording is due to Karen Savage - she is truly a great story narrator.
Reviewer: - April 13, 2013
I couldn't get through the first few chapters.
Reviewer: - January 28, 2013
Subject: Excellent
This is a very entertaining book and the reader did an excellent job.

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