The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas audiobook

The Man in the Iron Mask

By Alexandre Dumas
Translator unknown
Read by Simon Vance

Blackstone Publishing, Blackstone Publishing
22.21 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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Thirty-five years after the events of The Three Musketeers, D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis find themselves caught between conflicting loyalties in a power struggle that could change the face of the French monarchy. For eight long years, a young prisoner has languished within the dreaded Bastille, his face hidden in an iron mask. He knows neither his true identity nor the crime for which he has been imprisoned. But Aramis knows this secret—a secret so dangerous, it could topple the King from his throne. Will his cause divide the once indivisible band of musketeers? A tale of mystery, adventure, and political intrigue, this conclusion to Dumas’s swashbuckling musketeer saga is based on the true story of a masked prisoner who dwelled in the Bastille during Louis XIV’s reign and whose identity remains in question to this day.

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Summary

Summary

A USA Today bestseller

Thirty-five years after the events of The Three Musketeers, D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis find themselves caught between conflicting loyalties in a power struggle that could change the face of the French monarchy.

For eight long years, a young prisoner has languished within the dreaded Bastille, his face hidden in an iron mask. He knows neither his true identity nor the crime for which he has been imprisoned. But Aramis knows this secret—a secret so dangerous, it could topple the King from his throne. Will his cause divide the once indivisible band of musketeers?

A tale of mystery, adventure, and political intrigue, this conclusion to Dumas’s swashbuckling musketeer saga is based on the true story of a masked prisoner who dwelled in the Bastille during Louis XIV’s reign and whose identity remains in question to this day.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“No part of the world has ever seemed to me so charming as these pages, and not even my friends are quite so real, perhaps quite so dear, as d’Artagnan.” Robert Louis Stevenson
“The name Alexandre Dumas is more than French—it is universal.” Victor Hugo
“Only he had the imaginative involvement, the compulsion, and the intuititon to create characters and situations which, even in our own cynical times, have yet to lose their appeal and which in his own day, made him not only France’s bestselling author but the most famous living Frenchman in the world.” David Coward, editor
“Historical characters mix believably with fictional ones rendered with zeal by narrator Simon Vance.” SoundCommentary.com

Reviews

Reviews

by Bertie Wooster 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

What a Wild Ride

As when I finished The Count of Monte Cristo, I’m feeling that satisfaction of having yet another of the Great Stories under my belt. Now other stories that play off of the D’Artagnan Romances, either by allusion, imitation or parody will make more sense. I have moved a step deeper into the web of literary influences and cross-pollinations that help make up the cultural treasure of the West.

On a less profound note, I’ve had a cracking good time. Wallace Stevens famously demanded that the first thing a poem should give us is pleasure. This Dumas gives us with no unstinting hand. There is melodrama and humor here, pathos and irony, deep insights into human nature and fine descriptions of nature. The canvas is vast enough—the characters complex enough and they change over time radically enough—to create the illusion that in listening we are somehow living real life. The mere length of the story, covering five books, 90+ hours of listening time and over 35 years of actual historical time, would be enough to do that. But it is the tale, with all its complexities and cull-de-sacs, intrigues and infidelities, that sucks us in, creating a complete alternate universe within which we can breathe and move about. Like Monte Cristo, the incredible extravagance and even more incredible coincidences all somehow ring true. Perhaps because the more fantastic plot twists and great gestures of heroism or self-denial are leavened with the kind of inconvenient details we recognize from our own experience. For example, after the initial hail-fellow-well-met brotherhood of the first volume, our “four inseparables” find themselves on different sides of several divides, including the Fronde. Yes, there is probably a good deal of willing suspension of disbelief on my part; I am particularly good at that when in sympathy with an author’s aims. Even so, it’s an approach I recommend. It is well worth the effort.

The above comments pertain to the whole series, from Three Musketeers onward. Of Man in the Iron Mask in particular, all I can say is that Dumas would have approved of Chekov’s dictum: if you have a gun over the mantle in act one, you’d better fire it by act three. Everything that is so carefully set up in The Vicomte de Bragelonne and Louise de Valliere comes to a head in Man in the Iron Mask. I will not say a word of what happens, what plots are laid, who falls and who ascends. That would be ruining the pleasure. Just go back to Three Musketeers and start at the beginning, with a callow youth from Gascony on a yellow jade, armed with his father’s sword and a letter of introduction to the Captain of the Musketeers, who jounces into Paris and picks three separate quarrels with three friends names Athos, Porthos and Aramis.

Of Simon Vance’s performance I can only say it is perfect. In fact I prefer his work to that of Frederick Davidson who handles volume two, Twenty Years After. Vance keeps every character, even the women, distinct and individual. His timing and rhythm are superb. As in everything I’ve heard from him, Vance gives the impression that he’s doing such a fine job because he wrote the words he’s reading. My only complaint is in the production; at times Vance’s level drops out and he seems to be reading in a completely different room with a distinctly hollow ambiance—as if in the initial reading a line of text was missed and they rushed into another studio to lay down the missing words and drop them into the original recording. Still, it only happens occasionally and only for a sentence or two.

Finally, thanks to Downpour for making Ten Years After (the three novels Vicomte de Bragelonne, Louise de Valliere and Man in the Iron Mask) available as a weekend spotlight deal. The whole set ended up costing me less than one volume at full price.

Author

Author Bio: Alexandre Dumas

Author Bio: Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas (1802–1870), French novelist and playwright, as one of the most famous and prolific French writers of the nineteenth century, producing some 250 books. He is best known for his historical novels The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, and he was among the first authors to fully exploit the possibilities of the serial novel. He is credited with revitalizing the historical novel in France. His works are riveting, fast-paced adventure tales that blend history and fiction.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 22.21
Audience: Adult
Language: English