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Description

Two young men linked by a familial murder mystery, a beautiful yet wicked governess who spins a web of deceit, and five individuals named Allan Armadale

Wilkie Collins' follow-up to The Woman in White and No Name is an innovative take on mistaken identity, the nature of evil, and the dark underbelly of Victorian England. The story concerns two distant cousins, both named Allan Armadale, and the impact of a family tragedy, which makes one of them a target of the murderous Lydia Gwilt, a vicious and malevolent charmer determined to get her hands on the Armadale fortune. Will the real Allan Armadale be revealed, and will he survive the plot against his life?

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Public Domain (P)2020 Naxos Audiobooks

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Ce que les auditeurs disent de Armadale

Notations
Global
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour Simon Brodie
  • Simon Brodie
  • 12/04/2020

Classic Collins

This is the third of Wilkie Collins’s four great novels of the 1860s, the others being The Woman in White, No Name, and The Moonstone. The lives of two cousins, both named Allan Armadale, seem inextricably wound together. Is it fate or merely chance? One of the cousins is unaware of their kinship; the other goes by an assumed name and is haunted by a crime committed by his late father. The narrative is increasingly dominated by a third character, the beautiful but deceitful Lydia Gwilt, whose schemes threaten the life of one or both of the cousins. Armadale is a melodrama in the best sense of the word, and the Naxos cast is splendid!

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  • Global
    3 out of 5 stars
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Image de profile pour TX lilbit
  • TX lilbit
  • 21/03/2020

When authors are paid by the word

Victorian writers' novels were often originally published as serials to boost newspaper/periodical sales. This system birthed some of the greatest English language books ever - and some not so great. I really enjoyed Wilkie Collins' 'The Lady in White' and 'The Moonstone,' but this book definitely screams 'paid by the word.' Maybe 'paid by the pound.' For every idea, interaction or set piece that moves the plot forward, there are 5 that are painfully and pointlessly drawn out almost beyond belief. If the author wrote "she drew a breath and then spoke" before each sentence it wouldn't be out of step with the pacing.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 23/11/2020

Wonderfully engaging!

Worth every minute. You’ll be so sorry to reach the end and have to leave these marvelous characters!

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  • MegaMom
  • 02/11/2020

Wilkie Collins at his best

The story never gets boring and is fascinating until the end. No one is without flaws which is part of the charm

  • Global
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  • Dan and Tal
  • 28/10/2020

Listen again & again to unravel layers of mystery

Armadale has always been one of my favorite novels. With this beautiful production, I've been given a chance to listen to it again and again and delve deeply into the complexities of this story. The author tells the tale of two remarkable people who began life with the worst sort of luck. No family to care for them as children, no formal education, nothing to set them up in life. Each was exposed to adults who abused them. Each had nothing but his or her intelligence to educate and polish them. But one strives to be moral, and the other flouts morality. Or so it appears at first. The greatness of this novel is in its complexity. There is a modern feel to it in that the psychology of the characters, even down to their irrational beliefs, determines their actions and their outcomes. There is no good or evil character; only characters that choose to do good or evil and may choose differently at any moment. The heroine is one of the strongest female characters I have come across in literature. She appears wicked and yet at no time does Wilkie Collins let us condemn her as wicked. She is riveting. She is magnificent. Like other Wilkie Collins novels, Armadale is peppered with letters. Imagine a scene intent on critisizing the prurience of society, but written in letter form, so that we (the readers) become part of the scene, eavesdropping on someone else's life as divulged in the letter... There's even a subtle criticism of the unequal treatment of blacks. There are two men starting out in life with the same name, but each with a very different beginning. And the man with a black ancestry is the one mistrusted for his brooding nature, his apparent moodiness, his dark complexion. This man masters his inheritance of murder and heritage of superstition to save his friend, the best of men because his morality is expressed in deeds instead of social mores. Character names, too, will tease you. Miss Lydia Gwilt...so reminiscent phonetically to Lady Guilt—but whose is the guilt? Her’s or society’s? And Armadale—Arm a dale—two concepts so strangely coupled into a beautiful name. As you listen to the story again and again, take the time to contemplate the phonetic meanings behind the names, as clues to the theme of the novel. To express his theme, Collins uses characters that are foils to each other. This is not merely true of the main characters as they relate to each other, but of these characters in relation to lesser ones or even to the social backdrop as a whole. Once again, the letters not only make the story more intimate at times, but they force us to engage in this comparison, to unmask the subtle statements Collins is weaving through the events of the novel. It's easy to read Armadale superficially, but the puzzle untangles so many layers of mystery the more you ponder this story. So I love listening to this production for this reason, because I cannot digest everything Collins did in one read or one listen.