The Castle of Otranto


Read by Great Plains

(4.2 stars; 79 reviews)

The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole. It is generally held to be the first gothic novel, initiating a literary genre which would become extremely popular in the later 18th century and early 19th century. Thus, Castle, and Walpole by extension is arguably the forerunner to such authors as Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Daphne du Maurier, and Stephen King. (Summary by Wikipedia) (3 hr 58 min)

Chapters

Preface 9:12 Read by Great Plains
Chapter 01 47:33 Read by Great Plains
Chapter 02 48:27 Read by Great Plains
Chapter 03 48:40 Read by Great Plains
Chapter 04 43:44 Read by Great Plains
Chapter 05 40:31 Read by Great Plains

Reviews

A Very Outdated Novel

(2.5 stars)

I tend to enjoy almost any classic book on its on merits, taking into account its historical context and the literary conventions of the time. Unfortunately, it is to no avail with this very weak novel that contains lines so ridiculous that a present-day listener cannot but laugh aloud at the truly bizarre writing. There are several scenes that are enjoyable and even one or two chilling moments, but for the most part, the novel is not particularly good. For the average reader, I would recommend against reading it. However, I would recommend it to anyone who loves Gothic literature as this is the very first Gothic novel or anyone interested in the history of literature who wishes to study this deeply influential work. In short, I would suggest reading this only if you have a very good reason to do so and are willing to sift through a lot of very silly dialogue and laughable occurrences. As a final note, the reader of this edition does a pretty good job, but cannot overcome the poor quality of the work itself.

party like it's 1764

(4 stars)

The reader clearly had a great time with this venerable gothic novel, creating different voices for all the characters, and even adding a few "dark and stormy night" sound effects between segments. He gave his reading a hint of Monty Python or Blackadder type humor, which is appropriate for an over the top tale of mysterious apparitions, dire prophecies and dastardly deeds.

First of the Goths

(5 stars)

This is considered the first gothic novel. It may not be the best one, but I found it entertaining and educational, because this is where many gothic writers got their ideas. The reader for this, Great Plains, does a fantastic job, and the main reason I’m giving this a five. Thank you, Great Plains and other readers for your hard work.

Great Plains

(5 stars)

I love this story, and your reading of it made me enjoy it a thousand times more than I ever would have before. I loved your voices a great deal! Thank you! :)

A ridiculous story. The sound effects almost made me lol.

(1 stars)

Love the reader.

(3.5 stars)

There are some strange turns in this one and some of the plot is not as developed as I would like it to be, but did you still an interesting little tale. You can definitely see a lot of misogyny in this, which is disheartening, but also typical of that time period. Still has some interesting points to think of. Loved the voices.

Unusual Tale

(3 stars)

A very old story of a prince's grief and subsequent acts of lust, violence, pride, and ruthlessness. Quite revealing of how subservient women were to men. Good narration

A dark tale

(4 stars)

Wonderfully read.A queer, dark tale of Italy.A great classic