The Castle of Otranto

Read by Great Plains

(4.2 stars; 199 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)


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


A Very Outdated Novel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)

Started (quite literally) with a bang

(3.5 stars)

In the opening part of the book, the castle oozes with twisted mysteries and a ghost that is obscure, huge and speechless, giving the story a tone of sincere horror. However, a little too much information is given far too directly in the second half and thereafter the story more closely resembles a family drama, with supernatural elements. This is not without suspense in itself, but I missed the opaque creepiness of before. Manfred was a great villain, his lies, cynicism and grandiosity were horrifyingly entertaining, and the book doesn't hold back from some genuinely comedic dialogue either. Unfortunately, he is the only character that is written so vividly, as pretty much everyone else is firmly tied to their respective archetype.

Hard work!

(2 stars)

Ye olde language used herein art destined to challenge thine meagre intelligence that the good lord hath bestowed upon thine tortured soul. Having listened from start to finish, I can honestly say that I don’t really have a clue what the plot was. It is a long story about an inappropriate marriage proposal, with interludes from some sort of spiritual being, and then finished off very quickly with a summary of what happened thereafter. Anybody giving this a five, must have been paid an awful lot of money for the benefit! Do yourself a favour and move on.

thrilling story excellent listen but too short

(5 stars)

I found this book very interesting the audio was great and the story was fantastic I love how he used music in the background to make it more vivid and spooky I also love that he used different voices for all the characters making you feel like your really in the story full of horror combat and lust if your looking for a great goth book to listen to this is it! only complaint is that I wish it was longer.