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Editor reviews

Renowned musician, author, and actor Ian Whitcomb lends his lush, lilting baritone to George MacDonald’s surreal story of bravery and honor, delivering a performance sure to excite the imaginations of young listeners. Whitcomb’s soothing, melodious strains recall the almost hypnotic comfort of childhood bedtime stories. At the same time, this jack-of-all-trades performer capably captures the fantastic playfulness that drives The Princess and the Goblin, his jaunty English accent brimming with dapper affection. MacDonald’s classic relates the plight of a young princess on a mission to save her kingdom from subterranean goblin invaders. MacDonald builds layers of fantasy and surrealism throughout his tale, employing magic and symbolism with skill rivaled perhaps only by the great Lewis Carroll.

Summary

Young Princess Irene is sent to the country to be raised in a half-farmhouse, half-castle located in the side of a mountain. While exploring the top of the castle, Irene becomes lost and inexplicably finds her way to a mystifying and beautiful woman spinning a thread. Princess Irene is drawn to the woman whom she discovers is her great-great-grandmother. But after she returns, her nurse, Lootie, refuses to believe in the old woman's existence, and the young Princess cannot find the way back to her great-great-grandmother.

Days later, while on an outing with Lootie, Princess Irene believes that she detects a Goblin. They meet a young miner, Curdie, who confirms her sighting. Soon Curdie discovers Goblins lurking under the castle that have constructed an evil plot against the king and his palace. Princess Irene's belief in her great-great-grandmother's powers becomes essential as she and Curdie work to foil the sinister Goblin plan. As the Princess tells Curdie, "sometimes you must believe without seeing".

©1996 Phoenix Recordings

What listeners say about The Princess and the Goblin

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Pretty good

As an adult I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it is a lovely tale, if a litle moral in places and not necessarily suitable for under-sevens (bit of wanton Goblin death involved), but otherwise a very enjoyable listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for DJCinNC
  • DJCinNC
  • 31-03-10

Love this book

My children and I listened to this book in the car. We loved it so much I was inspired to buy The Princess and Curdie, because we wanted to know what happened to the characters.
We highly recommend this one. The narrator is excellent.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lonnie
  • Lonnie
  • 02-01-10

A Fantastic Story for Kids

I believe that this book is a great book for children to learn friendship and bravery. The author writes in a way children under five or six years old can understand. This book is a great book for a family to read together, it is a fun, entertaining,and a page-turner book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DR
  • 15-08-07

Grew on me too...

My 9 year old daughter loves this story. It seemed boring to me (39 year old dad) at first, but after I got to disk 2 one day while we were in the car together, I too, was hooked! Now we're listening to the sequel "The Princess and Curdie."

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tom V.
  • Tom V.
  • 20-04-05

A Wonderful book

All I can say is I loved this book. I would ride around the block before going home if I was at an exciting part in the book. The narrator was very good.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Theta
  • Theta
  • 26-09-19

Delightful for all ages

Wanna get out of the swamps of ugly and mean? This is a good read for all, highlighting loving and kind behavior regardless of your rank in life. Wish there were more like this!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for David S. Mathew
  • David S. Mathew
  • 21-07-17

Pre-Tolkien Fantasy

I approached this novel, because C.S. Lewis credited George MacDonald as a huge influence on both him and Tolkien. That is exceptionally high praise, but rightly deserved. Essentially, if you are a fan of either Narnia or Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit, you will find a real treasure hidden here.

As for the recording itself, it's acceptable. Ian Whitcomb does a lovely job with the voice work, but the recording itself is very old and a bit scratchy. Also, for a brief period in the middle, it sounds like the TV is on in the background. Still, don't let that put you off this wonderful story. Very highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Penelope
  • 27-07-15

Sound quality lacking

These days you expect better sound quality. Elements of the story are a bit silly. The narration is quite good but it felt like he wasn't enjoying the story either.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Karen
  • Karen
  • 13-08-05

Wonderful and imaginative

My son (age 8)and I loved this book which we listened to during a long car ride. My daughter (age 5 and a princess lover) thought it was a little scarey but she liked it too.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Heather MacFadyen, host of the GodCenteredMom Podcast
  • Heather MacFadyen, host of the GodCenteredMom Podcast
  • 15-08-22

Terrible book

Trash
garbage
sucks
stupid dumb has no point s. s s s s s w s

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Profile Image for Nancy L. Draper
  • Nancy L. Draper
  • 19-03-17

A Classic Tale

A story of bravery, integrity and the mystery of belief told by one of the greatest storytellers of the 19th Century. A tale that belies its time and is inclusive of its audience to people of all ages.