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  • The Prisoner of Zenda

  • By: Anthony Hope
  • Narrated by: James Wilby
  • Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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Summary

The Prisoner of Zenda is the story of an Englishman who travels to the small European state of Ruritania where he impersonates the ruler and falls in love with Princess Flavia.
Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Prisoner of Zenda

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Tale of Derring-Do!

Such a wonderful tale of derring-do, What more could be needed than swashbuckling and romance. And James Wilby's narration is perfect.
This is a well-known story but is a refreshing antidote to much late nineteenth-century literature which is to put it colloquially is wordy. And the tale must be accepted for what it is. to be honest I never understand such complaints. It is like complaining to an orange that it is not a banana or Mills & Boon is not Dostoyevsky.
Rudolf goes on vacation to Ruritania, he discovers that he is the King’s doppelganger. When the King is kidnapped by his evil half-brother, Duke Michael, Rudolf is persuaded to masquerade on the throne until the real King can be rescued. And off we go.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent reading but chapters are off

This swashbuckling classic is beautifully read, and a fantastic story!

For me, I was only disappointed that the audiobook chapters did not align to the book chapters. This meant I could not set the audio to stop at the end of a chapter, but had to manually line up the chapters when I stopped and started listening. Instead, it is recorded at 6 segments of just under an hour each.

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Roaring story

Definitely a joy to listen to a book about which one has no preconceptions ! An action packed and romantic tale, of derring-do, though period a little elusive and style dated. Good adaptation of voices and overall a great interlude.

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A good read

What a lovely tale it was read to
Me as a child a pleasure to rediscover as an adult

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mesmerising story and exceptional delivery,

I couldn't put it down what a story! Rudolf Rassendyll is like a treasured friend. he feels approachable and honest, but most importantly he embodies that famous old saying; "when the going gets tough, the tough get going".

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Superb narration by James Willy!

This was an enjoyable swashbuckling romp made all the better by fabulous narration from James Wilbur.

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You need this book in your life!

The greatest adventure story ever written! And it’s superbly read by James Wilby. Get it today.

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classic

Great story, entertaining from start to finish 👏 would highly recommend to anyone looking for a short audio book.

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Disappointed

I remembered this being far more engaging. The narration was really not brilliant which probably was significant.

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  • razor3436
  • 01-09-17

Wonderful story; gutwrenching ending

The story is riveting, the characters captivating, the adventure breathtaking, the romance heartbreaking. It is for this heartbreak that I score the story as I do.....I was unaware of it before I bought the book....had I been I would not have bought the book....Tragedies are for me too, well, tragic. If the ending be a sad one, I leave the book an unfulfilled reader.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joanna
  • 16-10-09

An Old Favorite

I listen to this book every few years~the story is a wonderful piece of fantasy and a sweet innocent love story.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Douglas
  • 29-08-09

Classic tale

of adventure and mistaken identity. A compelling read.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ranger Mike
  • 06-11-20

BRILLIANT!!

The narration was absolutely brilliant in every respect. Although I knew the story well the Narrator brought me into his world and I was completely engrossed from beginning to end. I listen to hundreds of Audiobooks each year but this is one I will treasure—and revisit often—when I need a rousing tale and a good swashbuckle to boot!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Erratic
  • 05-11-19

Hard to hear.

For some reason the narrator is whispering through about 3/4 of the book. It’s not just “speaking lowly”, it’s that particular tone of voice which makes it impossible to hear if there is any sound in the background. If you listen in a car it’d probably be ok, but listening on a subway was... annoying.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Helen C.
  • 14-08-15

Thoroughly enjoyed this great adaptation

Excellent performance of this classic adventure. I cheered and cried for the hero. Performance by Mr Wilby superb! At some points he was shouting at the top of his lungs, he held no emotion back. (So credit must also be given to the sound person who kept the levels even!)

1 person found this helpful

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  • Maria Prieto
  • 15-02-15

re-read successful audio helps

The Prisoner of Zenda
By:Anthony Hope Narrated by: James Wilby
File Size: 310 KB, Print Length: 178, audio: 5 hrs and 31 mins
The Prisoner of Zenda is the story of an Englishman who travels to the small European state of Ruritania where he impersonates the ruler and falls in love with Princess Flavia.
There is more to the description above than what the above explains. So this young Prince is going to get crowned, what does he do? He goes out and parties the night before. I mean really who wouldn’t ? What happens? Well long story short he drank too much and was Ruffied ! The rest of the party goers can’t wake him up as it happens; one of them happens to look a lot like him. So, Rodolf is pushed into taking the Prince’s place and gets crowned King. Simple? NOPE! The uncrowned Prince has a crush on his cousin Princess Flavia and she is crushing hard on the imposter, Rodolf thinking he is the King. What makes this even more complicated is that they thought the Prince was safely tucked away sleeping off his ruffie. Nope, he’s been kidnapped and hauled to Zenda! Now its up to the imposter to not only rescue the Ruffied Prince…now King and continue to impersonate him in the process. Flavia & Rudolf fall in love an unexpected result of spending much time together, since it is expected for them to marry. Rudolf is a smart man, everything works out and Flavia who finally discovers who he really is declares her love for him even though she must marry the newly rescued King. Sadly it ends, with them parting ways, Flavia to her Royal life and duties and Rudolf to a solitary life.
I read this High school, not for class. It was a movie I saw one bored Saturday afternoon when we didn’t have cable, so I checked out of the library. I was more impressed with the movie than the book at the time. Well, years have past, maturity changing my opinion. I was challenged by a dear friend to re-read this story and give it a second chance. I reluctantly did so and quickly found myself in Ruritania. James Wilby has the perfect English accent and does a great deal of aerobics changing voices , carrying the audience with him through horseback rides, battles and plain running for our lives. Whenever a narrator can insert the audience into the action, he/she is doing an outstanding job. Not boring at all.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James R. Modrall
  • 18-09-22

Over the top fun

The prose is melodramatic and the plot implausible. But how many potboilers can claim to have launched an entire genre including practitioners as prestigious as Winston Churchill? Not to mention featuring in endless law school hypotheticals? Highly recommended! James Wilby's narration is excellent.

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  • Patricia
  • 27-05-22

The Prisoner of Zenda

I completely enjoyed this book. It was well written and performed. Escapism pure. I highly recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Floyd Ervin
  • 18-12-21

Well done.

A good story. I enjoyed listening to it. I have a fairly old hard cover book version that I loved to read but eye sight issues make listening less tiring now.