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  • The Three Musketeers

  • By: Alexandre Dumas
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 23 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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The Three Musketeers

By: Alexandre Dumas
Narrated by: John Lee
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Editor reviews

Of course you've heard of the three famous swordsmen, but did you know that the novel is really funny, as well as replete with romance and adventure? John Lee does, and his narration plays up all three attributes to great effect. For those who need a reminder, Dumas's classic adventure presents the escapades of three of King Louis's musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, plus D'Artagnan (a musketeer in training) as they foil a few of Cardinal Richelieu's many devious plots. Amid much swordplay, they actually utter the famous line: "All for one and one for all." Lee struggles a bit with accents and characterizations early in the production. His hesitations disappear after a few chapters, however, and he gives fine voice to the rest of the madcap tale.

Summary

Mixing a bit of seventeenth-century French history with a great deal of invention, Alexandre Dumas tells the tale of young D'Artagnan and his musketeer comrades, Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. Together they fight to foil the schemes of the brilliant, dangerous Cardinal Richelieu, who pretends to support the king while plotting to advance his own power. Bursting with swirling swordplay, swooning romance, and unforgettable figures---including the seductively beautiful but deadly femme fatale, Milady, and D'Artagnan's equally beautiful love, Madame Bonacieux--- The Three Musketeers continues, after a century and a half of continuous publication, to define the genre of swashbuckling romance and historical adventure.
©1923 Public Domain (P)2008 Tantor

What listeners say about The Three Musketeers

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

Great Romp

Having seen the films I did not know what to expect. There are so many twists and turns in the emotions of the book and the story. This reading really bought out the humour.

The reading was brilliant I soon became absorbed into the story. The narrator was extremely good and after a while I was unaware of the narrator's voice and only heard the characters.

I recommend this book

3 people found this helpful

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A bit dull

Assuming you’re listening to this on a smart device, I would recommend speeding this up - was a lot better at 1.5x, whereas it seemed to go on and on at regular speed. I loved John Lee’s reading of the Count of Monte Cristo, however he didn’t seem to be a good fit for this particular book. Did feel differently towards this sped up however, which is what I recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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A classic tale, superbly told!

The Three Musketeers is a classic romp with vivid descriptions and loveable characters. John Lee's narration, though a bit ponderous at times (slightly speeding up the playback setting helped) is excellent, creating each character with skill and subtlety.

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Excellent,!

Both the story and the performance are excellent! I would highly recommend it. John Lee is sensational.

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Unlikable characters

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I'm glad I finished it, I was curious enough to know how it ended to finish it. But the muskateers are really rather unlikable characters, nothing much like their on screen counterparts, they're snobs, fight over the smallest insult, sleep with richer, older women to get their money, and are generally quick to kill and fickle. Not really what I was expecting...

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  • A. A. Green
  • 17-05-11

What Fun!

Reading The Three Musketeers was great fun! I especially loved the way it ended. I count it among my favorites now, and will no doubt read it again. The impressive combination of Alexandre Dumas and John Lee brought it to life for me in a way I didn't think possible. I love it!

***NOTE 1: Thanks to Audible and John Lee for making this experience possible. It was important to me that the experience be authentic, realistic, and free flowing. Through Audible's and John Lee's efforts, everything that I feared would make reading a noted classic like this cumbersome or difficult???has disappeared. Instead, it was just... amazing!

***NOTE 2: Mr. Lee, PLEASE narrate James Clavell's Shogun and King Rat! I think only you could really do them justice.

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S,
  • 20-09-10

Only a Narration Review

I didn't make it through the whole book, some other book came up and I switch over, and haven't made it back to this one. I bought this book because I recognized the narrator from another book and I have to say that I think John Lee could be one of the best Audiobook Narrators in the World. He took a book(This one) that I really wasn't all that interested in and made every second worth listening to. Thank You John Lee Thank You

43 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Gillian
  • 28-01-14

An Irresistible Romp!

How can anyone NOT like The Three Musketeers?!? I read this when I was creeping up on adolescence, and it's as irresistible now as it was then. And though John Lee doesn't earn a four-star rating, it was wonderful to listen to. I chose him as a narrator because, even though I adore Simon Vance, the sample just told me that I'd be nodding off somewhere along the way. John Lee's performance seemed more rollicking, more exciting. And it is. He captures the personalities of each character, spot-on, and not only that: some of his vocal characterizations add to the already rich characters! What keeps him from getting a four-star rating is his oh-so annoying way of pronouncing each name with a hyper-correct and painful enunciation with extreme inflections. Plus there's a pause, as in, "said....pause...wait for it... D'ArtagNAN." It was jarring. And as it's a quite lengthy novel, it became skin-crawling as well. I don't regret choosing his version over Vance's, though, simply because his pacing, his sense of drama, and of humor, are flawless and engaging. Just be warned. You might want to consider what will be tolerable to you over an extended listening time.
Other than that, don't deny yourself this listening pleasure. Alexandre Dumas was brilliant with action, brilliant with humor, and light spirits. And his dialogue flows as naturally as anything ever written. I will be listening to the sequels. I wonder how Vance will do with their narration? I'm delighted to find out...!

For more audiobook reviews, of all genres, check out Audiobook Accomplice online!

40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 16-09-10

Better than the movies

There is a reason some of these books are called Classics and why the authors reputations have stood the test of time. Unfortunately, our exposure to stories such as The Three Musketeers is often through cinema and they come off lightheaded. This unabridged audio is so much better and its almost a shame that it shares the same title with the inane film version. You won't feel like you're listening to an audio version of the movie. Moreover, it is one of the best productions I've listened to on audible.com. John Lee is a marvelous reader in any event and at the top of his form in this book.

39 people found this helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • 02-03-14

Don't go to Dumas for Prose or Literary Refinement

You go to him for action and plotting, for dialogue and badassery. His novels don't just pull you through them, they hurl you through. 3x speed was not fast enough to keep up with my interest. Les Trois Mousquetaires is pulp before their was pulp and noir before their was noir. I personally like the Count of Monte Cristo better, but I could also argue that 3M is a better-made novel. Anyway, if you like adventure books read it. If you like littttttraaaature. Get off your pretentious leather chair and read it too.

37 people found this helpful

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  • HIYBRID
  • 09-07-12

This is one book for all. All for one?

Much richer and fuller than any movie or adaptation I've seen before. It is an epic and long but well worth it. Who knew...

24 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 25-07-15

Bullies, Boy Toys and Dandies

It is easy to see how in the early days with little to read this was popular. If this was the way society was back in the day, I am glad I did not live then. These guys run around in gangs, there is a gang representing the king and a gang representing the Pope. They go around town and if they run into each other they sword fight, often leading to the death of many of them. If you are not one of them, you have to be careful, cause if you make one mad he might kill you. Just bumping into a guy can make him made enough to kill you. When they are not fighting, they are sitting around drinking, admiring each others clothes and talking about their lady conquests. Their object in life is to find a rich lady with a salary and to be kept by her. she buys them clothes, bobbles, purses, etc...

The main character is a kid who wants to become a musketeer. He seems at first to be appalled by these guys when he first meets them. He makes the mistake of upsetting a couple of them his first day in town, which means he has to duel each one. They represent the King. Just before these duels take place, they are attacked by the Pope's men. You can probably figure out how it goes from there. I only made it through the 6th chapter. It was not a Miserable book, but it was boring. I do not listen to boring books and now I have warned you, so you don't have to.

I love John Lee's voice.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Rebecca
  • 10-11-12

Original and Fabulous

First Dumas I've read, and it was a romp. Loosely on history of the King's Musketeers and the siege of La Rochelle which was a Protestant rebellion or the Huegenots, this is a tale of intrigue and the battle of good vs evil.

Fictionalized historic characters include King Louis XIII, Cardinal Richelieu, Monsieur de Tréville, Anne of Austria, Duke of Buckingham, and his assassin, John Felton. The characters, both historical and not, are fabulous, and the setting and descriptions wonderfully detailed.

While different from the many movies based on it, this makes me want to go back and see some of those treasures again, and to read more by Dumas.

John Lee's narration was superb and kept the pace of this book wonderfully.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Chip Atkinson
  • 08-03-15

Remarkable Wit, Suspenseful and Entertaining

I wonder how many of us have actually read this clasic. Too many of us think we know the story from the movies, but I assure you it is far more clever, witty, complicated and suspenseful than any film rendition.

I had listened to another audio version of this book many years ago, but knew John Lee would bring it to life far better this time around. His timing, clarity, distinction of the character voices are excellent.

Do yourself a favor, listen to this classic and be taken away to the gallantry and intrigue of France in the early 17th century.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Tracet
  • 17-06-14

What a letdown

I know. I know. One star?? A swashbuckling adventure novel beloved for a couple of centuries? Yeah, well.

I've tried to read this before. It had "me" written all over it: aforementioned buckling of swashes, romance and derring-do and so forth. But I never penetrated very far. There was a tone – perhaps to the particular translation I tried, perhaps to the work itself – that just put me off, exemplified by the instance of D'Artagnan selling the yellow horse after his father impressed upon him how he must never do so, and he promised faithfully that he would not. It was such a dishonorable, dishonest, ugly thing to do, in a book I had expected to be dripping with honor – and it was just the beginning.

Last year I finally went with the audiobook, on the theory that classics that have not held a huge amount of interest for me go down better read aloud. I hold the reader, John Lee, responsible for my being able to finish it with as much tolerance as I did; if I’d been just reading words on a page I think it would have ended up in the trash by page 200. I hated this. I truly, deeply hated this. I’ve seen at least a couple of movie versions; I’ve enjoyed them, somewhat, as frothy swashbucklers, of course. I always expected the book to be better, though.

One of my two Goodreads comments on the book was:
"These people are all horrible - honorless, slutty morons. And this is a classic, beloved by schoolboys for - what, over 200 years? God help us."

And that’s my biggest problem with the book. Perhaps it was supposed to be ironic, some kind of commentary on honor and courage and standards and morality through the depiction of noble swordsmen who were actually men you wouldn’t trust alone with a coin or a woman. I don’t remember ever coming across that take on it, though.

Athos, Porthos, Aramis, D'Artagnan. These are the heroes I wanted to read about. The brave and loyal soldiers, the champions of right and defenders of womanhood and of France … I have no idea where my ideas came from – the movies, perhaps? What I found as I listened to the book was that Athos was a hypocritical prig, Aramis was a hypocritical pseudo-religious, Porthos was a gluttonous gambling dandy, and D'Artagnan a cocky young jackass. They were all four drunkards, given any opportunity; they were all womanizers, cuckolding widely and wildly, dropping whatever girl they had been bedding to move on without a pause or juggling as many as possible simultaneously. And the much-vaunted all-for-one loyalty? I didn't see it. Every single one of them was as likely to throw his buddies under the 18th century equivalent of a bus as to support them, or to leave them in assorted lurches. Then get a good laugh out of it. And the interactions between these four and the man-servants they could barely afford but NEEDED made The Comedy of Errors seem like a shining illustration of workplace harmony. It was depressing.

D'Artagnan in particular was a letdown. The whole situation of swiving the maid in the room adjacent to her mistress, and vice versa – I wanted to throttle him. A lot. For one thing – seriously? They've let prepubescent boys read this for centuries? Oh, that’s just awesome. So, buckling of swashes, romance and derring-do and so forth? The swashes were askew at best; the romance was not the way Anne Shirley defines it (nor me), the doing wasn’t so derring. I only made it through the whole thing because it was an audiobook with a good narrator, and because I gritted my teeth in determination to see it all the way through. It was a deep disappointment, and I hated it.

My other Goodreads comment:
“Chapter 67: Conclusion
Oh, thank God.”

14 people found this helpful