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Extended Audio Sample The Bat, by Mary Roberts Rinehart Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (215 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Roberts Rinehart Narrator: Shelly Frasier Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Miss Cornelia Van Gorder has left her New York City home for a vacation in an isolated country mansion with her beautiful young niece, neurotic maid, pompous butler, and a mysterious but genteel young man, only to find herself the victim of an elusive master criminal known as the Bat.

The spirited and headstrong spinster is not easily fazed, until one stormy night when she stumbles on a corpse. She musters all her nerves to play the vicious killer’s deadly game and confront the Bat once and for all. The Bat, which draws from The Circular Staircase but adds some new plot complexities—namely, the villainous Bat—shows Mary Roberts Rinehart at the height of her career and is considered her greatest work.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Malia Jones | 2/19/2014

    " I liked this. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had actually read it instead of an audio book, but it kept me company on the drive to ND by myself. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Karen | 2/13/2014

    " This book is put out there like this author comparable to Agatha Christie and contemporary with her. The heroine of the story was said to be akin and being about like Miss Marple. Not at all. she was not really even in the forefront of the story. She really gathered no clues, seemed weak, really did nothing as far as action and seemed to have little personality. The story was not as witty as Miss Marple's sleuthing and sweetness. The only claim to fame this woman had was a deed at the end which did save the day, or night in this case. There was really no stand out characters and all were rather annoying. but, hey the book was free so worth a 2 star rating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by James | 2/6/2014

    " Another nice country manor house mystery. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Judy | 1/15/2014

    " A friend who knows that I am interested in mysteries and in books published between the world wars, loaned me an anthology of three Mary Roberts Rinehart novels, so you will be seeing the other two in a week or two. Mary Roberts Rinehart has often been called the "American Agatha Christie". This is a comparison with which I would argue. She is also the author most identified with the phrase "the butler did it" (although she never said that phrase)and the "Had I But Known" school of mysteries. This book was obviously meant to be read by young women, late at night, with, hopefully, a storm of impressive magnitude raging outside. Published in 1926, the "mystery" was the part of the book that I enjoyed the least. More important to me was the picture of the period that the book portrayed. Gender, class, and race issues were all present in this book in a major way. The central character, Miss Cornelia Van Gorder, is an indomitable 65 year old spinster of means who rather than shrinking from the chaos of the mystery leads the charge into its unraveling. She is the "new woman" of the 20s (although a bit older than most of the examples of her type in the literature of the period) who looks beyond the traditional social mores and gender roles and wants the same for her niece. She refuses to be coerced by the men around her, enjoys the upheaval of the mysterious events in the mansion that she has rented for the summer, and decides that she has followed the rules long enough. Less appealing are the roles that class and race play in the novel. Lizzie has been Cornelia's Irish maid for decades and Lizzie is obviously from a different class than Cornelia. Lizzie is no doubt loved by Cornelia, but that doesn't stop her employer from verbally abusing her and on one occasion, slapping her hand and threatening to lock her in her room. Lizzie demonstrates her class origins by continually becoming hysterical, needing to be attended to, and by her inability to cope with the situation in which she finds herself. The stereotype of the faithful, Irish servant with all of the folkways, superstitions, and terrors of the old country are assigned to her. Cornelia has to solve the mystery as well as deal with Lizzie's constant overblown emotions throughout the book clearly indicating which class each occupies and the values of each of those social classes. And, finally, the racial attitudes of the 1920s are highly visible in the literary treatment of Billy. Billy is the Japanese-American butler of the recently deceased owner of the mansion and he is mocked in every conceivable way. His manner of speaking and pronunciation of words, the color of his skin, the fact that he doesn't reveal his emotions, and the suspicion in which he is held by many of the characters (except Cornelia) all highlight the racial prejudices of many white Americans of the 1920s. But looking at this book primarily as a period piece makes the action in the novel all the more interesting. "

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