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Download The Castle of Otranto Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Castle of Otranto Audiobook, by Horace Walpole
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,051 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Horace Walpole Narrator: Neville Jason Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2006 ISBN:
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The Castle of Otranto is regarded as the first Gothic novel. The son of Manfred, Prince of Otranto, is mysteriously killed on his wedding day by a huge helmet. The event leads to a fast-paced story of jealous passion, intrigue, murder, and supernatural phenomena unfolding in an atmosphere of thunderclaps, moonlight, and dark castle walls, mirroring the inner turmoils of the characters themselves. Horace Walpole's tale, an immediate success when it first appeared in 1764, is a classic of its genre. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tabitha Ormiston-Smith | 2/4/2014

    " Wonderful stuff! The gothic novel at its finest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 1/26/2014

    " What a romp! Enjoyed this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Keely | 1/22/2014

    " Another read for my research into early horror as I work on my own supernatural Victorian tale, but in the end I have to agree with Lovecraft's assessment in his Supernatural Horror in Literature that Walpole's style is insipid and full of silly melodrama. It's not hard to see why it was so influential, as it introduced a great number of interesting ideas and symbols, but like so many books that inspired a genre, its the fact that original author did so little with those ideas that left room for better writers to improve upon it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nikki | 1/21/2014

    " I've been meaning to read this for ages since this is considered to be the first gothic novel and I really like some of the older gothic novels I've read. I should've realised from the start though that exactly because it is the first one of its genre that it is not perfect - at all. Later gothic novels have weeded out some of the bad aspects of the genre and perfected the good ones, but this book is still very raw. It's not terrible, but it's definitely not as good as some of the later works in the genre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony | 1/19/2014

    " The classic uber-gothic horror novel, and much shorter than Ms. Radcliffe's Mysteries of Udolpho. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 B. Zedan | 1/17/2014

    " Oh Transport! Man, this book is a freaking lark. I can see how it's beautiful histrionics made for a smashing harliquenade. As Walpole said, "Everybody who takes this book seriously has been duped." Lovely. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sabrina | 1/17/2014

    " According to my British Mystery Novel class, this is the earliest known printed mystery novel. All Gothic novels follow a similar storyline and have the same archetypes and symbolism along with the supernatural to give some spook. Northanger Abbey is a parody of Gothic novels such as this. Read them back to back and you will find Northanger Abbey one of the funniest books you have ever read. For the sake of literature history, everyone should read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roxanne | 1/15/2014

    " It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, though we read it for class as "historical fiction" (I don't know either). Very light for the gothic genre. The end still makes me want to toss it into the wall, but it all depends on your interpretation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 1/12/2014

    " One of the very very early gothic works of literature. As a story it is a bit outdated but still reads well. I'd give it 3 stars, but it gets the extra star for being the first of its kind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drucilla | 1/11/2014

    " For this review I feel like I should just copy and paste my thesis into it. :P If you love gothic works, you owe it to yourself to read the first self proclaimed gothic novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justine | 12/28/2013

    " My professor paired this with Northanger Abbey, this was a great decision. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen Heard | 12/28/2013

    " One of the first gothic horror books it is an interesting read, although "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marya | 12/12/2013

    " Stuff happens, which is a good thing (I always like a lot of plot in my books). On the other hand, the increasingly hyperbolic atmosphere channels Young Frankenstein for me (Frau Blucher!!). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elliott James | 12/7/2013

    " Read for my EPQ, and although it's based on Gothic Novels, and I would argue this isn't really one!, it was quite useful for my topic on gender difference. Not very in depth though, and characterisation is limited, but still good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zepp | 11/28/2013

    " there are big pieces of the scary people who drop themselves in strange corners- but you won't forget where you found them. This was so weird and weird good. How did it get it? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alexandra | 10/30/2013

    " O telenovela siropoasa pentru care am pierdut fix 1h:45min. Sau poate ca nu am inteles eu bine conceptul de roman gotic, idem Misterele din Udolpho. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Avis Black | 10/4/2013

    " If you want early Gothic novels, read Mrs. Radcliffe. If you want Walpole, read his letters. Avoid this like the plague. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Midge | 6/15/2013

    " written in 1764 this is suppose to be the first gothic novel. After getting use to the language and having two or more dialogues in the same paragrph, I found it an interesting and quick read. A castle complete with ghosts, prophesies, and over the top "acting". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 2/11/2013

    " Don't read it with any expectation of believability - after all, who gets crushed by a giant helmet in the real world? Read it because it's entertaining, a quick read and the trend-setter for the gothic novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Col | 11/30/2012

    " I gritted my teeth and got through it. Strangely unrewarding. Still, a seminal work of the Gothic genre I am told so I will put it down as an educational experience. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 8/18/2012

    " Walpole's The Castle of Otranto is largely recognized as the first Gothic novel. It's got gigantic spectres, secrets from the past, and incestuous relationships galore. While Walpole's attempt to bridge psychological realism with romance was exactly a success, this is a strange, compelling tale. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hashi | 5/10/2012

    " Thank God it was short. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shauna | 1/20/2012

    " Mainly of interest to people curious what was considered an appealing read two hundred years ago. Cardboard characters. Purposeless dialog. This is a short story padded out to novel length. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Metcalf | 10/19/2011

    " While a little silly, it was interesting to see where the Gothic novel came from. It was short, and pleasingly so, but also quite refreshing in its sincerely drawn characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 amy | 5/22/2011

    " This was a pretty silly book that contributed to the development of gothic literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maggie | 5/21/2011

    " I'm reading this for a grad course and SOOOO enjoying it. I highly recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drucilla | 5/20/2011

    " For this review I feel like I should just copy and paste my thesis into it. :P If you love gothic works, you owe it to yourself to read the first self proclaimed gothic novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 4/25/2011

    " My first excursion into the Gothic genre, it was a very entertaining read, with some character depth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pola | 4/23/2011

    " I really liked the book.. the fictitious elements and the fact that it was a fast paced story made the book appealing to me.. recommend it to those who like books belonging to the gothic genre.. I think it is one of the fundamental gothic books.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 3/16/2011

    " Marvellous! A delicious read full of melodrama and morals from 1764; a discourse on the dangers of ambition; a supernatural revenge tale. What more could you ask for? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurel | 2/27/2011

    " Very short, over-wrought supernatural thriller written in the 18th century. Glad to know people enjoyed trashy reading then, too! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Athanark | 2/25/2011

    " Bastante interesante pese a que no es una historia tan larga. Obscuro, misterioso, con muy buenos personajes! "

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About the Author
Author Horace Walpole

Horace Walpole (1717–1797), was educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge, and then spent several years in politics. In 1757, he established a private printing press at Strawberry Hill, his home in Twickenham. There he published his own works as well as those of other authors. Upon his death, he held the title of Earl of Oxford.

About the Narrator

Neville Jason is an award–winning narrator, as well as a television and stage actor. He has earned seven AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He is a former member of the Old Vic Company, the English Stage Company, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Birmingham Repertory Company. While training at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, he was awarded the diction prize by Sir John Gielgud.