Narrator: Martin Jarvis
Genres: Classic, Horror & Ghost Stories
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Sleepy Hollow is a strange little place...some say bewitched. Some talk of its haunted valleys and streams, the ghostly woman in white, eerie midnight shrieks and howls, but most of all they talk of the Headless Horseman. A huge, shadowy soldier who rides headless through the night, terrifying unlucky travellers.
Schoolteacher Ichabod Crane is fascinated by these stories....Until late one night, walking home through Wiley's swamp, he finds that maybe they're not just stories.
What is that dark, menacing figure riding behind him on a horse? And what does it have in its hands?
And why wasn't schoolteacher Crane ever seen in Sleepy Hollow again?
I audio-ed the BBC version of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving in the car. To me, this is the perfect way to read Sleepy Hollow, especially coming into it from reading nothing but YA. Now don’t get me wrong, YA is awesome, but it is a tough transition to make from YA to the classics.
I felt the audio had set the mood perfectly. There were creepy sound effects (yeah driving to this on a dark stormy night is not such a good idea). There was also piano mood music at different intervals. Also the voice of the reader was excellent, I felt like I was listening to my grandpa tell me a ripping yarn. With audiobooks, having a good narrator is very important, with a bad reader it’s very hard to lose yourself in the words since you are so focused on the voice. Since this is a classic, getting lost in it really does present a challenge, unless it is done right.
With the story itself, there is a lot of build-up. This is for a purpose. Irving really sets the scene and the tone with the build-up. We get to know Ichabod Crane who does not look like Johnny Depp, but more like the Disney version – he is tall and lanky. We get to know Katrina Von Tassle who is kind of a slut (her petticoats show her ankle, y’all she might as well be a stripper). We get to know Von Braun who is meat-head douche with nothing better to do but try to hook up with Katrina. The Headless Horseman does not make his appearance until the last third of the book, and let me tell you there is build-up and anticipation.
I must say, there is a reason this short tale continues to delight and scare readers year after year. I highly recommend you find out for yourself. If you can’t do the 64 pages of classic language, then audio it. It’s perfect for the October drive through falling leaves and cloudy skies.
While reading this book, I recommend a pumpkin spice latte. Pumpkin spice lattes just scream October and Fall and are perfect for this time of the year.