A heady mix of historical fact, medieval myth and mystery, sensual descriptions, and an appreciation for a civilization which valued beauty, philosophy, literature, science, and the arts on an equal level with warrior skills. Secret chambers, desperate battles, imprisoned princesses, palace ghosts, and fragrant gardens, described in a wistful and dreamlike eloquence will transport the listener to a paradise of his own.
The narrative is bewitchingly enhanced by Spanish guitar music. Tales of the Alhambra is a delightful offering for the romantic on anyone's holiday list.
(P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks
A reader from my youth in several languages, to have now discovered Audible is more than a bonus.
What a superbly read work this is: Ralph Cosham's voice and intonation are perfect for this book. Most of us know Washington Irving chiefly through Rip Van Winkle or Sleepy Hollow, but here is another, supremely personal, insight into the author. Reminiscent of Dickens in style and manner, Irving weaves another veil of beauty and mystery around Granada - history, legend, personal experience, all rolled into one. And for any who have had the fortune to spend time in this fabled place, this volume cannot be anything else but a gift.
I can hardly express how much I enjoyed this book! The detail that Irving wrote allowed me to see what he saw in the Alhambra, along the road to from, and the environs of Granada with great clarity. The way he describes the people--in real life and in the stories--caused me to see and understand them well; additionally the descriptions are frequently rather funny. The stories are in the Arabian Nights tradition and throughly enjoyable. Each one is interesting, exciting, and has an ending in which right triumphs. The end of each story left me with a positive sense of satisfaction. This entire volume is appropriate for family listening; perhaps something much better to excite imagination than a pile of DVDs for the kids on a family vacation road trip.
The reader has a voice that fits perfectly with the material. I found him easy to listen to and clear in his reading. As the book ended I felt truly sad that it was over. I will listen to this book again, and I don't think or feel that way about most of the books I listen to even if I have truly enjoyed them. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who savors wonderful stories, read well.
"An American Dickens"
In the top 10
The lyric quality of the writers words
No, but he has a euphonious and elegantly paced reading voice expressive and allowing the listener hours of story without listener fatigue
It made me want to go immediately to the Andalusia and Granada area and see the Alhambra
What wonderful words and expressions the early nineteenth writers employed to paint vivid pictures of their travellings
The name of Washington Irving while famous in his era circa 1830,s is probably not that well known today, but what is certain is that his mastery of the English language albeit he was american,was superb. Whatever has been the advances in our present English, I recommend listening to this delightful prose to fall in love with the language as it was written 180 years ago!
"An interesting place, The Alhambra..."
It was interesting to read about Spain and the Alhambra as it was so long ago. The characters are well drawn, the stories are fascinating. My only complaint would be the lisp and monotonous tone of the reader. That almost put me off when I first started to listen to the book. I would still recommend it, I did get used to reader eventually.
This is a slow moving book.
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