‘Everyone agreed that the day was just right for the picnic to Hanging Rock – a shimmering summer morning warm and still, with cicadas shrilling...’
St Valentine’s Day, in the midst of the hot summer of 1900, a party of schoolgirls went on a picnic to Hanging Rock. Some were never to return….
An Australian classic, the disappearance of three girls and a schoolteacher at Hanging Rock has captivated and intrigued audiences for generations. Jacqueline McKenzie’s interpretation of the best-selling novel captures all of the beauty of the Rock and illustrates the eerie sense of the unknown for which the story is legendary.
©1967 Joan Lindsay (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
This is an excellent story with an intriguing plot that will keep you wanting to hear more. Some have described it as the original Twin Peaks or Blair Witch Project, which is quite apt in describing the fear and horror that the Australian bush can instil, as well as the community obsession of Miranda.
This version is read with an Australian accent, which is perfectly attuned for every character.
However, note that this is an abridged version of the story.
I rate the book itself 5 stars and the performance itself is quite good, deserving of 4-5 stars. The narrator's voice and accent and her narration are perfect for the setting of the story, an upper class girls' Australian boarding school in 1900. I quite enjoyed it.
I'd be happy to write a review of both the story and the performance for their own sake, but what I want most to call attention to in this review is that the audiobook is described as unabridged, and it is most definitely not. The novel itself is short to begin with, just under 200 pages. I estimate that an unabridged version would run an hour more at most.
If you listen to it without the book at hand or never having read the book, the abridgment is seamless enough that I doubt you'll be aware of it, and you'll come away believing you've heard the whole story. It does work, but I believe you'll be deprived of the richness of the whole work.
Given the nature of the story, the unsolved disappearance of three girls and one of their teachers on an afternoon's holiday from the boarding school at the famous Hanging Rock, and the rippling effect the tragedy has on other characters, an abridgment deprives the listener of important nuances and clues. The book as I've said is a short piece to begin with, and unabridged it's more satisfying, feels more complete, and given the ambiguous ending, the reader needs it!
I hadn't read this story for many many years. To listen to it on audible was a pleasure - i had forgotten so much of the story.
"Classic Australian novel"
The reader evoked many wonderful scenes to the point I could almost feel the heat and smell the trees.
Where the ladies removed their gloves and hats (strnage I know but it was a portens of things to come)
The ladies crossing the creek
The French Teacher
Well worth listnening to this recording
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