Forgotten Classics (Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10)
Length: about 8 hours (book itself), about 12 hours (book + commentary)
The book: Agatha Christie is widely known today for her mysteries such as Murder on the Orient Express or And Then There Were None. This book, one of her earliest, is not a mystery, but is what we would today call a spy thriller. Although most Agatha Christie books are still in copyright, this one is out of copyright in the United States by virtue of it being published before 1923. Other countries have different copyright regulations, so check the legality where you are before you download.
This exciting novel begins with the sinking of the Lusitania (pictured above) and centers around a post-war conspiracy to overthrow the governments of Europe. The main characters, Tommy and Tuppence, are a pair of young people who had tasted Independence in the war years, but now in the 1920's don't have the money to support themselves. Through a series of unlikely coincidences, they become entwined into discovering the plot of a shadowy figure named Mr. Brown. As is typical for Christie, the novel runs through a series of twists and adventures that kept me entertained and always guessing.
The reader: The amount of love that Julie has for the books she reads can be felt in her tone. She has a bright, expressive voice with an American accent. For most characters, she changes her voice to reflect the speaker, usually with great success, though as she points out, her foreign accents are amateurish. Each episode is preceded and ended with a lengthy commentary on the book, other podcasts, and Julie's life in general. These commentaries are interesting, but toward the end of the book, I found myself skipping them, although that's due more to the desire to want to know what happens next in the novel than anything to do with Julie.
(This review was entered as part of Cym Lowell's Book Review Wednesday contest. Visit the site for other reviews.)