An Abridged Review for an Abridged Rebecca

I listened to the Rebecca audiobook on the recommendation of a good friend. Unfortunately, I was about 2/3 of the way through the audiobook (and was enjoying the story immensely) when I realized I was listening to an ABRIDGED version of the novel (*gasps* *flails* *dry heaves*). Guys, I am officially a book cheater. Without further ado, let me present you with an abridged review of an abridged Rebecca.

An Abridged Review for an Abridged RebeccaRebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Published by Naxos AudioBooks on April 28th 2005
Genres: Gothic, Classic Literature
Narrator: Emma Fielding
Length: 5 hours, 16 minutes
Format: Audiobook

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again."

These famous words open the most popular novel by Daphne du Maurier, the story of an intense romance set in a mysterious house in Cornwall. Its unforgettable atmosphere and tension has transformed it from a popular romance on the page and on film to become a modern classic.

Since I was so far into the book, I felt like starting the audiobook over with an unabridged version would have been somewhat boring. I stuck with the abridged version and ultimately really loved the story, but now I’m left wondering: would I have liked it less if I had listened to the unabridged version? Or, would I have loved it even more?!

Rebecca is a story about a young girl (she is unnamed) who marries a widower, Mr. de Winter. Together they move to Manderley, Mr. de Winter’s estate in the UK, and Mrs. de Winter is forced to live in the oppressive shadow of his late wife, Rebecca

There is so much more mystery than I thought to suspect in this book. I knew it was a gothic novel, but the plot felt so much more modern that I’m used to expecting in similar novels. And let’s not forget the the scandals and plot twists. They had me devouring this book like some sort of contemporary melodramatic thriller! 

The book felt fast-paced, but I do suspect that was because it was an abridged version. What sort of things were left out I wonder? 

I can’t write this brief review without mentioning that I absolutely loved this audiobook narrator: her voice was like British butter and I could have listened to her read a telephone book.

I wish I could talk more about the book; however, it’s impossible to say much without revealing too much of the plot. I will say that its beautiful writing, the eerie setting, and the scandalous plot make for a fantastic story, and I’d recommend it to anyone. Now I must read the complete book and see how my opinion changes.

final star count
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chime in
Have you read Rebecca? What were your thoughts. I haven’t read a ton of gothic novels, but I loved this one. Do you have a favorite gothic novel?

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  1. Ahoy there! This blog post made me smile. Reminded me of The Count of Monte Cristo. I read a very very abridged version of the story when I was young. Adored it. Made the story one of me favorites ever. I had no idea back then it was abridged. Eventually I learned about Alexander Dumas and how long that book really was. So I read the “real” version. Adored it too. But the differences made them feel like two totally unique stories. To this day I still call the first version I read “the good bits” version that I prefer. But only because I read it first. I find it odd that the different versions of the abridged versions of this book in particular are so diverse. For example some of the characters in the “real” version will appear in one version but not another. As for Rebecca, I read the “real” version. I loved it too. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    x The Captain

    1. Haha, I’m glad you still liked the full version of The Count of Monte Cristo – gives me hope that I will love Rebecca’s full version. Though I can (especially in a humongous book like TCofMC) imagine that they would seem like two separate stories almost! Thanks for stopping by (:

  2. I have Rebecca sitting on a shelf in my spare bedroom, never having read it:( You’re the second blogger this week to post about it so I think that means I need to dust it off and read it. Since I love audiobooks I might see if it’s available that way as well. Great abridged review:)

    1. Haha, thanks. If you listen to the audiobook definitely don’t make the mistake I did and get the abridged one! 😀 And yes, it’s so much more exciting that I expected the book to be! There are some great twists. Thanks for stopping by. (:

  3. I love Rebecca so much! I read it for the first time this year. It is so full of atmosphere – I love it.
    Definitely try the full version (I didn’t even know there was an abridged version!).