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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

After the untimely death of her mother, Mary Yellan travels across the untamed and desolate Cornish moors in search of her only living relative. A resolute and inspirational heroine, 23-year-old Mary finds her aunt, Patience Merlyn, in a desolate and irksome Inn on Bodmin Moor. Realising that the stark and forbidding Jamaica Inn is tainted with corruption, Mary is resolved to help her aunt survive and escape from the clutches of her abusive husband, Joss Merlyn, and the ominous and illicit trade that he conducts there.

First published in 1936, Jamaica Inn came at a time when most authors focussed their attention on issues of poverty, psychology, fascism and religion, following the devastating impact of the First World War and the Spanish Civil War. Having always been captivated by 19th century literature, Daphne du Maurier differed from her contemporaries and ignored modern trends. She set out to write captivating stories that stimulated the imagination and unsurprisingly, Jamaica Inn went on to become one of her most celebrated works. A tale of intrigue, suspense and evil, Jamaica Inn is an exciting adventure for listeners of all ages and a true testament to the enviable skill which Daphne du Maurier possessed as a storyteller.

Narrator Biography

Celebrated English actor, Tony Britton, has delighted audiences since the 1950's. Having performed at the likes of the Bristol Old Vic and London's Winter Garden Theatre, Tony has taken on iconic roles in plays including, The Seagull, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Romeo and Juliet and My Fair Lady. Whilst being a renaissance man of the theatre, Tony has also pursued film and TV roles and can be seen in blockbusters such as The Birthday Present, Suspect, Sunday Bloody Sunday and The Day of the Jackal. His TV credits include Robin's Nest and Don't Wait Up.

Tony adds Jamaica Inn to his list of audiobook narrations which also include, Robinson Crusoe, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Hay Fever and Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite. He has three children who have all followed in his footsteps and work in the entertainment industry; among them is TV and Radio presenter, Fern Britton.

©1936 Daphne du Maurier Browning (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Jamaica Inn

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anne Harris
  • 2010-05-21

Keep an open mind and try to avoid spoilers

I first read this book as a girl and it was one of the spookiest experiences I can remember. I think it's a real shame that one of the other reviewers here chose to reveal key plot elements in the review because when I first read this I knew nothing of the plot and that added a lot to the experience (sort of bluebeard's chamber type suspense). I admit that coming back to it as an adult it lost a little eeriness: I think I could relate better to Mary's sense of being trapped at Jamaica Inn better as a kid than I can now. But if you like suspense I think you'll like this gothic novel with a cornish twist.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • 2010-08-06

Well....

I adore DuMaurier, so this is kind of hard. This is one of the few books of her's that I never got a chance to finish, so I figured taking the audio version on vacation would be perfect. Unfortunately this is my least favorite DuMaurier book so far. The narration is great, the story is interesting, and late at night I did get freaked out a little by one of the creepier parts (kudos to the narrator all around). But in the end I was left feeling a little let down by DuMaurier, possibly because I could read Rebecca or The King's General or Frenchman's Creek every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. This just seemed like she was barely warming up to her prime. Still, if you're a DuMaurier fan you will probably want to check this out. I dont think I'll ever read it or listen to it again, but as a loyal fan I'm glad I at least experienced it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • J Landau
  • 2008-07-02

Thumbs Up

Well-written, interesting plot. Perfect for taking you out of the present day. Refreshing sophisticated read/listen compared to the more flippant, hip style of contemporary authors.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Diane
  • 2013-02-04

Performance was a bit hard to listen to

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This book was full of great characters with lots of atmosphere and told a good story. However, I had the mystery figured out early on. I also had a problem with Tony Britton's interpretations of the characters. While his reading of the male characters was nothing short of brilliant, it was ruined by the way he read the female characters. The female characters were read in a high pitched, laughable voice, and the characterizations of the women made them sound weak and mindless with no character development at all. This may have worked for the character of Patience, but Mary Yellan is supossed to be independent and spunky with a mind of her own, and the narrator lost an opportunity in developing a stronger personality for her and her interactions with the male characters.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anneke
  • 2013-01-29

A nice book, easy to listen

Where does Jamaica Inn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

For me its a seven

What was one of the most memorable moments of Jamaica Inn?

The story told by drunken uncle Joss Merlyn about the wreckers

Which character – as performed by Tony Britton – was your favorite?

Mary Yellan

If you could take any character from Jamaica Inn out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Mary Yellan, a strong and nice young woman

Any additional comments?

The voice of the performer in pritty

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andreea Marin
  • 2017-03-05

The Gothic Moors of Jamaica Inn

Where does Jamaica Inn rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Highly because it got me out of a reading slump. I also had this audiobook as a companion on a long train journey. I enjoyed the gothic atmosphere and followed along in the book.

What other book might you compare Jamaica Inn to and why?

It definitely reminded me of Wuthering Heights because of the dark nights, the moors, the gothic romance, the bad improbable man

What does Tony Britton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice as Joss Merlyn gave me the chills (which was good because you need that from an antagonist pirate)

Who was the most memorable character of Jamaica Inn and why?

Jem Merlyn because he was bad and good at the same time (so I guess you could call him well-rounded). There were some things he did that took me by surprise. I also found his first interaction with Mary to be vulgar and highly sexual but he also made me laugh. He basically asks the young girl if Joss had taken her on because she's young and if that means his older wife (her aunt) watches or if he takes them both at the same time. What a romantic meet-cute?!

Any additional comments?

Du Maurier is an excellent storyteller. Her descriptions, the atmosphere, character depth, and language uses are absolutely flawless. I will definitely read Rebecca in the near future. What I did not enjoy was that Jamaica Inn (published 1936) tried very hard to sound like Wuthering Heights(1847). The two works are almost 90 years apart and I think Du Maurier could have really accomplished more in her novel if she would have used the tools and writing techniques developed in that time for an atmosphere suitable for her contemporary audience (we're even past the Jazz age at this point). In addition, the romance which begins half-way through the novel feels very forced. The relationship is not developed nor explored and feels unnecessary, which is why the second part of the novel really lacks substance and the narrative takes several directions after the half way point. This is a shame because it really takes away from the great atmosphere built in the first half. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes Gothic novels, and pirates! Also I would count this novel as straddling the line of a "classic" and "mainstream literature from that time." It's not too heavy but it's well written. I will definitely read more by this author.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pamela
  • 2013-09-23

A rip roaring read!

If you could sum up Jamaica Inn in three words, what would they be?

Think Wuthering Heights!

Who was your favorite character and why?

The uncle for his hideousness and pathos!

What does Tony Britton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His characterisation of the different voices was very well done. The dialogue makes the story and Tony brought it to life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Mary Ellen arrives at Jamaica Inn and meets her uncle for the first time - you can completely visualise the horrible things that have happened in the Inn and what she will face over the coming weeks and months.

And when her uncle explains what he has been doing... sitting in the kitchen... it sends chills up your spine!

Any additional comments?

A wonderful story very well told with fantastic dialogue that moves the story on. It twists and turns and the plot isn't obvious at all. You can imagine the country side and the characters in it. A story worthy of the Brontes in the style of Wuthering Heights but not so depressing! A rip roaring read!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cheshirelady
  • 2013-06-16

Wonderful narrator ruins main character

Would you listen to Jamaica Inn again? Why?

Tony Briton has a beautiful voice; however, his portrayal of the heroine sounded like Dustin Hoffman's rendition of Tootsie. It was fine for Tootsie but unbearable for Mary.

What did you like best about this story?

This was my first reading of this book. I found it interesting and suspenseful and as I expected from du Maurier, there was a wonderful heroine.

Would you be willing to try another one of Tony Britton’s performances?

I would listen to another of Tony Britton's books if there were no women characters. Oops. That's not right. I would not be interested in a book with no women.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sandra
  • 2008-04-06

Not du Maurier's best

Plucky heroine prevails over ship wreckers. Happy ending. Du Maurier was sharpening her quill for Rebecca. Readable as such, otherwise rather dated.

2 people found this helpful