The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
I downloaded the audiobook from LibriVox.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is such an odd title that I never had a great desire to read it. A girl who lived across the hall from me in college once told me that it was really good, though, and she didn't strike me as a big reader, so I concluded that it must be an engaging story. I was right.
I did tire of the word "inane," but other than that, I have no complaints about the book at all. The story is quick and the action is exciting; the heroine has her faults but is also brave and doesn't sit around to be rescued. She goes off to do the rescuing! And, of course, everyone is rich and gorgeous, which never hurts.
The nationalism and racism are characteristic of the time and place, and some of the characters do actually end up paying for their snobbery.
Rating: 5 stars
Runability: 4 stars
LibriVox is a wonderful source for free audiobooks of classics that are in the public domain (typically, this means works that were published prior to 1923). The reading and recording quality can be a mixed bag, and I find it disconcerting to have a different person read each chapter. Some works, however, have been read entirely by one reader, and I look for those. I was VERY impressed by Karen Savage's reading, to which I linked above. I just found out that, in addition to volunteering her talents for LibriVox, she also records audiobooks professionally. I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity to get a free copy of a great book narrated by a talented reader.