Sunday, November 9, 2014

Book Review: I Capture The Castle, by Dodie Smith

I Capture the CastleI Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I Capture The Castle, by Dodie Smith
★★ and 1/2

Synopsis: The story of 17-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle" — and the heart of the reader — in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.
In A Sentence: I have more complaints about the audio than I do about the actual book

I Was Robbed! This was the audiobook that I listened to as part of my daily commute. I was surprised at how few CDs there were (only five of them), but I went along with it. As I listened, however, I began to notice how abrupt the book seemed at times. It was a little disorienting but I went with it. Finally, as I approached the end of the novel, I realized that the climax was too quick and sudden. I checked the plastic CD box and discovered in the fine print that this was an abridged recording! I finished the novel, but I was so annoyed! I didn't like this book too much, but now I can't even judge it properly because I wasn't exposed to the entire thing. Whoever thought of making an abridged version of a book was an idiot!
Okay, So Why Didn't I Like It? This book just didn't do it for me in general. I got really annoyed with Rose because she was so ridiculous and melodramatic, and I got annoyed with both Neil and Simon because they both seem rather stupid when it came to women. I actually got annoyed with most of the characters in the novel in general; they all seemed a little ridiculous and unbelievable. The only character I did like was Steven, but that was it.
The plot was a little ridiculous too. This whole love "pentangle" was a bit too much, I thought.
On The Other Hand... I thought the writing style was sweet, and there's a chance I could have liked this book if I had listened to the full unabridged version. I feel like I missed out on a what might have been a fun, quirky story.
A Final Note On The Audio: I got annoyed with the narrator as well. She tried to make every sentence sound intriguing and exciting, which grated on my nerves sometimes. She also can't do a proper American accent, something that bugged me to no end!
Overall: I really wish that this had been unabridged, because then I might have actually enjoyed this a bit more, but now that I've listened to the abridged version, I don't think I'm interested enough in reading the full version at a later date. I wanted to like this book, but I'm afraid that I can't.

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