The Secret Garden Argo Classic Audiobook | Book Review

Saturday 17 October 2020

 The Secret Garden is a classic book. A great children's book that can still be read and enjoyed by adults. This review is for the audio book narrated by actress Glenda Jackson which was originally released 1975 on Decca Records (formerly Argo). This is an abridged version of the book that has the occasional musical accompaniment and odd sound effect.

This was given to me for free as an advanced listening copy by Net Galley and the publisher Harper Audio in exchange for an honest review.

I do plan on giving this five stars, but that doesn't mean I didn't have any issues with it. I think this audio book is perfect for someone older who had the record as a child OR for someone who is looking for something to play for children of their own. This could be good for an adult as well, but the fact that it's abridged may turn some avid readers away.

The story is great. We know that. This is a story about growth. The characters of Mary Lennox, Colin Craven, and Archibald Craven each go through a change in the book. The Garden itself grows and it seems that even Misselthwaite Estate grows as well. This is a charming tale that doesn't have any problematic elements to hinder it's enjoyment over time. That, to me, is a key part of enjoying old books. Reading (or watching) anything old in our more woke times is a risk but The Secret Garden is risk free.

I mentioned that I did have issues with the audio book. Those issues weren't big enough to lower my overall score. I found some of the background sound effects to be annoying. When the children sang it was just cringy and when the bird was chirping it was recorded too loud and was a bit uncomfortable. But other than that, the sound effects added a bit of flair to an old recording. Each character had their unique voice so I never got confused and Glenda Jackson had a very motherly delivery in her performance. 

This is a good audio book that's perfectly suited for a child or for an adult who wants a bit of nostalgia. If you've read The Secret Garden before, this version could be a wonderful revisit to a true classic. If you have never read it, this isn't a bad way to start. 

The Secret Garden 1975 Decca/Argo Recording gets a 9 out of 11

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