Fiction — audiobook. Read by Tom Mison. Audible, 2014. 1 hour, 15 minutes. Free download.
Circa the 1790s in the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town, an extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut named Ichabod Crane competes with Abraham Van Brunt for the hand of eighteen-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer names Baltus Van Tassel.
As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel home one autumn night, he travels through a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow and is pursued by the Headless Horseman, who is supposedly the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during an unnamed battle of the American Revolutionary War.
This free audiobook was released by Audible in promotion of the second season of the television show “Sleepy Hollow” on Monday, September 22. Mison plays Ichabod Crane on the show so it was a little odd hearing him referring to Ichabod in the third person, but he has the perfect voice for audiobooks and adds intonations to the eighteenth century language used in the text that make it easier to follow the story. His pace was also perfect; I never had to speed up the audio as I have done in the past with other audiobooks.
Having watched the show based on this story, I was expecting a story that would inspire fear or, at least, have a creepy undercurrent to the story and in that regard the book was a disappointment. The descriptions of the characters and the setting are very vivid, but Irving’s capture on my imagination began to wane when the story failed to move forward as quickly as I expected.