Review: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, read by Tom Mison


Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (for the narration)
Date Read: March 30 to 31, 2015
Read Count: lots
Recommended by:
Recommended for: fans of the show Sleepy Hollow

So good. Haunting and whimsical. Tom Mison has the perfect voice and intonation for this story (because he is Ichabod Crane). Although the story is told in third-person, Mison remains in character from start to finish as the Ichabod Crane he plays in the show. So if you like him in the show, then listening to him read the story is exactly like having Ichabod recount the story of his life in Sleepy Hollow. What’s unique about Mison’s narration is that he presents Icabod as a layered, nuanced character who is full of wonder and ahead of his time. As a character trapped in his time, Ichabod must abide by society’s prim and proper lifestyle, but what he really wants is the freedom to explore. So Sleepy Hollow suited him just fine. It’s a small secluded town full of mystique and “alleged” hauntings. Everything about the locale and history interested him and brought out a sense of wonder.

What I like most about Mison’s reading is how close it is to how I see Ichabod Crane. I’ve always imagined him as a bumbling professor from the backwoods with a morbid youthful glee that’s at odds with Washington Irving’s stiff, puritanical writing style. There’s just something about the character that’s curious and mischievous, but that side of him isn’t shown much due to the prudish writing. At the beginning of the story, Ichabod was a learned man of logic and science, though not entirely adverse to witchcraft or the supernatural; he was, after all, full of wonder and ahead of his time. When the natural and the supernatural coalesced in Sleepy Hollow, however, he couldn’t separate fact from fiction and thus began to lose that sense of wonder. It’s one thing to believe in the supernatural and entertain the idea of facing it head on while never encountering it directly; it’s another thing to see it for yourself and having it shatter your romantic illusions. The change is subtle and gradual, but deeply felt in Mison’s narration. And for that, five stars.


8 thoughts on “Review: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, read by Tom Mison

  1. thebookgator March 31, 2015 / 10:09 am

    No comment on Sleepy Hollow, but I do like the new back design–and the cool background.


  2. litanyliterature November 24, 2015 / 6:58 pm

    Lovely last paragraph. I don’t remember having a strong impression of this story, but your note about facing the supernatural made me think on it a little more…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mimi November 24, 2015 / 7:27 pm

      Heh thanks. You are too kind. It’s kind of a messy review that I’ve been meaning to fix–to clarify some points–but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

      I have to admit though that that line about facing the supernatural was written with Ichabod Crane from the show Sleepy Hollow in mind. Tom Mison’s portrayal influenced my reread a lot, to the point where I couldn’t remember how I imagined IC prior to watching the show.


      • litanyliterature November 25, 2015 / 1:19 pm

        I have to say that I’m pretty much entirely new to the audiobook thing. My attention span just does not fit! But maybe I’m also secretly worried that the narrator just might be good enough to sway my opinion of the work.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mimi November 25, 2015 / 7:19 pm

          Yes, there’s that too. Though in my experience narrators tend to ruin books more times than enhance them, but you’re right in that a talented narrator can make a mediocre book better than it really is.

          If you’re looking to try audios, I suggest starting with books you love but haven’t reread in awhile, and listen to them while you’re doing something repetitive that doesn’t require much concentration, like cleaning or organizing or even laundry. It makes time and the task at hand go by faster.


            • Mimi November 26, 2015 / 9:23 am

              Glad I could help. Good luck choosing your audio and have fun!


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