2016 Updates (in bold): I'm doing my yearly listen to this wonderful narration of Irving's classic tale of humor and horror.
“He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock perched upon his spindle neck to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield.”
This is my third time through, and it is just as wonderful as the first time I listened. Actually, it might even be more wonderful, because it has taken on that patina that only the best and most comforting of reads ever acquires!
Yes, that is Tom Mison, who plays Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow - one of my absolute favorite television shows.
Several weeks ago, someone pointed me in the direction of a free audible version of Washington Irving's classic short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (title links to audible page), brilliantly read by Tom Mison.
I had a chance to actually listen to the story on Friday, when I had a several hour drive to pick up my daughter at college and bring her home for the weekend. I am not sure that I had ever actually read this classic story, although I do remember seeing a play that had been adapted from the story.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a fantastic listen, with its arcane and beautiful language, read in Mison's buttery British voice. If you are a fan of the show, there is an enhancement in hearing him, with his agile and gorgeous voice, doing the reading (it always amazing to me how much a good narrator adds to the experience of listening to a story).
This isn't horror, though. It is gently comedic slice of American life stuff - the narrator tells the story of Ichabod Crane, gangling school-master and social climber, humorously, making a bit of fun of him. There are meditations on geography, local ghost stories, farming, teaching, women, and, most of all, food. Ichabod is more than a little obsessed with filling his belly, so the discussions of pie and cake are seemingly endless. The end is amusing, and just vague enough to make one wonder.
I loved it. My daughter - who was riding with me - was less amused, taking the position that out of the one hour and fifteen minute story, the last five minutes was the only part that really mattered. Of course, she spent most of the ride texting a new boy with whom she is smitten, and she doesn't really like pie, so who asked her anyway?
It is only an hour and fifteen minutes long, and is totally free on audible. I found it completely delightful.
In 2016, I will be using this one for: