This is the classic story of the man who attempts to rescue the king of Ruritania, who has been abducted. However, he’s undermined by his love for the king’s fiancée. The story is full of swordplay (and a little gunplay), barely repressed passion, political maneuvering, and severely tested personal honor. And Pugsley meets the challenge with all the voices and with his portrayal of Rassendyll’s evolution from wastrel to man of action and honor.
The Prisoner of Zenda is a timeless adventure tale of intrigue and honor written in 1894. As the result of a family indiscretion in the past, Rudolph Rassendyll, the narrator hero of this classic tale, is not only related by blood to the royal line of Ruritania but he bears a striking resemblance to the young Ruritanian crown prince who is about to be crowned King. Curious to see Ruritania, Rudolph arrives just as the crown prince is abducted by the prince’s evil brother. Rudolph is talked into impersonating the crown prince while the crown prince’s friends try to rescue him. Meanwhile, Rudolph fall in love with the crown prince’s cousin who is expected to marry the crown prince after the coronation.
This is a well known tale which has been filmed at least six times since 1913. This audio book is in a class all its own. Andrew Pugsley’s semi-voiced reading is excellent. Primarily a stage and radio drama actor, he knows how to deliver heroic speeches. His large number of accents and his narrative timing bring out the suspense and the excitement of this thrilling tale.