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British Literature

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Jefferson

Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan Member Since 2010

I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

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  • "A Stark Tower on a Bare Rock, or a ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    On the surface not much happens in Virginia Woolf's semi-autobiographical modernist masterpiece To the Lighthouse (1929). In Part I: The Window, Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay (based on Woolf's own parents), their eight children, and several guests are vacationing at the Ramsays' summer house on the Isle of Skye in the early 20th century. Mrs. Ramsay, a meddling and kind fifty-year-old Greek-goddess, goes to town on errands, reads a fairy tale to her youngest child James, knits a stocking, presides over a dinner, communes without words with her husband, and holds the different people in the house together with the gravity of her charisma. Mr. Ramsay, an eccentric philosopher-academic, carries on with egotism, insecurity, and emotional tyranny. James' desire to visit the local lighthouse is thwarted by his father and the weather. Mr. Charles Tansley, an uptight disciple of Mr. Ramsay, asserts himself charmlessly. The somnolent and cat-eyed poet Mr. Carmichael reclines on the lawn. And independent, Chinese-eyed and pucker-faced Lily Briscoe works on a painting of Mrs. Ramsay and James and critically contemplates the family. In Part II: Time Passes, the forces of entropy besiege the house as it stands empty of people for ten years. And in Part III: The Lighthouse, Mr. Ramsay coerces his two youngest children--now moody teenagers—to accompany him to the lighthouse while Lily Briscoe--who partly represents Woolf herself as a writer--comes to terms with her feelings for Mrs. Ramsay as she tries to capture her vision in the painting she'd attempted ten years earlier.

    Woolf is so good at sympathetically and honestly exposing people's minds and so good at revealing the beautiful and awful world we live in, and her writing is so beautiful, flowing, controlled, and poetic, that spending only a couple days with her characters is an indelibly rich experience. She employs a modernist stream of consciousness narration, and fluidly moves from one character to another. Her technique in the novel has been likened to that of the lighthouse beam moving across the benighted island world, briefly illuminating one mind and then another as it goes round, but Woolf's narration feels more organic than that. I relish her long, elegant sentences comprised of multiple clauses attached by semi-colons, her original and vivid metaphors, and her insights into human nature in a variety of vessels (male, female, old, young, educated, simple, etc.). I expected To the Lighthouse to be beautiful, philosophical, and sad, and it was, but I was surprised by its constant humor. At least as often as a poignant pang, I felt a flush of pleasure, similar to what Cam feels while sailing towards the lighthouse:

    "From her hand, ice cold, held deep in the sea, there spurted up a fountain of joy at the change, at the escape, at the adventure (that she should be alive, that she should be there). And the drops falling from this sudden and unthinking fountain of joy fell here and there on the dark, the slumbrous shapes in her mind; shapes of a world not realised but turning in their darkness, catching here and there, a spark of light; Greece, Rome, Constantinople."

    The dense novel explores the miraculous fragility and meaning (or lack thereof) of life; the varied and complex nature of love; the losses and gains involved in making families or living alone; the fraught relationships between children and parents; the confining roles of men and women; the surprising vividness and poignancy of memory; the complex nature of perception; the doomed but necessary attempt to understand other people; and the doomed but noble attempt through art to capture truth and to avoid entropy.

    Juliet Stevenson was born to read Virginia Woolf! Her voice is lovely to listen to and full of understanding, irony, and sympathy, a perfect accompaniment to the text. With skillful subtlety, she modifies her voice for the thoughts of men and women and children and adults (and for the local Scottish workers who help the Ramsays). She carried me off To the Lighthouse. The only thing, perhaps, that is lost in the audiobook is Woolf's use of parentheses and brackets and semi-colons, which visually shape the reading of the text.

    To the Lighthouse, like Mrs. Dalloway and Orlando, should be read by anyone interested in gender, art, love, life, modernism, beautiful prose, and early 20th century British culture.

    More

    To the Lighthouse

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Virginia Woolf
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (163)

    To the Lighthouse is a landmark work of English fiction. Virginia Woolf explores perception and meaning in some of the most beautiful prose ever written, minutely detailing the characters thoughts and impressions. This unabridged version is read by Juliet Stevenson.

    Jefferson says: "A Stark Tower on a Bare Rock, or a Hanging Garden?"
  • "Poignant Modern Fairy Tales Wonderf..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Which is more impressive in this audiobook, the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde or the readings of them by the assembled famous British actors? At their best, Wilde's stories are exquisitely beautiful and painful and reveal deep understanding of the tragedy of the human condition (mortality, inequality, prejudice, selfishness, and hatred), as well as its transcendence through generosity, self-sacrifice, beauty, faith, and love. The readers are perfect, with wise, compassionate, and flexible voices and deep understanding of each word they say and of each scene they depict.

    Special highlights are Dame Judi Dench reading "The Nightingale and the Rose" so full of wit and emotion, Jeremy Irons reading "The Devoted Friend" with a surprisingly wide range of voices for different characters, Joanna Lumley reading "The Star Child" and moving me to tears, and Robert Harris reading "The Happy Prince" and moving me to tears, too, especially whenever he says, "Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow." Sir Derek Jacobi reading "The Fisherman and His Soul," Sinead Cusack reading "The Birthday of the Infanta," and Sir Donald Sinden reading "The Selfish Giant" all do fine jobs with fine tales.

    The only dud (forgive the pun) is "The Remarkable Rocket," which, despite Geoffrey Palmer's excellent reading and despite the interesting concept (sentient fireworks talking about their upcoming royal display) is finally a mediocre joke that long overstays its welcome. The only disappointment is that the cover art says that there is a bonus track of "The Actress" read by Elaine Stritch, but it's absent from the audiobook.

    Anyway, I highly recommend this excellent audiobook.

    More

    Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: In Aid of the Royal Theatrical Fund

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons, Joanna Lumley, and others
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (75)

    Here is a collection of the Oscar Wilde's famous fairy tales, read by a cast of leading British actors. Additional narrators include Geoffrey Palmer O.B.E., Sir Donald Sinden, and Elaine Stritch. Music: 'Reverie De Sebastian' by Steve Davies.

    Jefferson says: "Poignant Modern Fairy Tales Wonderfully Read"
  • "A Perfect Canterbury Tales from Man..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The fourteen readers of The Canterbury Tales are excellent in changing their inflection, tone, and register to suit whatever is happening in their tales. Thus the ribald tales and insulting exchanges between pilgrims are funny, the tragic tales moving, and the virtuous tales uplifting. Nicholson's translation into modern English seems accurate enough; he maintains much of Chaucer's language and rhymes. At the same time, it is easy to follow the tales because of the fine readers, the clear translation, and Chaucer's natural storytelling.

    The tales and their prologues and epilogues (in which the pilgrims comment on the tales and each other) are fascinating and enjoyable and depict the full range of human folly (sanctimonious con men friars, corrupt judges, cuckolded husbands, lickerish wives, drunken cooks, and crooked millers) and goodness (noble courtly lovers, wise wives, faithful husbands, self-sacrificing virgins, and pure saints). The variety of tales is also impressive: beast fables, ribald jokes, sermons, parables, romances, and so on. They give a priceless glimpse into various Medieval English occupations, lifestyles, and philosophies.

    In short, if you're interested in Chaucer's tales, the Middle Ages, fine readings of good poetry, and life, or if you're studying the original Middle English version, I recommend this audiobook.

    More

    The Canterbury Tales

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Geoffrey Chaucer
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis, Jay Carnes, Ray Porter, and others
    Overall
    (346)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (215)

    In this edition, we hear, translated into modern English, 20-some tales, told in the voices of knight and merchant, wife and miller, squire and nun, and many more. Some are bawdy, some spiritual, some romantic, some mysterious, some chivalrous. Between the stories, the travelers converse, joke, and argue, revealing much about their individual outlooks upon life as well as what life was like in late 14th-century England.

    Tad Davis says: "Many voices, at times enthralling"
  1. To the Lighthouse
  2. Fairy Tales of Oscar Wild...
  3. The Canterbury Tales
  4. .

A Peek at Joseph R's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
671
 
Dry Prong, LA, USA 113 REVIEWS / 300 ratings 64 Followers / Following 0
 
Joseph R's greatest hits:
  • Shirley

    ""As Romantic As Monday Morning""

    Overall

    I have read this book many times since the seventies but this was my first time with the audio version. I knew the story or thought I knew the story but Anna Bentinck's performance allowed me to understand things which I had missed entirely. She is wonderful. Her voice reveals the subtle humor and touches of playfulness of the story. The oppressive sense of loneliness or despair which figure in the Bronte sisters' works, Agnes Grey, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights or Villette is somehow replaced with optimism and hope.

    Charlotte Bronte had a dust-up with her publisher over his praise of Jane Austen. Charlotte had some negative thoughts about Austen and was not shy in expressing them. After listening to this story, I now wonder if she wasn't influenced a bit after all. The Charlotte who wrote Jane Eyre and the one who wrote Shirley seem to be different writers. This story has dirt under the fingernails. Not to overstate the case, the sprinkle of comic characters would suggest an Austen influence. Now I have done it! The Bronte sisters will rise from their graves to pummel me as I sleep.

    My title quotes the author describing her story I think with accuracy. If she were a portrait artist, her paintings would be in the fashion of Vincent van Gogh's "The Potato Eaters" or in the harsh interplay of shadow and light on the canvas of Edgar Degas. Charlotte Bronte paints with fine brush strokes one color, one image after another, piling them on the canvas until the ungainly rough features of her story takes form. Yet, there are even flashes of Johannes Vermeer's delicate brush strokes, brilliant colors and of love shinning in the eyes of the "Girl with the Pearl Earring". Sometimes she paints the delicate beauty of flower gardens in moonlight evenings but also of harsh, glaring Monday mornings, the gritty, sometimes mean realities and human flaws.

  • Lady Susan

    "Lady Susan, an Austen leading lady one cannot love"

    Overall

    I thoroughly dislike Lady Susan (the woman, not the book) from start to finish. Yet, every time I finish the book, I have to step back and give grudging admiration for this unprincipled, schemer. She got everything she wanted. Lady Susan got the much younger man she craved and got her daughter married into a family who at one time would have scorned to be associated with Lady Susan.

    The more I think about the matter, the more I become convinced that the daughter and Lady Susan were executing a clever plot to accomplish their ends. The tears and lamentations of the daughter and the fury of Lady Susan were just part of the scheme, all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    This is a book one loves to hate.

  • Doctor Thorne

    "An Adult Cinderella Story"

    Overall

    Timothy West is absolutely perfect as narrator for Doctor Thorne, one of Trollope's very best. West dexterously highlights Trollope's subtle humor and warm stories in a way the printed page cannot. It is a pleasure to listen to his performance and...it is a performance. A love story is the heart of this work but by no means is its muscle and blood. Trollope takes a mighty comic poke at lawyers, business affairs, and politicians. In addition, human frailties and tragedy are important threads woven into the fabric of this tale.

    The title of the book could have been Mary Thorne after the heroine, an unusual one for the time: a girl who was born a (using the author's word) bastard, this in a era where birth, blood, rank and wealth was all. As the write up states, the hero, Frank Gresham fell in love with this unsuitable girl. One should point out that the imprudence and follies of his mother, Lady Arabella, had a great hand in reducing the family fortunes to its present state of poverty. Naturally, she had no concept she had any hand in the business and busied herself after the manner of Mrs. Bennet in making good matches for her children...and greatly to the complications of this story, in breaking up unwise ones.

    Trollope stories are soap operas no less than Days of Our Lives. There are dozens of major characters who drop in and out of the story as the spotlight falls on this one then that one. The objective is that the story is to continue, after all who wants the story to stop? Not the readers of the serialized Trollope stories or the viewers of today's soaps nor do the writers, sponsors or advertisers; one more installment means one more paycheck for everybody. For instance, Days of Our Lives has been in continuous production for 60 to 75 years since the days of network radio...and Trollope continues also.

  • Before Lunch

    "How Does a Body Get Into These Kinds of Scrapes?"

    Overall

    Nadia May does a terrific job with this glorious little story, at its heart a humorous romance peppered with Austenesque comic characters and I agree with the writeup that there is a dash of Trollope. It is a fun book and requires little thought-- great for coming off those more demanding works such as Middlemarch or Rebecca. My favorite between book of all time is Northanger Abbey with The Enchanted April and Elizabeth's German Garden coming in for close seconds. LM Montgomery and LM Alcott books also provide the same release. Books which are so familiar that only a few lines brings an entire chapter to mind are restful.

    The heroine (the youngest heroine) manages to make some really wrong assumptions about who is in love with whom and manages to say yes to the wrong man. The man who asked also belatedly realizes he had asked the wrong woman. How to untangle this mess? Well, Miss Jane Austen herself realized that she had said yes to the wrong man and had to gallop all the way to Bath to take back her yes so we lesser mortals can take comfort there are ways out of the most uncomfortable situations.

Ilana

Ilana Montreal, Quebec, Canada 04-03-12 Member Since 2011

Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!

HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "A Suspense that Keeps You Guessing"

    33 of 33 helpful votes

    Walter Hartright, a young art teacher, is startled when he is overtaken by a young woman dressed entirely in white while walking on the road from Hampstead to London. Visibly distressed, the young woman begs him to show her the way to London, and he offers to accompany her there. The young woman accepts his offer on the condition that he allow her to come and go as she pleases. Once he's dropped her off in London, two men in hot pursuit claim that the girl has escaped a mental asylum and must be returned there at once, but Walter does nothing to help them in their search. The next day he arrives at Limmeridge House, where he has gained a position as a drawing master. There he meets his young pupils, half sisters Marian and Laura. In no time at all, her befriends Marian—no great beauty is she, but quick, smart and amusing—and falls desperately in love with the heavenly loveliness that is Laura. But the encounter with the woman in white will carry many consequences.

    I took absolute delight in discovering all the plot twists of this great classic mystery, so will disclose no more of the story nor of how it is told, but will say that it offers a wonderfully evil conspiracy and several highly memorable characters, not least of which the strange and compelling villain Count Fosco, who stole every scene in which he appeared, in my view. Also, the sublimely selfish Frederick Fairlie is one of the most memorable invalids I have ever encountered in a work of fiction. I must say that this version, narrated by Simon Prebble and Josephine Bailey, greatly increased my enjoyment of the tale, with wonderfully rendered characters. Now that I've listened to it and that there are no more secrets for me to discover, I still look forward to listening to it again for a fun romp with highly colourful characters and plenty of Gothic frissons.

    More

    The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey, Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1011)
    Performance
    (816)
    Story
    (817)

    One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.

    David says: "Gripping novel, excellent production"

What's Trending in British Literature:

  • 4.8 (174 ratings)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Volume 1: The Treason of Isengard (






UNABRIDGED) by J.R.R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Volume 1: The Treason of Isengard

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (105)

    Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin, alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

    Catherine says: "third book of the series"
  • 4.8 (14 ratings)
    Tom Jones: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (






UNABRIDGED) by Henry Fielding Narrated by Bill Homewood

    Tom Jones: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Henry Fielding
    • Narrated By Bill Homewood
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Tom Jones, a foundling, is brought up by the kindly Mr. Allworthy as if he were his own son. Forced to leave the house as a young man after tales of his disgraceful behavior reach his benefactor's ears, he sets out in utter despair, not only because of his banishment but because he has now lost all hope of gaining the hand of the beautiful Sophia. But she too is forced to flee her parental home to escape an undesirable marriage and their stories and adventures intertwine.

    Lawrence says: "Fantastic narration"
  • 4.8 (13 ratings)
    Complete Short Stories, Volume 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by W. Somerset Maugham Narrated by Charlton Griffin

    Complete Short Stories, Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    In 1938 Maugham wrote, "Fact and fiction are so intermingled in my work that now, looking back on it, I can hardly distinguish one from the other." Maugham also wrote that most of his short stories were inspired by accounts he heard firsthand during his travels to the lonely outposts of the British Empire. In volume three of this series, we present all of the remaining short stories which Maugham published after World War I and which he subsequently caused to be republished in various collections.

    Die Falknerin says: "What a treat!"
  • 4.5 (8800 ratings)
    The Hobbit (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8800)
    Performance
    (7903)
    Story
    (8039)

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
  •  
  • 4.6 (4614 ratings)
    The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4614)
    Performance
    (4151)
    Story
    (4234)

    The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.

    Ellen says: "At last - The Definitive Recording!"
  • 4.3 (4011 ratings)
    A Christmas Carol: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Dickens Narrated by Tim Curry

    A Christmas Carol: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4011)
    Performance
    (1825)
    Story
    (1822)

    A Signature Performance: Tim Curry rescues Charles Dickens from the jaws of Disney with his one-of-a-kind performance of the treasured classic. Our listeners loved this version so much that it inspired our whole line of Signature Classics.

    Nanci says: "Superb story and reading!"
  • 4.3 (3886 ratings)
    1984: New Classic Edition (






UNABRIDGED) by George Orwell Narrated by Simon Prebble

    1984: New Classic Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3886)
    Performance
    (2446)
    Story
    (2478)

    George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

    Kit McIlvaine (GirlPluggedN) says: "Come one, Come all into 1984!"
  • 4.5 (3780 ratings)
    The Count of Monte Cristo (






UNABRIDGED) by Alexandre Dumas Narrated by John Lee

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (3780)
    Performance
    (2099)
    Story
    (2152)

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Prsilla says: "Really-REALLY Classic!"
  • The Hobbit (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8800)
    Performance
    (7903)
    Story
    (8039)

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
  • Brave New World (






UNABRIDGED) by Aldous Huxley Narrated by Michael York

    Brave New World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Aldous Huxley
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2610)
    Performance
    (1872)
    Story
    (1891)

    When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.

    Jefferson says: "“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4614)
    Performance
    (4151)
    Story
    (4234)

    The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.

    Ellen says: "At last - The Definitive Recording!"
  • The Screwtape Letters (






UNABRIDGED) by C.S. Lewis Narrated by Ralph Cosham

    The Screwtape Letters

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    Overall
    (2004)
    Performance
    (1095)
    Story
    (1117)

    A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below". At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old Devil to his nephew, Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man.

    Amazon Customer says: "So much truth, much of it scary."
  •  
  • The Two Towers: Book Two in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Two Towers: Book Two in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3143)
    Performance
    (2840)
    Story
    (2895)

    The Two Towers is the second volume of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic saga, The Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship has been forced to split up. Frodo and Sam must continue alone towards Mount Doom, where the One Ring must be destroyed. Meanwhile, at Helm’s Deep and Isengard, the first great battles of the War of the Ring take shape. In this splendid, unabridged audio production of Tolkien’s great work, all the inhabitants of a magical universe - hobbits, elves, and wizards - spring to life. Rob Inglis’ narration has been praised as a masterpiece of audio.

    Anna says: "Thank you, Audible! Tolkien at long last!"
  • Persuasion (






UNABRIDGED) by Jane Austen Narrated by Juliet Stevenson

    Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1136)
    Performance
    (800)
    Story
    (811)

    Anne Elliot has grieved for seven years over the loss of her first love, Captain Frederick Wentworth. But events conspire to unravel the knots of deceit and misunderstanding in this beguiling and gently comic story of love and fidelity.

    Emily - Audible says: "Juliet Stevenson is Simply Amazing"
  • 1984: New Classic Edition (






UNABRIDGED) by George Orwell Narrated by Simon Prebble

    1984: New Classic Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3886)
    Performance
    (2446)
    Story
    (2478)

    George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.

    Kit McIlvaine (GirlPluggedN) says: "Come one, Come all into 1984!"
  • The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2847)
    Performance
    (2563)
    Story
    (2616)

    The Return of the King is the towering climax to J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy that tells the saga of the hobbits of Middle-earth and the great War of the Rings. In this concluding volume, Frodo and Sam make a terrible journey to the heart of the Land of the Shadow in a final reckoning with the power of Sauron. In addition to narrating the prose passages, Rob Inglis sings the trilogy’s songs and poems a capella, using melodies composed by Inglis and Claudia Howard, the Recorded Books studio director.

    Natalie says: "Finally!"
  •  
  • Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce (






UNABRIDGED) by Jonathan Swift Narrated by David Hyde Pierce

    Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jonathan Swift
    • Narrated By David Hyde Pierce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (717)
    Performance
    (525)
    Story
    (530)

    A Signature Performance: Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce delivers an air of lovable self-importance in his rendition of the classic social satire that remains as fresh today as the day it was published.

    Rose says: "Loved every minute"
  • Animal Farm [Dramatised]  by George Orwell Narrated by Tamsin Greig

    Animal Farm [Dramatised]

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 26 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Tamsin Greig
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (60)

    Animal Farm - the history of a revolution that went wrong - is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power. Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges....

    Leslie says: "Are you sure this is Animal Farm?"
  • Dracula [Audible Edition] (






UNABRIDGED) by Bram Stoker Narrated by Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren, Susan Duerden, John Lee, Graeme Malcolm, Steven Crossley

    Dracula [Audible Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2332)
    Performance
    (2127)
    Story
    (2152)

    The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

    N. Houghton says: "Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
  • Why Shoot a Butler? (






UNABRIDGED) by Georgette Heyer Narrated by Ulli Birvé

    Why Shoot a Butler?

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Ulli Birvé
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    On a dark night, along a lonely country road, barrister Frank Amberley stops to help a young lady in distress and discovers a sports car with a corpse behind the wheel. The girl protests her innocence, and Amberley believes her – at least until he gets drawn into the mystery and the clues incriminating Shirley Brown begin to add up. In an English country-house murder mystery with a twist, it's the butler who's the victim, every clue complicates the puzzle, and the bumbling police are well-meaning but completely baffled.

  • Query (






UNABRIDGED) by

    Query

    • UNABRIDGED (27 mins)
    • By "Seamark", Austin Small
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Thomas Masterick had spent the best years of his life trying to solve the problem. Why had he been convicted of the murder of Fred Smith? Why had life and "the system" been so unfair to him? He knew he had not killed Fred Smith. He wasn't even sure that Fred Smith had been killed. Eventually Masterick solves the problem and sends a greater shock through the legal world than it has ever known.

  • The Interruption (






UNABRIDGED) by W. W. Jacobs Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Interruption

    • UNABRIDGED (31 mins)
    • By W. W. Jacobs
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Spencer Goddard's wife has died suddenly after a short and intense illness. Finally Goddard has his freedom and full use of his wife's wealth. But before he can begin to enjoy his new-found freedom, Hannah the cook begins to behave rather oddly. Goddard realizes that Hannah knows his secret...and a terrible power struggle begins.

  • The Burglary (






UNABRIDGED) by Arnold Bennett Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Burglary

    • UNABRIDGED (27 mins)
    • By Arnold Bennett
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Arnold Bennett (1867-1931) was an English author, born in one of the "Five Towns" which form the background of so many of his witty stories. In The Burglary, Bennett tells the story of a highly respectable and distinguished citizen who hires a burglar to rob his house.

  • Why Shoot a Butler? (






UNABRIDGED) by Georgette Heyer Narrated by Ulli Birvé

    Why Shoot a Butler?

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Ulli Birvé
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    On a dark night, along a lonely country road, barrister Frank Amberley stops to help a young lady in distress and discovers a sports car with a corpse behind the wheel. The girl protests her innocence, and Amberley believes her – at least until he gets drawn into the mystery and the clues incriminating Shirley Brown begin to add up. In an English country-house murder mystery with a twist, it's the butler who's the victim, every clue complicates the puzzle, and the bumbling police are well-meaning but completely baffled.

  •  
  • The Unfinished Clue (






UNABRIDGED) by Georgette Heyer Narrated by Ulli Birvé

    The Unfinished Clue

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Ulli Birvé
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    It should have been a lovely English country-house weekend. But the unfortunate guest list is enough to exasperate a saint, and the host, Sir Arthur Billington-Smith, is an abusive wretch hated by everyone – from his disinherited son to his wife's stoic would-be lover. When Sir Arthur is found stabbed to death, no one is particularly grieved and no one has an alibi. The unhappy guests find themselves under the scrutiny of Scotland Yard's cool-headed Inspector Harding, who has solved tough cases before.

  • The Murder of the Countess Görlitz (






UNABRIDGED) by Sabine Baring-Gould Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Murder of the Countess Görlitz

    • UNABRIDGED (59 mins)
    • By Sabine Baring-Gould
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The bizarre death of the Countess Görlitz at Darmstadt in Germany, in 1847, was one of the greatest mysteries of the age. For several years it was widely believed that the Countess had spontaneously combusted at her writing desk. Another popular theory was that her husband, Count Görlitz, a Privy Councillor and Chamberlain to the Grand-Duke of Hesse had murdered her - a charge which he vigorously denied.

  • Masterpieces of Murder: Intriguing and Unusual Crime Stories (






UNABRIDGED) by G. K. Chesterton, Edgar Allan Poe, A. J. Allan, Stacy Aumonier, Sabine Baring-Gould, Nathaniel Hawthorne, E. W. Hornung Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    Masterpieces of Murder: Intriguing and Unusual Crime Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By G. K. Chesterton, Edgar Allan Poe, A. J. Allan, and others
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A fascinating collection of intriguing and unusual classic murder stories by some of the masters of mystery and crime writing.