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Classics > British Literature

British Literature

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Neil Chisholm

Neil Chisholm Buninyong, Australia Member Since 2011

"fabric artist and quilter"

HELPFUL VOTES
229
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93
81
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3
  • "Gloriously gothic and a fabulous tale"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hooked so quickly and was, from that moment on, on the edge of my seat. I listen to books as I work. Listening to The Woman in White had me frozen in place listening in awe as to the next twist or the next wicked deed, my work lying forgotten on the table.

    Its a cracker of a story and wonderfully narrated by both Josephine Bailey and Simon Prebble. The novel is written in several parts as journals or statements and the different readers makes the narration so much more dynamic.

    There are some wonderful characters in this book and Wilkie Collins describes scenes so well that you can clearly see the action in your minds eye. There are many apparently modern devices used by the author in this book to drive the action along and appear to confuse the reader or dupe the reader in believing they know the next part of the plot only to surprise them that it is easy to forget that it was written in the mid 1800s.

    I loved this book both for the story, the edginess of the gothic setting, the wonderful characters, the melodrama and the writing. There should be 6 stars and even then this would deserve 6 and a half!

    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
    (976)
    Performance
    (785)
    Story
    (784)

    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"
  • "Oh such felicity, such gaiety, such..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had read this book before but many years ago and like so many others knew Jane Austen from Pride and Prejudice and more from the tv series than reading the book. However, Jane is at her most observational in this book - characters are so real that they are recognisable from people we know today and she is also at her most cynical - the wit is brilliant. Its a fantastic book and Juliet Stevenson is masterly in her narration. If I could have given it six stars I would have done!

    More

    Mansfield Park (Naxos Edition)

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (319)
    Performance
    (237)
    Story
    (244)

    At the tender age of 10, Fanny Price is 'adopted' by her rich relations and is removed from the poverty of her home in Portsmouth to the opulence of Mansfield Park. The transplantation is not a happy one. Dependent, helpless, neglected and forgotten, Fanny struggles to come to terms with her new life until, tested almost to the limits of endurance, she assumes her rightful role....

    Neil Chisholm says: "Oh such felicity, such gaiety, such rapture!"
  • "A complete delight"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't know Persuasion - I knew that it was her last novel, published after her death and named Persuasion by her brother but other than that it was a blank. I guessed that as it was a short novel and her last it might not be quite as good or polished as P&P, S&S or Mansfield Park and certainly not being as famous as her other novels suggested that.

    HOW WRONG CAN YOU BE! This is now my favourite Jane Austen, its charming, its gentle, its witty and as observational as any of the other novels. Its understory is constancy, doing things as etiquette dictated or for other people and how persuasive actions by others can alter your own personal history and not always for the best. It really is a complete delight.

    Juliet Stevenson is also a complete delight - she brings Jane Austen alive and is perfect as the narrator - don't even think of listening to Austen read by anyone else!

    Absolutely loved it and is totally recommended to all classic lovers - 7 stars! (what do you mean I can't give it 7 stars - it deserves them!)

    More

    Persuasion

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1092)
    Performance
    (760)
    Story
    (770)

    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"
  1. The Woman in White
  2. Mansfield Park (Naxos Edi...
  3. Persuasion
  4. .

A Peek at John's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
100
 
54 REVIEWS / 61 ratings 15 Followers / Following 0
 
John's greatest hits:
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    "Ok, so I was buying a lawnmower..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ...and the guy says, "With a lawn as big as yours, you really need a riding mower." I smiled, knowing I had the perfect counterargument to his sales pitch. "That's ok, I have an iPod and I just started The Count of Monte Cristo."

    As the words left my mouth I realized I just forfeited any chance I had that this guy would treat me as a man and a brother. In the horsepower-and-self-propulsion world of your average lawnmower shop, literary discussions are not the ticket to respect. I imaged the thought that was forming under his feed cap: "What a dweeb."

    Instead, his jaw dropped, his eyes popped and he said "That's a great book! I read the unabridged version, and there's a lot of detail, but it's just fantastic!"

    A few weeks later I was catching the train to work. A guard I've become friendly with was supervising the restocking of the vending machines. My train wasn't for a few minutes so I made a detour. After a few casual remarks about the weather the guard noticed the iPod clipped to my jacket and asked what I was listening to. I said The Count of Monte Cristo, with that same shrinking feeling I had at the lawnmower emporium. But the vending guy stood bolt upright, his eyes wide and his hair a-bristle: "That's a great book!"

    I was now convinced I was the only person in the universe who hadn't read The Count of Monte Cristo. And thanks to John Lee and Audible, that flaw in an otherwise blameless upbringing has now been repaired.

    Yes, it includes everything I don't like about 19th Century novels (Jane Austen excluded): it is sloppily, even glutinously sentimental. It is overwrought. It is insanely improbable. It is Gothic. It is Romantic in that overly-ripe, Victorian/Dickensian way that gets under my skin.

    And it is also one of the greatest books I have ever read. Or listened to.

    For all its improbabilities it is true to life. For all it's sentimentality it almost moved me to tears. For all its Gothic cloak-and-dagger antics it is a profoundly, even beautifully Catholic work of literature. It is a big, baggy story full of cul-de-sacs and blind corners, memorable characters and quotable sentences. Yes, the good people are a little too saintly and the bad ones a shade too bad. But what holds it all together is the Count himself. What he suffers, what he does and, finally, what he learns about revenge, forgiveness and redemption are well worth the 56 hour journey. And the lawn looks really good, too.

    John Lee's clean, clear delivery seldom falters. In a six-part audiobook I needed to back up and re-listen only a handful of times to catch something I'd missed. Sometimes the male characters get a little mixed, but that's to be expected in conversations where 4 or 5 are speaking at once. And an invaluable aid to keeping the story straight is supplied by Dumas himself. Since the novel was originally serialized, he's always reminding us of when we last saw a character he's reintroducing to the story--knowing that the newspaper with that vital information has long since been wrapped around a fish in a Parisian gutter.

    I got this one on sale, but even at full price it is a bargain.

  • Big Money

    "Another Dry Martini. Another Perfect Souffle."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Someone, one of those big-brained chaps no doubt, like Darwin or Shakespeare or Thomas Hardy, once said that trying to describe the pleasure of reading Wodehouse was like trying to describe the perfect dry martini. Similarly, someone else equally brain-burdened likened any attempt at criticizing a Wodehouse story to taking a spade to a souffle.

    Just so. Therefore I'll limit myself to saying this story is standard Wodehouse fare, which means it's a cut above most other humor you're likely to find out there. Another tour of life among the inane and the earnest, the lovelorn and the broke. Of course, it all comes out right in the end. The fun is seeing how that happens. And the fun is also hearing Jonathan Cecil narrate how it happens. Like Frederick Davidson, Cecil gets Wodehouse and never overdoes it, giving the words and the humor the right, light touch.

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel

    "Great Performance, Awful Production"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are a round dozen recordings of The Scarlet Pimpernel available at Audible. Unabridged, abridged, a radio play featuring the great Leslie Howard and even a version in Italian. I chose the one by David Thorn for three reasons: it is unabridged, it is by far the cheapest and, to my ear anyway, it is the best performance. I’ll add a fourth: it isn’t in Italian.

    These impeccable reasons overcame my uneasiness at the cover art: a sort of CGI nightmare of two humanoids in non-period costumes swooning woodenly toward each other (if that’s possible) in the sort of faux-medieval atmosphere familiar to dedicated gamers (or “Barbie Princess” video viewers). But the real problems started when I hit “play”.

    First, my eager ears were saluted by a gaggle of kids chanting, “This is Audible Kids!” Really? This tale of intrigue and guillotines, set in the complex political atmosphere of Revolutionary, Republican France, riddled with references to Gluck and Burke and Fox, is a kid’s story? Granted, what the good baroness wrote is not great literature—in the pantheon I’d put her somewhere near Ian Fleming: a gifted spinner of tales, observer of people and writer of dialogue. Her book is one of the best examples of an iffy genre: popular historical fiction. I can’t recall another story I’ve seen spoofed more often. Still, this isn't kid’s stuff.

    Next came the musical accompaniment at the beginning and end of every chapter. I suppose it’s meant to cast a spell of mystery and intrigue. What sounds like a synthesized guitar (or harp?) wanders up and down the scale hand-in-hand with a toy piano—or possibly a miniature xylophone? I didn’t know what it reminded me of. And then I got it: 70’s lounge music. I could see the shag-carpeted electric piano, the cocktails with little umbrellas. Next thing I expected was Bill Murray belting out, “Sta-a-a-a-a-r Wars, nothing but Sta-a-a-a-a-r Wars!” (Youtube it if you’re too young to remember.)

    Then I discovered that the chapter divisions on my iPod didn’t sync up with the chapter divisions in the book. Instead, my menu showed eight “chapters”, each an hour-and-some-odd minutes long, each containing several actual chapters. In other words, lose your place and you’re lost.

    And in between every chapter was wedged a generous slab or two of the lounge music. But I shouldn't complain. Those oases of synthesized smarminess served as the next best thing to chapter divisions, making the job of finding your place a little easier.

    But the real problem, the thing that makes this recording a tragedy, is that there are words missing.

    At first it wasn’t so bad. At the end of chapter 5, the last few words of the final sentence actually begin to fade away in order to make room for the dreadful muzak. But at least I could hear them.

    Then, at the end of chapter six, the final sentence didn’t make sense at all. Looking up The Scarlet Pimpernel on the Guttenberg Project, I discovered that the sentence was missing its entire second half—words that reveal a detail I very much needed to hear if the story was to make any sense later on. The same thing happens at the end of chapter seven, the middle of chapters thirteen and fourteen and, I have no doubt elsewhere in places I didn’t notice. Admittedly, these later gaps are not nearly as crucial. Still, they’re flaws any competent producer would have caught.

    I called this a tragedy but that’s too strong a word. This is simply a waste. Because David Thorn’s performance—his delineation of character, his pacing, his ability to keep several simultaneous voices (and the narration) distinct and vivid—is very good. It is a shame that his fine performance should be marred by such slipshod production. And it’s a shame that such a good yarn—a story that has come, like the Three Musketeers, to define our collective image of the period in which it is set—should be robbed of it’s full vigor.

    I can give you no better proof of that vigor than by saying that, in spite of all the production flaws, I persevered because I was hopelessly hooked. It really is a glorious, swashbuckling rip-snorter of a story. Yes, at heart it is a bodice-ripper. The horns of Lady Blakeney’s various dilemmas are dwelt upon ad nauseum. One more reference to “a woman’s heart” and I probably would have given up. But there is good writing here and even shrewd insights.

    For example, this description of an empty dining room is something of a tour de force:

    “When Chauvelin reached the supper-room it was quite deserted. It had that woebegone, forsaken, tawdry appearance, which reminds one so much of a ball-dress, the morning after.

    “Half-empty glasses littered the table, unfolded napkins lay about, the chairs—turned towards one another in groups of twos and threes—very close to one another—in the far corners of the room, which spoke of recent whispered flirtations, over cold game-pie and champagne; there were sets of three and four chairs, that recalled pleasant, animated discussions over the latest scandal; there were chairs straight up in a row that still looked starchy, critical, acid, like antiquated dowager; there were a few isolated, single chairs, close to the table, that spoke of gourmands intent on the most recherche dishes, and others overturned on the floor, that spoke volumes on the subject of my Lord Grenville's cellars.

    “It was a ghostlike replica, in fact, of that fashionable gathering upstairs; a ghost that haunts every house where balls and good suppers are given; a picture drawn with white chalk on grey cardboard, dull and colourless, now that the bright silk dresses and gorgeously embroidered coats were no longer there to fill in the foreground, and now that the candles flickered sleepily in their sockets.”

    Not bad. Not bad at all.

    Then there are keen observations that get at the heart of the paradoxes of the French Revolution and, indeed, of all modern totalitarianism:

    “On seeing the strangers…[the innkeeper] paused in the middle of the room… looked at them, with even more withering contempt than he had bestowed upon his former guests, and muttered, "Sacrrree soutane!"

    “[One of the newcomers] had taken a quick step forward towards Brogard. He was dressed in the soutane, broad-brimmed hat and buckled shoes habitual to the French cure, but as he stood opposite the innkeeper, he threw open his soutane for a moment, displaying the tri-colour scarf of officialism, which sight immediately had the effect of transforming Brogard's attitude of contempt, into one of cringing obsequiousness.”

    In other words, the political saviors have quickly become even more terrifying (and hateful) than even the Church that had supposedly been oppressing everyone so ruthlessly up until then.

    Long story short: this is a good book and a very good performance, hampered by lamentable production. Which is probably why it was the cheapest.

  • The Luck of the Bodkins

    "There's a Serious Gap in this Recording"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    And it eliminates a major twist in one of Wodehouse's most twisted plots. Running from page175 to page 181 in the Overlook Press edition, it renders the story absolute nonsense from that point forward. Fortunately, the break in the narrative flow is so obvious, and the pause that precedes it so long, that it's hard for even a casual listener to miss.

    Other than that I'm enjoying Jonathan Cecil's performance very much. It's a book I didn't like all that much when I read it several years ago. It is, I believe, Wodehouse's longest work and it does get a bit tedious on paper. But listening is a pleasure and, armed with the complete text, one can bridge over this unfortunate gap--along with any others that may crop up along the way.

Die Falknerin

Die Falknerin 02-04-13 Member Since 2008

Painter, musician, bibliophile...

HELPFUL VOTES
288
ratings
REVIEWS
561
101
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
27
0
  • "Another great selection of stories"

    8 of 8 helpful votes

    This second collection of "Great Classic Stories" is just as rewarding as the first, with something for everyone, including comedy, tragedy, suspense, and romance.

    From Huxley's brassy lunchtime companion to the sad teller of Gilbert's love story, nearly every story reveals an unforgettable character or two, and the narrators are first-rate. I particularly enjoyed Bill Wallis and Simon Vance.

    Here are the stories in order:

    YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO by Edgar Allan Poe

    COUSIN WILLIAM by Harriet Beecher Stowe

    HOW I EDITED AN AGRICULTURAL PAPER by Mark Twain

    A PIECE OF STRING by Guy de Maupassant

    ANGELA, AN INVERTED LOVE STORY by W. S. Gilbert

    THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE ROSE by Oscar Wilde

    THE STORY OF AN HOUR by Kate Chopin

    A JURY OF HER PEERS by Susan Glaspell

    ARABY by James Joyce

    THE MARK ON THE WALL by Virginia Woolf

    THE INTERLOPERS by Saki

    HEAD AND SHOULDERS by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    THE STRANGER by Katherine Mansfield

    THE BLIND MAN by D. H. Lawrence

    NUNS AT LUNCHEON by Aldous Huxley

    More

    Great Classic Stories II

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Edgar Allan Poe, James Joyce, Mark Twain, and others
    • Narrated By Simon Vance, Kate Fenton, Stephen R. Thorne, and others
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    This wonderful collection of 18 short stories includes work by some of literature's most treasured names, including Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Oscar Wilde, and many more. This superlative treasury includes "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe; "A Piece of String" by Guy Le Maupassant; "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin; "The Mark on the Wall" by Virginia Woolf; "Nuns at Lunch" by Aldous Huxley, and many more!

    Die Falknerin says: "Another great selection of stories"

What's Trending in British Literature:

  • 4.8 (173 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
    (173)
    Performance
    (102)
    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 (16 ratings)
    Complete Short Stories, Volume Two (






UNABRIDGED) by W. Somerset Maugham Narrated by Charlton Griffin

    Complete Short Stories, Volume Two

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    In June 1917, W. S. Maugham was asked by the British Secret Intelligence Service, to undertake a special mission in Russia to support Kerensky's government. The mission failed, and two and a half months later, the Bolsheviks took control. Maugham subsequently said that if he had been able to get there six months earlier, he might have succeeded. Quiet and observant, Maugham had a good temperament for intelligence work. The writer used his spying experiences as the basis for his collection of short stories called Ashenden: Or the British Agent. They became the prototype for the modern espionage novel.

  • 4.8 (13 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
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    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 (12 ratings)
    The Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Louis Markos

    The Life and Writings of C. S. Lewis

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Louis Markos
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    What can we still learn from C.S. Lewis? Find out in these 12 insightful lectures that cover the author's spiritual autobiography, novels, and his scholarly writings that reflect on pain and grief, love and friendship, prophecy and miracles, and education and mythology.

    Richard says: "Basically a collection of sermons"
  •  
  • 4.9 (11 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
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    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.

  • 4.5 (8435 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
    (8435)
    Performance
    (7580)
    Story
    (7703)

    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!"
  • 4.7 (4332 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
    (4332)
    Performance
    (3891)
    Story
    (3969)

    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 (3972 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
    (3972)
    Performance
    (1789)
    Story
    (1786)

    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!"
  • 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
    (8435)
    Performance
    (7580)
    Story
    (7703)

    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!"
  • 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
    (4332)
    Performance
    (3891)
    Story
    (3969)

    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!"
  • 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
    (3760)
    Performance
    (2324)
    Story
    (2358)

    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.

    Jay Stone says: "Enduring Classic"
  • 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
    (2923)
    Performance
    (2636)
    Story
    (2692)

    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!"
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  • 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
    (2651)
    Performance
    (2380)
    Story
    (2430)

    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!"
  • A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor] (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Dickens Narrated by Simon Vance

    A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (825)
    Performance
    (624)
    Story
    (655)

    A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.

    Teddy says: "Truly a Classic"
  • 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
    (2221)
    Performance
    (2024)
    Story
    (2047)

    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"
  • 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
    (2510)
    Performance
    (1788)
    Story
    (1805)

    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!”"
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  • 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
    (649)
    Performance
    (461)
    Story
    (465)

    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"
  • Pride and Prejudice (






UNABRIDGED) by Jane Austen Narrated by Sharon Williams

    Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Sharon Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (151)

    A delightful novel about "how girls catch husbands." Listen in to find out: What will happen to sister Lydia? Will the arrogant Lady Catherine de Burgh's intrigues be foiled? Will sister Jane marry Mr. Bingley? And especially, will Elizabeth, cured of her prejudice, and Mr. Darcy, cured of his pride, fall into each other's arms? Listeners will also savor the wit, the sly irony and satire and comedy that Miss Austen crowds into almost every quiet, well-bred line of this novel.

    Amazon Customer says: "A great story to make the end of an era"
  • Treasure Island (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert Louis Stevenson Narrated by Neil Hunt

    Treasure Island

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Neil Hunt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (109)

    If you happen to find a map in a dead buccaneer's sea trunk, you can't very well ignore it, not if you are Jim Hawkins and his friends Dr. Livesey, Captain Smollett, and Squire Trelawney! But even with a map, buried treasures are not easy things to come by.

    Darwin8u says: "A Pirate's Life Indeed."
  • The End of the Affair (






UNABRIDGED) by Graham Greene Narrated by Colin Firth

    The End of the Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Graham Greene
    • Narrated By Colin Firth
    Overall
    (2440)
    Performance
    (2243)
    Story
    (2234)

    Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.

    Emily - Audible says: "Colin Firth Kills It"
  • Shirley (






UNABRIDGED) by Charlotte Brontë Narrated by Georgina Sutton

    Shirley

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Charlotte Brontë
    • Narrated By Georgina Sutton
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Set in a chaotic time in England, during the height of the Napoleonic Wars, Caroline Helstone's world is turned upside down when she meets the vivacious Shirley Keeldar. Shirley becomes a beacon of light for Caroline as the two become close friends. However, Caroline is soon shocked to discover that Shirley has won the affections of Robert Moore, the impoverished mill owner whom she loves. Fully representative of Yorkshire life at the time, Brontë's second novel is completely gripping, unrelenting and utterly wrenching in its portrayal.

  • The Castle of Otranto (






UNABRIDGED) by Horace Walpole Narrated by Neville Jason

    The Castle of Otranto

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Horace Walpole
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Castle of Otranto is regarded as the first Gothic novel. The son of Manfred, Prince of Otranto, is mysteriously killed on his wedding day by a huge helmet. The event leads to a fast-paced story of jealous passion, intrigue, murder and supernatural phenomena unfolding in an atmosphere of thunderclaps, moonlight, and dark castle walls mirroring the inner turmoil of the characters themselves.

  • Faro's Daughter (






UNABRIDGED) by Georgette Heyer Narrated by Laura Paton

    Faro's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Laura Paton
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Fiery, strong-willed Deb Grantham, who presides over a gaming house with her aunt, is hardly the perfect wife for the young and naive Lord Mablethorpe. His lordship's family are scandalized that he proposes to marry one of 'faro's daughters', and his cousin the proud, wealthy Max Ravenscar - decides to take the matter in hand. Ravenscar always gets his way, but as he and Miss Grantham lock horns, they become increasingly drawn to each other. Amidst all the misunderstandings and entanglements, has Ravenscar finally met his match?

  • Dr Thorne: Chronicles of Barsetshire, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Anthony Trollope Narrated by David Shaw-Parker

    Dr Thorne: Chronicles of Barsetshire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By David Shaw-Parker
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    It tells the tale of Frank Gresham and Mary Thorne, a couple intent on marriage despite their conflicting social backgrounds. Frank is engaged in a fierce battle with his family as his mother vehemently opposes the marriage and pushes him to marry a wealthy heiress; however, Frank shuns her attempts and is determined to accept Mary on her own terms.

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  • Joe Harwell Classics Presents Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol: A Story That's Not Just for Christmas (






UNABRIDGED) by Joe Harwell Narrated by W.B. Ward

    Joe Harwell Classics Presents Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol: A Story That's Not Just for Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Joe Harwell
    • Narrated By W.B. Ward
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Ebenezer Scrooge is a man who does not recognize the true riches of life, which is the friendship of family and friends. He goes out of his way not to give to others, even those with great need and especially at Christmas. The experiences brought upon Ebenezer on Christmas Eve show him the error of his ways and what he's lost out on by being miserly.

  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (






UNABRIDGED) by Rudyard Kipling Narrated by Phillip J. Mather

    Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

    • UNABRIDGED (40 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Phillip J. Mather
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Rudyard Kipling's classic tale (first published in The Jungle Book, and considered by many to be the best of those stories) details the fearless exploits of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a young mongoose whom misadventure had fortuitously brought to live at the bungalow of an expatriate British family in India. Rikki Tikki through great presence of mind, fortitude, and simply by being a mongoose saves the family from the murderous intent of two cobras.

  • Charles Dickens and the Making of 'A Christmas Carol' (






UNABRIDGED) by Michael Norris Narrated by Tanya S. Bartlett

    Charles Dickens and the Making of 'A Christmas Carol'

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Michael Norris
    • Narrated By Tanya S. Bartlett
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In this penetrating study narrated by leading British voice artist Tanya S. Bartlett, Michael Norris tells the complete story behind Dickens' writing of the book. Norris dives deep into his topic to discover the altruistic angels and monetary demons which drove Dickens, the public debates and rancor which informed him, and the terrible childhood memories which both haunted and inspired him.