David Hyde Pierce did a fabulous narration of this classic book. I read about half of Gulliver's Travels when I was in college and was pleased to have finally read the book in its entirety. A real insight into political and moral issues as seen by Swift.
Sad that most people will know about Gulliver's first two adventures, but not the rest. Pierce's reading of the Houyhnhnms' language is fantastic. I don't think I would have enjoyed reading this neighing language, but he brings it to life.
A must read for classic enthusiasts.
I've always loved the story of Gulliver' Travels, having fallen in love with a movie version as a young child.
But I hadn't read the book in ages. The story is still great, but David Hyde Pierce's narration is nigh perfect. He has a great combination of arrogance, dry sarcasm, and moments of obsequiousness that the story calls for.
He also does an excellent job pronouncing all those made up words. I would've been reduced to giggle fits.
Tried this book in grade school! Wasn't I precocious? Finally came back and must say this is a great way to experience it. Hyde Pierce is the only narrator to try. He outshines every other option on this or I am sure, any other site. He is perfect in the role and I thank him for his glorius performance. The book gets wearisome near the end, going on a bit long, but I listened almost straight through in 2 sittings, which is a little rare for me. Funny and witty and entertaining. A wholly original idea in its time I expect and one that creators of every kind are still ripping off hundreds of years later. Must have caused a sensation when it came out and rightly so. Still, this will come off as dry to many who do not like older books or subtle styles of humor. Its not hit you in the face with a fish funny or anything. The jokes don't pinch you, you have to pay attention and think a little.
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This performance is done in great style, and it makes you believe, that there is actually a man telling his own story about his adventures, not an actor performing.
The author/narrator, his wit and genuine emotions make him truly alive.
David Hyde Pierce narrates the story as genuine as a real adventurer would be telling it to his friends. Not to mention he has a great voice!
The last part of the book where Gulliver meets horse-like creatures and describes their most human way of living.
I'd always heard that Gulliver's Travels was one of the great satiric works of English literature, but if that's the case, I don't really understand the word. I had always thought satire was a gentle, humourous, and sometimes even affectionate skewering of the status quo, but this book is actually often rather angry and ham-fisted. Then again, sometimes it is humourous to the point of almost being farcical. Either way, it's not the children's book that some might be expecting.
Regardless of whether I'd call it satire, I did enjoy it - and I'm glad I listened to it rather than read it, as I think some of the language would have made it a very difficult read. It's a classic for many reasons, and it is referenced time and time again in popular culture, in whole or in part. Many know the basics of the 4 travel stories that make up this book - one to a land of miniature people, one to a land of gigantic people, one to a land led by a floating city with emphasis on math and music, and one to a land of rationality and reason presided over by equines, not humans. Mostly, I believed they allowed Swift an opportunity to lampoon all the parts of his society that he wished to insult, but in a more acceptable manner than shouting it out on street corners.
David Hyde Pierce did a wonderful job, not only in making some of the imaginary language understandable rather than distracting, but also in making the events seem more plausible than they otherwise might be in print and in making the sometimes long and drawn-out descriptions more palatable. Sadly, it took a while before I stopped thinking of Niles Crane narrating a story with his brother as the protagonist, but that fault is solely my own and not a problem with his narration.
If I had listened to a chapter a day this would perhaps have made a better listening experience.
The pace of this book is very slow. This is more of a satire of his time than the adventure I have seen in the movies.
Without David Hyde Pierce's performance this book would be unlistenable. He brings the story to life.
The only redeeming quality is David Hyde Pierce's performance. Just listening to his performance is enjoyable, if only I could tune out the book...
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I had always thought this was a kids story. This is not, it's a political satire that kids would not get, and apparently many adults didn't get either, if they thought it was a kids story.
All should read this book.
David Hyde Pierce does a terrific job bringing the opinions of the narrator to life. His performance was great.
I just didn't enjoy the story much, so it was a chore to finish the book. Thank goodness for the narration of David Hyde Pierce, which brought some fun to the listening.
I didn't finish listening because the material is too antique. Unlike Shakespeare whose language and style is seemingly timeless--I think 500+ years classifies as timeless--Swift's is not. Even David Hyde Pierce's estimable narration couldn't make up for the heavy-handedness of the satire. Today's listeners are at once more sophisticated and more cynical than Swift's and don't need the bluntness of Swift's satire beating them over the head to get his points..
Making the satire less heavy-handed would shorten the book and update the language.
I haven't read the book but I imagine it would certainly be as good.
I did listen to this in one sitting!
This book was much funnier than I thought it would be! David Hyde Pierce was very good. This was definitely worth the download and listen.