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Slouching Towards Bethlehem Audiobook

Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Universally acclaimed from the time it was first published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been admired for decades as a stylistic masterpiece. Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, The Family Stone) performs these classic essays, including the title piece, which will transport the listener back to a unique time and place: the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during the neighborhood’s heyday as a countercultural center.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Short Stories/Collections, 2013

Universally acclaimed from the time it was first published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been admired for decades as a stylistic masterpiece. Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, The Family Stone) performs these classic essays, including the title piece, which will transport the listener back to a unique time and place: the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during the neighborhood’s heyday as a countercultural center.

This is Joan Didion’s first work of nonfiction, offering an incisive look at the mood of 1960s America and providing an essential portrait of the Californian counterculture. She explores the influences of John Wayne and Howard Hughes, and offers ruminations on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room. Taking its title from W.B. Yeats’ poem "The Second Coming", the essays in Slouching Towards Bethlehem all reflect, in one way or another, that "the center cannot hold."

Slouching Towards Bethlehem is part of Audible’s A-List Collection, featuring the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star had a hand in selecting. For more great books performed by Hollywood’s finest, click here.

©1968 Joan Didion (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Diane Keaton does an outstanding job of conveying an era and a place. Her narration is clear, well timed, and wonderfully consistent with the author's voice. Her ability to convey Didion's musings and gentle skepticism add much. Didion's style remains extraordinary." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (317 )
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4.0 (290 )
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4.0 (295 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Julie San Diego, CA, United States 01-24-13
    Julie San Diego, CA, United States 01-24-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So so"

    I love Joan Didion and I loved this collection of essays when I first read it many years ago but Diane Keaton's reading of it just seemed a little flat. I wish Ms. Didion had read it aloud herself.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gretchen Underwood 05-25-13
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    "This just doesn't seem to work as an audiobook."
    Any additional comments?

    I really like Diane Keaton as an actress, and I think that made my disappointment in this audiobook more difficult to swallow. I really wanted to enjoy it, but it just never pulled me in. I have a long commute; however, when I have a good book to listen to, I look forward to the drive. I never looked forward to my ride and finally gave up on the book.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mynhardt 02-03-16
    Mynhardt 02-03-16 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Clear and beautiful"

    I heard the authors name mentioned in reference to the beautiful clarity of her prose and found myself absorbed in a melencholly journey through the lives of people now long gone, and of places on their heyday. l enjoyed every word. The reading is superb, delivered as if some longings are a shared memory with the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wsp 01-25-16
    wsp 01-25-16 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Narrator ruins it beyond repair"

    I wish I had read the other reviews before purchasing. Who would guess that Diane Keaton would be such a horrible narrator? Between her wooden amateurish performance and her mispronunciation I had to quit listening, even though the stories are well written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. M. Potter Washington D.C. 01-12-16
    A. M. Potter Washington D.C. 01-12-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Yawn"
    Any additional comments?

    There were some nice moments and good writing, especially in Part II "Personals," but I found most of these essays to lack structure and emotional depth. Throughout, I was restless and bored. I suspect she's grown a lot as a writer since these early days. I look forward to reading her more recent work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Bain 01-03-16
    Ruth Bain 01-03-16

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lovely prose and excellent narration"

    I'm mystified by the negative comments on Diane Keaton's narration. I thought her pitch, clear speaking, and voice to be quote wonderful for the material. The writing is excellent, although some of the pieces were not especially compelling. One thing that really stood out for me was the timelessness of these collected non-fiction stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanne Brunner 12-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "I lived through these times"
    What made the experience of listening to Slouching Towards Bethlehem the most enjoyable?

    Remembering


    What did you like best about this story?

    The first person telling


    How could the performance have been better?

    Diane Keaton could have put an effort into giving the characters some life. Most of the book she read like she was just trying to get to the end. She would be good at reading children to sleep.


    If you could give Slouching Towards Bethlehem a new subtitle, what would it be?

    The sixties...as I lived it


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Cameron Buffalo, NY United States 09-28-15
    J. Cameron Buffalo, NY United States 09-28-15 Member Since 2014

    offleash

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    "Diane Keaton doesn't read this book very well"

    what can I say. I was as surprised as anyone. There's an underlying childish drawl and she mispronounces words (turns out Joan Didion uses "desultory" quite a bit).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoff Rothschild Los Angeles, CA 07-31-15
    Geoff Rothschild Los Angeles, CA 07-31-15 Member Since 2015

    reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't give up your day job"

    I LOVE Diane Keaton, but a reader of prose she is not. Like, for realsies. I'm also fond of Joan Didion, but I wish I had read this 40 years ago. The thing I enjoyed the most about this book is her love of California and Los Angeles. If you're a Californian, you too may enjoy that-- but maybe buy a hard copy, unless you like trying to ferret out where the verb is in each sentence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Uccellina Chicago, IL 05-15-15
    Uccellina Chicago, IL 05-15-15
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    "Diane Keaton allowed this to be released?"

    This is one of the worst Audible recordings I have heard. I could not abide the mispronunciation throughout of common words and the semi-quixotic, sing-song reading that sounded as though Keaton were reading everything for the first time and didn't know how the sentences should end. It was really trying to catch any coherence and I wish I'd just read the book myself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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