Gulliver’s encounters with fantastic peoples and creatures - from the small-statured Lilliputians to the stargazing Liputians - reach to the far corners of the world. As narrator, David Hyde Pierce wonderfully captures the wit and irony of this much-loved classic. Despite Gulliver’s detailed, and sometimes cumbersome, descriptions of strange lands and their inhabitants, Pierce doesn’t miss a beat. His melodic voice wraps perfectly around Swift’s eighteenth-century language. His pronunciations of the imaginative languages are delightful, especially the neighing expressions of the Houyhnhnms, a utopian society of horses. Pierce’s consistently matter-of-fact tone fits Swift’s own. His reading highlights the author’s humor and sarcasm, pulling the listener into this fantastic journey.
Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce is famous for playing the lovably self-important Dr. Niles Crane in the hit TV series Frasier. Now, he brings the same wit and charming arrogance to his Signature Classics performance of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.
More than just a mock travel book and fabulous adventure, Gulliver’s Travels is a character study and social satire that skewers politics, science, religion, philosophy, and pretentiousness with a bite and resonance that remains as fresh today as the day it was published. Maybe that’s why it hasn’t been out of print in nearly 300 years.
Set sail with David Hyde Pierce for a smart, fun, new Gulliver’s Travels experience that’s unlike any other. And stay tuned for more one-of-a-kind performances from actors Leelee Sobiesky, Casey Affleck, Tim Curry, and more, only from Audible Signature Classics.
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"Despite Gulliver’s detailed, and sometimes cumbersome, descriptions of strange lands and their inhabitants, Pierce doesn’t miss a beat. His melodic voice wraps perfectly around Swift’s eighteenth-century language. His pronunciations of the imaginative languages are delightful, especially the neighing expressions of the Houyhnhnms, a utopian society of horses. In a book in which the author’s voice comes through on every page, Pierce’s consistently matter-of-fact tone fits Swift’s own. His reading highlights the author’s humor and sarcasm, pulling the listener into this fantastic journey." (AudioFile)
This audio book is so good I'll listen to it many more times -- it requires too to get all the satire.
Just to hear the pronunciation of Houyhnhnms and their words was very funny.
The voyage to the land of the Houyhnhnms -- where the Yahoos live -- was great. Of course this section is the most wicked satire on humans I have ever encountered in literature.
This is easily one of the greatest audio books EVER!!
David Hyde Pierce delivers the best reading of any audio book on Earth.
The realistic story of Gulliver's Travels documents the heroic journey of England's most accomplished explorer. Jonathon Swift achieves one of the greatest works in European history with a lightness and humor so grand, it will keep you engaged and laughing during the full experience.
What a book!!! David Hyde Pierce was a perfect choice as the narrator! I thoroughly enjoyed this audible book!
David Hyde Pierce's take on the Houyhnhnms (horse-like creatures that can communicate) made the whole listen worthwhile. I literally laughed out loud. I could easily go back and listen to that chapter again.
If you need a kid-friendly listen, this is a good pick. Even if you don't, you'll still enjoy it!
The opening of this story is rather interesting (and bawdy in places), and is probably the only part of the book most people know. I certainly did not know much about the book past the Lilliputans. I also enjoyed his time with the Giants. But then it appeared that Swift wanted to top what he had already written, and thus became outlandish for the sake of becoming outlandish. At that point, I started looking forward to the end of the book.
A classic view of socio-political viewpoints. Swifts views will always be relevant to any civilized society as swift captures the best and worst effects of the human condition as related to problems in society.
I am not British, so I am not an authority on this, but David's accent sounds spot on to me. His reading never gets tiring, his intonation is varied and beautiful, and his inflection is just right. I listened in 1.5x, and easily heard everything. It was ten hours and I could listen to him for ten hours more.
As for the story, it's a classic, and has been around nearly 300 years, so of course it gets five stars. That said, listening to it (while doing housework and yard work) was definitely easier than sitting down to read it. I would also say that since this book is a travel log, with many long descriptions, not all of which are extremely scintillating, it is a better book for listening to while doing chores than while riding in the car.
Gulliver's Travels was written prior to when English literature did a lot of dialog, so he only had to vary his voice once or twice when a character was speaking. However, he does read a rather long-winded description of nautical maneuvers which he reads quickly, deftly, and quite comically. At the end of it, I thought, Well Done!!
10 hours is a long sitting. :) Like I said in my main comment, this isn't really a road trip book; it's more of a mow-the-lawn book.
This is great piece of education on all matters political and moral for Yahoos, some of which style themselves Humans, of older ages. The narration conveys the feelings and points of the travelogue so well that it is hard to imagine any other in roll. He speaks excellently for a Yahoo.
"Lively and unusual"
I chose this audiobook because I took advantage of the 'free first chapter' offer and then couldn't resist getting the rest. I had read a child's version of Gulliver's Travels when I was about seven, and although I enjoyed it at the time, I've often wondered what the original is like.
And it's great! Most people know about Lilliput etc, but the rest makes for just as compulsive listening - if not more so. It was both funny, clever and thought provoking. It is obvious that the book makes many political points which will be most meaningful to those with the appropriate historical knowledge (which I don't really have), but even so I found the humour and sharpness in it very effective and, interestingly, several of the comments seemed pertinent to our laws/politicians etc today!
I thought it was superbly read, even though the English accent as portrayed by an American was slightly odd at times. But that didn't matter at all as it was read in such a lively and spirited manner. And his mastery of the many, many nonsense names made me want to laugh/cheer out loud! If you do choose this book, make sure you stick it to the end as the reading of the last section is brilliant. Full marks, I really enjoyed it.
Really enjoyed this reading. 'Niles Crane' makes an excellent narrator, although his fake posh English accent sometimes slips up. Had never read the story of Gulliver before, and think that listening to it probably added an edge to the irony and veiled sarcasm which reading may not have. Thoroughly recommended
"Excellent Novel - essential reading for all"
Excellent Novel - essential reading for all
Very well narrated - a true classic
"Two lovely stores and two satirical"
Fantastic, every time he "pronounced" the "words" of the different worlds I could barley keep myself from laughing out loud.
The first two was clearly the best, the satirical tone was turned on at the end of the of the second book. The dialog with the king of Brobdingnag was just a bash of his culture
The way he saved the queen when he was on the island of Lilliput
The strange relation he had to his human wife. Who would accept there significant other to go away for year after almost dying two times?!
Easy to recommend this book, was great but its obvious Swift show little respect and appropriation for royalty and lawyers.
David Hyde Pierce brings this famous title alive with his narration. Hard to believe this was written so many years ago. As relevant now as it ever was. It should be required reading for everyone.
"DHP's accent is a distraction"
The performance would be much improved by David Hyde Pierce *not* adopting a faux English accent. For one thing the accent he tries to emulate is what I would call "Oxford English", which is not really appropriate for Swift (nor for Gulliver, who is meant to hail from Nottingham). And for another I'm afraid the quite frequent interpolation of a somewhat different accent (Yorkshire?) into occasional syllables means the performance just gets in the way of the text. I enjoy Mr. Pierce as a character actor but someone should disabuse him of the notion that he can carry an extended pastiche like this for very long. I gave up after 2 chapters.
Didn't get far enough to have an opinion.
The shaky attempt at an English accent makes the listening experience hard work.
"great stuff well read"
David Hp has the perfect voice for this story. An elegant sneer that keeps the story rolling.
"A True Classic"
Evocatively written. The style and reader are beautifully matched. So much more to it than an old book for kids - which is what I have always thought it was.
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