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)
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.
Wasn't familiar with all of Gulliver's destinations, remembered the small and giant people but had forgotten the rest. All were very interesting. David Pierce did an excellent job reading it and bringing it to life.
Reader does a great job. It's one of those classics you hear about all of the time and I figured I should read it, and now I have given it a solid try.
I thoroughly enjoyed the artful use of language to express, with color and flare, the story's comments on the social morays and prejudices of Jonathan Swift's time (1667 - 1745). I especially enjoyed David Hyde Pierce's narration. It made this satirists' humorous and poignant social comments a classic a page turner. What a ride! I would dearly love to hear David Hyde Pierce read from any of Mark Twain and/or Will Rogers works.
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.
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