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How Green Was My Valley | [Richard Llewellyn]

How Green Was My Valley

How Green Was My Valley is Richard Llewellyn’s best-selling - and timeless - classic, as well as the basis of a beloved film. As Huw Morgan is about to leave home forever, he reminisces about the golden days of his youth when South Wales still prospered, when coal dust had not yet blackened the valley. Drawn simply and lovingly, with a crisp Welsh humor, Llewellyn’s characters fight, love, laugh, and cry, creating an indelible portrait of a people. Richard Llewellyn (1906–1983), a Welsh novelist, was born in Hendon, England, in the county of Middlesex.
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Publisher's Summary

How Green Was My Valley is Richard Llewellyn’s best-selling - and timeless - classic, as well as the basis of a beloved film.

As Huw Morgan is about to leave home forever, he reminisces about the golden days of his youth when South Wales still prospered, when coal dust had not yet blackened the valley. Drawn simply and lovingly, with a crisp Welsh humor, Llewellyn’s characters fight, love, laugh, and cry, creating an indelible portrait of a people.

Richard Llewellyn (1906-1983), a Welsh novelist, was born in Hendon, England, in the county of Middlesex. Before World War II, he spent periods working in hotels, wrote a play, worked as a coal miner, and produced his best-known novel, How Green Was My Valley, as well as 19 other novels. After the war, he worked as a journalist, covering the Nuremberg Trials, and then as a screenwriter for MGM.

©1939 1940 by Richard Vivian Llewellyn Lloyd; renewed 1967 by Richard Llewellyn (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A story of exquisite distinction and vibrant interest; clear and strong as the music under the sky.” (New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (48 )
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4.2 (41 )
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  •  
    Ronna United States 10-22-12
    Ronna United States 10-22-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A classic that must be read---could take place now"

    What a joy it was to read this classic book that was the basis for the 1941 Oscar Award movie by the same title. As with most books, it was ten times better than the movie, which I also very much enjoyed.

    This first person narrative of a small Welsh coal mining town from decades ago, could very well be a story in present day America. This tale of the joys, trials, comradeship, faith, family, and community was underpinned with the disputes of workers seeking better salaries. But it was the faith of God and love of family that ran through all the emotions that make up a great story.

    I highly recommend this classic to everyone who has yet to read the book. Superior writing also made this book a real treasure for all times!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 04-16-13
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 04-16-13 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The rhythm of life... the pattern of words..."

    I loved it! Written in 1939, it is a classic... I've read and listened to it both now. Coal mining family in South Wales seen though the eyes of the youngest son. I loved the speech patterns, the taste of the food, the honor of work, the cultural flavor and the love of a family. I loved the slowly evolving plots and complex characters. You have to be patient with this book, it is not a Dr. Pepper or bar of chocolate book. It is a rich stew, with hearty vegetables, herbs and tender chuncks of beef. There are strikes, mine collapses, young love trysts, long held grudges, fist fights, pride and sorrow... there is a family that grows, swells and forms a spider web from the valley across the world. I will listen again, if just to jot down some of the Welsh sayings I love the most... like the courting couple they called "Kiss and Scratch' for either they were overly affectionate or fighting. Go you then.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 07-22-13
    Dennis Mazama, WA, United States 07-22-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A great classic, layered and wonderful"

    There are certain books that I have read from this era that were so good I felt like I had the opportunity to live in that time for a while, this is one of those books. This is more than an author detailing the life of his family for posterity, it captures the culture, the personalities, and the very detail of everyday life of all the people who lived in that community. This book does more than tell a story, it brings you into the story, you are involved and invested in the many triumphs and struggles that befall the Morgan clan. The story is told in a wonderful fashion as well and is unique as a piece of literature, beautiful in what is told and what is not, the narration is also top tier as well.
    This book gets a strong recommendation

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bronwyn Soell Illinois, United States 07-21-13
    Bronwyn Soell Illinois, United States 07-21-13 Member Since 2006
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    "A beautiful and timeless story- very moving"

    This story of a Welsh coal mining family and the village they live in is lyrically written and beautifully narrated. It is not a fast book, it is a book you listen to carefully, for the sake of the language. It is an old-fashioned book, that allows you to listen to someone remembering a time long gone and a way of life that has disappeared. The Morgan family is loving and loyal and tries hard to stay true to themselves and the ideals they were raised with, even as the world is changing around them and their small village becomes a place that is filled with bitterness and poverty. But if you just listen to the melody of the language and let the story flow, I believe that this book will stay with you and move you more than you may realize at first. I loved reading it years ago and I loved listening to it as well. If you are looking for a slower-paced listen and want to savor the language and writing, give it a try!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer rochester, NY, United States 06-13-13
    Amazon Customer rochester, NY, United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Could read it over and over"
    Any additional comments?

    This books stands for itself decades after its publication. The only thing that bothered me was the narrator's pronunciation of some Welsh names, i.e., the name Angharad has a silent "g"

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Newnan, GA, United States 09-22-13
    Janice Newnan, GA, United States 09-22-13

    I am a book reviewer for a Mystery Group. My favorite types are mysteries, thrillers and suspense!! Audible has been a blessing!

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    "A Classic is Always Worth Reading Again!"
    What made the experience of listening to How Green Was My Valley the most enjoyable?

    I have loved this book forever it seems, BUT I had never had the pleasure of having it read to me. I cannot brag enough on the quality and presentation of this Audible Book. There is nothing that compares to listening to this beloved classic with the accents and the story of a large Welsh family trying to make a living during the coal mining days that were coming to a close forcing the village to make changes that will separate their family in sad and tragic ways ... but this inspiring tale brings everything good about families and the love that makes them so strong and resilient!!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The strong message it has about dignity, strength and courage.


    What does Ralph Cosham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    What a joy it was to listen to his voice and FINALLY know how to pronounce the names correctly! lol


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, this is one of those books that you want to listen to a few chapters at a time and the rest of the day you can ponder its messages.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of those classics you will want to listen to over and over again ...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen USA 09-13-13
    Karen USA 09-13-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Disappointing"
    Would you try another book from Richard Llewellyn and/or Ralph Cosham?

    Probably not, but one can never say never.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    That's a tough question, because I'm not the author, nor do I know how his mind works. This is the story he wanted to tell, and it is told in his way, not my way.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ralph Cosham?

    Daniel Radcliffe.


    Could you see How Green Was My Valley being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I know it's a classic movie. I would probably watch it. I don't see it being a TV series, though. Not enough "meat" to keep it rolling for more than a season. Starring roles.... I didn't see anyone's faces in particular while reading it, so that would be a hard casting task for me.


    Any additional comments?

    I read/listened to this book because of a favorite episode of "Frasier" where Frasier just wanted to get through a hard day and watch this movie. I thought if Dr. Crane liked it, it must be worth seeing. I have yet to watch it. I was hoping for more in the story, I guess. It was kind of lackluster for me. But I am glad I read it finally.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie Kansas City, MO, United States 11-23-11
    Annie Kansas City, MO, United States 11-23-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Maybe a "classic," but certainly not timeless"

    I listened all the way until I had 2 hours left, hoping I'd change my mind. Finally threw in the towel. Characters are flat. There could have been a wonderful story and story within the story here, but the author has serious issues with ADD and character development. It read like a textbook. When the plot would finally have a tiny bit of interest, he would jump and I mean jump, not transition, to another character.

    As frustrating as Dickens in my mind, but not nearly as humorous. Barely any moments of interest. Only stuck with it so long because my mom insisted I would like it.

    Blah. Don't waste your time.

    0 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Moren Kansas City, MO USA 11-23-11
    A. Moren Kansas City, MO USA 11-23-11 Member Since 2008

    texas mommie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    134
    7
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    0
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    Story
    "Maybe a "classic," but certainly not timeless"

    I listened all the way until I had 2 hours left, hoping I'd change my mind. Finally threw in the towel. Characters are flat. There could have been a wonderful story and story within the story here, but the author has serious issues with ADD and character development. It read like a textbook. When the plot would finally have a tiny bit of interest, he would jump and I mean jump, not transition, to another character.

    As frustrating as Dickens in my mind, but not nearly as humorous. Barely any moments of interest. Only stuck with it so long because my mom insisted I would like it.

    Blah. Don't waste your time.

    0 of 12 people found this review helpful
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