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The Age Of Innocence | [Edith Wharton]

The Age Of Innocence

Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in upper class New York City. Newland Archer, gentleman lawyer and heir to one of New York City's best families, is happily anticipating a highly desirable marriage to the sheltered and beautiful May Welland. Yet he finds reason to doubt his choice of bride after the appearance of Countess Ellen Olenska, May's exotic, beautiful 30-year-old cousin, who has been living in Europe. This novel won the first ever Pulitzer awarded to a woman.
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Publisher's Summary

Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in upper class New York City. Newland Archer, gentleman lawyer and heir to one of New York City's best families, is happily anticipating a highly desirable marriage to the sheltered and beautiful May Welland. Yet he finds reason to doubt his choice of bride after the appearance of Countess Ellen Olenska, May's exotic, beautiful 30-year-old cousin, who has been living in Europe. This novel won the first ever Pulitzer awarded to a woman.

Public Domain (P)2013 Trout Lake Media

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (95 )
5 star
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4.0 (81 )
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Story
3.7 (86 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Janna Wong Healy Los Angeles, CA 05-17-13
    Janna Wong Healy Los Angeles, CA 05-17-13 Member Since 2013

    I've spent my entire life around the written word - writing it, editing it, teaching it. So, it's no wonder I also love to read it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful Book But Less-than-Beautiful Performance"
    Would you listen to The Age Of Innocence again? Why?

    I wish I had the patience to sit through this narrator's reading one more time. As it was, I had to reverse and listen to sections over and over again due to her artistic choices so I feel like I have already listened to this book three or four times!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Age Of Innocence?

    I love the passion of the two key characters, Newland and Ellen, which is heightened by their inability to declare their love openly. Any scene in which they appear together is tense but passionate...and certainly memorable.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Mary Sarah’s performances?

    No. While she articulates the prose well and reads Wharton's novel with enthusiasm, I felt her artistic choice to open every sentence loudly and end it in a whisper was difficult and annoying. I had to hit the rewind button far too many times which seriously harmed the experience for me,


    Who was the most memorable character of The Age Of Innocence and why?

    The three main characters - Newland, Ellen and May - are memorable and deeply drawn. While May is depicted as an innocent child-woman, she turns out to be very clever indeed. Bit. my favorite character is Newland, who maintains his dignity despite his passionate love for Ellen. Ultimately, he makes the right choice but his passion is deeply felt.


    Any additional comments?

    Although it's difficult to believe in our modern times that two people in love could have their love constrained in such a way, the novel's depiction of this forbidden love is beautifully rendered.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clodhopper Tucson, AZ, United States 07-10-13
    Clodhopper Tucson, AZ, United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2005

    I'm a geologist and I use Audible books to while away long hours on the road... My pickup truck is my reading room!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Less than the sum of its parts"

    This is my first Wharton novel, and it is not an easy one to critique. It is a well-crafted novel; one can enjoy the prose and lose sight of the fact that the story is rather formulaic, and the crises happen mostly off-stage, and the book continues too long beyond the emotional denoument.

    Wharton, like Wilde, writes brilliant sentences but doesn't quite manage to assemble them into a brilliant novel. I may read more of her, but it will be to enjoy her gem-quality prose, not for her storytelling.

    The production is substandard. Fault for this lies equally with the narrator and the producer. The narrator tends to hurry her reading too much, and the producer has allowed too many re-reads and awkwards pauses to remain in the final recording.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Milwaukie, OR, United States 05-29-13
    Kristi Milwaukie, OR, United States 05-29-13 Member Since 2011

    An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tale of unrequited love per society rules."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Age Of Innocence to be better than the print version?

    Yes, but only because it's easier for me to listen while I work, than take the time to read the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I admired May the most, even though the author wrote her as "someone without imagination". In the long run, May knew exactly what was going on, gave the lovers a chance to go in a different direction, but they refused to go their own way and buck society's rules.


    Which character – as performed by Mary Sarah – was your favorite?

    The grandmamma character was well done.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    There is a film, but I think it would be
    "Can you live your life for love?"


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this story of a man who falls in love with a married woman, whom he talks out of divorcing and leaves her with the choice of returning to her husband, (who is hinted as being an abusive man) or living a life of genteel poverty alone. His fear is that she will become the mistress of one man or another and yet he marries her cousin and leaves her behind.
    I found the ending very poignant and true. Sometimes we long for something and that longing is more important than the actual fulfillment of the thing you long for. I did do some crying over this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    heART seneca sc 12-08-13
    heART seneca sc 12-08-13 Member Since 2012

    artist heart

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    "a classic that holds up with the passsge of time"
    What did you love best about The Age Of Innocence?

    the profound truths about human nature


    What did you like best about this story?

    how the characters react to one another


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the last one; outstanding!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    longing


    Any additional comments?

    at first I thought this book was somewhat boring and too "mannerly" and irrelevant for contemporary times, but by midpoint, I was thoroughly engaged and had intimations of the movie Body Heat in terms of the great longing one can have for what one cannot have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy WI 07-19-13
    Troy WI 07-19-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great classic"

    It was a very lovely book - it was approachable for the period while being relevant. It reminds why it is important to make good decisions -

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Y. Madison, MS, United States 05-06-13
    Y. Madison, MS, United States 05-06-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""Yikes""
    What did you like best about The Age Of Innocence? What did you like least?

    So far in my audio history, this is the worse book I have listened to. Not that it wasn't a good story, it was just boring. The storyline was relevent but it was just so boring. I forced myself to listen to the entire audio, all the while saying, "it has got to get better" but it never did. I think it would have been better to have had voices narration rather than just what seemed as just reading a book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Age Of Innocence?

    none


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Mary Sarah?

    I doubt it


    Could you see The Age Of Innocence being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    It's possible because the storyline is noteworthy but it needs a shot of energy.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
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  • Adrienne
    WINDSOR, United Kingdom
    9/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Read much too fast"
    What disappointed you about The Age Of Innocence?

    This book is read much too fast, I couldn't concentrate on the narrators voice so gave up trying to listen to it and bought another version by a different narrator instead.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    4/10/13
    Overall
    "Lyrical voice; gentle story"

    Mary Sarah tells this gentle story of unrequited love in 1870s New York in such a quiet, unassuming way, you may well drop off to sleep. You've been warned. Wharton was the first woman to win the Pullitzer Prize with The Age Of Innocence in 1921. And its subtle and often ironical depiction of the mores and manners of the rich and fashionable New York set confirms why. Perfect for a holiday read when you don't want the blood pressure raised.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Leicester, United Kingdom
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "A disapointing so called classic"

    I listened to the age of innocence as I had heard about it but never read it , I listened all the way through getting more and more bored with it though the reader was very good and the indolence of the rich in that era came across very well there was simply no substance to the story it just went on and on with every chapter very much the same ,though I am glad to have read it I will not read it again as with many other classics I have loved

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

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