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The Age of Innocence | [Edith Wharton]

The Age of Innocence

Newland Archer is about to announce his engagement to the docile May Welland when he meets her cousin, the mysterious, nonconformist Countess Ellen Olenska. Edith Wharton's elegant portrait of desire and betrayal in Old New York earned her the first Pulitzer Prize for literature ever awarded to a woman.
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Publisher's Summary

Newland Archer is about to announce his engagement to the docile May Welland when he meets her cousin, the mysterious, nonconformist Countess Ellen Olenska. Edith Wharton's elegant portrait of desire and betrayal in Old New York earned her the first Pulitzer Prize for literature ever awarded to a woman.

©2007 Public Domain; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (157 )
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4.1 (79 )
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4.1 (78 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Frederick R. Santa Barbara, CA, USA 04-28-08
    Frederick R. Santa Barbara, CA, USA 04-28-08
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    "The Best of Its or Any Day"

    This is the best. I am an audiobook addict, and it gets no better than this. If you saw the Jeremy Irons movie by Scorsese, it is a very pale copy. Wharton's prose is rich, her characters fully alive, her acute observations succinctly worded, and her multi-generational plot quietly devastating. By the final pages of the last chapter, I had a steady lump in my throat. The reader is masterful in her pacing, clarity and array of voices...almost like listening to the author herself, communicating to us her large-canvas, minutely described vision of a world we will never see again--old New york..

    27 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Waynesville, OH, USA 09-05-08
    Lisa Waynesville, OH, USA 09-05-08
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    "Terrific story, TERRIBLE narrator!"

    This is one of the best novels ever, but the narrator sounds like she smokes 3 packs a day. The novel says that Madame Olenska has a "faint foreign accent", but the narrator gives her some weirdo Russian-sounding accent, even though Madame was American-born and -raised. It was terribly distracting and annoying. Somebody did a lousy job of editing this in the studio as well. Halfway through a paragraph, the narrator stops, says, "Let me take that again" in her normal voice, then proceeds to read the same paragraph over. There's no excuse for that.

    I love this book, and wish I could trade this recording in for a better one. It was awful.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 11-06-12
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 11-06-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Better Than Austen"

    This is definitely an old classic worthy of time to isten. I was fearful that it began much like the Jane Austen novels, but it has more meat to grab your interest. The narration was interesting. There was good diferentiation between characters. I did find it odd having a woman narrate a story told by a man.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lydia Katonah, NY, United States 12-05-11
    Lydia Katonah, NY, United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Great Story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Age of Innocence to be better than the print version?

    A wonderful classic story of old New York. The narrator was competent, but not exciting.


    Any additional comments?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Retired Reader Gal So. Orange County, CA USA 04-27-12
    Retired Reader Gal So. Orange County, CA USA 04-27-12 Member Since 2007
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    "A well narrated classic!"

    I am a Wharton fan and this is one of my favorites. The narrator did a good job and really enhanced the story. Kick back with a cup of tea and just let the words wash over you.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-11-14
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-11-14 Member Since 2007

    Chet Yarbrough, an audio book addict, exercises two cocker spaniels twice a day with an Ipod in his pocket and earbuds in his ears. Hope these few reviews seduce the public into a similar obsession but walk safely and be aware of the unaware.

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    "MEN AND WOMEN"

    Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence” exposes false notions of equality in America and reflects on the human frailty and strength of men and women. Wharton lived through the turn of the 19th into the 20th century in America. She lived an adult life of luxury in New York, and later in France.

    Wharton writes about American society; i.e. she exposes New York’s “upstairs, downstairs” snobbery in the early 20th century. In telling the tale, Wharton sharply defines the battle of the sexes, duplicity of romance, and folly of youth. Though writing about a sliver of wealthy American’ society in the early 20th century, Wharton’s story rings as true about men and women today as it did when she won the Pulitzer Prize.

    In the end, Wharton shows Archer, the novel's male protagonist, to be emotionally immature. Archer chooses to keep his innocent memory; i.e. his deluded vision of romance, commitment, and love. May and Olenska are shown to understand the difference between lust and romance; commitment, and love. Archer never does. Archer never gets over “The Age of Innocence”.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jesse's granddaughter New York 05-22-14
    Jesse's granddaughter New York 05-22-14 Member Since 2012

    repress

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    "Perfect Match of Reader and Material"
    Where does The Age of Innocence rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    High, it was delightful.


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

    The beautifully ironic tone in which the opening scenes are read.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Few or no weaknesses in this novel.


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

    Poor Little Rich Boy Learns to Live


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator is pitch perfect; everything about her works: her voice, her tone, her speed, her light, deft interpretation of the material. I can't imagine this book being more charming or more fun than when read by Lorna Raver.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin OCEANSIDE, CA, United States 03-27-14
    Kristin OCEANSIDE, CA, United States 03-27-14 Member Since 2011
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    "People have always been self centered"

    interesting book about nothing other than self centered rich people. I enjoyed listening, but honestly walked away with a feeling of disgust for the characters and our society.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MrsLee California 03-09-14
    MrsLee California 03-09-14 Member Since 2012

    Long time LibraryThing member. Love to read a variety of books, usually more than one at a time.

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    "Manners in America's Golden Age"
    What made the experience of listening to The Age of Innocence the most enjoyable?

    This story is set in the 1890's, New York city. It follows the inner thoughts and workings of Newland Archer, a well to do young man in the upper society, during that precarious stage of life before he has committed himself to what sort of life he will live. Will he settle, for better or worse with May Welland? Or will he fling caution and standards to the wind to be with Ellen Olenska?
    The real delight of this story, is the peek at the inner workings and mores of the upper crust, a narrow society with very strict rules. I love the way Edith Wharton describes the characters, there subtle dialog and the manners of the times. To be honest, Newland Archer drove me crazy, and I didn't care what choice he made, but the very careful way that Wharton laid out the choices and the consequences was a treat.

    Also, the narrator, Lorna Raver, was masterful.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, it did, both.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenilee Foster City, CA, USA 10-10-09
    Jenilee Foster City, CA, USA 10-10-09
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    "Great Novel"

    As a regency romance type...I found this novel delightful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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