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The unexpected thing about this story, for me, was seeing that the "age" being referred to was not only about a certain time of life, but also about a point in history where one could look back to the previous generation and witness a huge gap in attitude and perception. It starts with horse-drawn buggies, hand-written notes, etc. and ends with telephones and automobiles. To see this sort of change in one's lifetime must have been really amazing.
There is also a Scorsese film version of this with Daniel Day-Lewis. It's definitely worth watching but it bothered me a little that the two heroines were swapped (the raven-haired temptress in the book is played by Michelle Pheiffer).
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
The Age of Innocence was a daily deal and really not something that would interest me, but the reviews were all so enthusiastic that I had to give it a try.
Horovitch narrated it so wonderfully, I wasn't the least bit bothered by his English accent for New York characters. I will admit I did laugh out loud at another reviewer's comment about Countess Oleska sounding like she was from Transylvania. Despite that little blip, it was a perfect narration.
I particularly enjoyed the setting, 1870's New York City. The upper class families with their restrictive societal-driven behaviors fascinated me. I loved the description by Wharton of May and Ellen's grandmother, Mrs. Manson Mingott. It had me chuckling to myself as she described in detail Mingott's utterly fleshy state!
I had hopes for different decisions on Newland Archer's part, but it seems he was greatly limited by societal restraints of the day and of his class as mentioned above. It was a very unusual threesome, something that would never play out in this day and age of immediate gratification. And yet, I loved every minute of this book. It was an enjoyable and amusing listen for me.
Tell us about yourself!
romantic love squared
portrayal of the life style of the new york in the 19th century
all the characters - he does it so well - they each have such distinct voices
just a very tight story about a family and an era and a society that was beautifully and insightfully written
A well crafted story about 'the eternal triangle,' with an unforeseen conclusion. Edith Wharton paints her characters realistically, to the point where I felt as though I was personally involved with their story. David Horovith's narration greatly enhanced the pleasure of the listen. A book I will certainly re-read at a future date.
I bought this book on sale and wasn't really sure I was going to get into it, but I found myself quickly attracted to the struggles of the main character. It was easy to be swept along with Archer from youth and optimism, from thinking that the world and society could be anything that you might make of it, from believing you can determine your own fate, to the realization that society will find a way to mold you into a thing that fits. It's a slow, inexorable decline, and I felt for him every step of the way. I was almost in tears at the end, which is pretty rare for me. Now, I can definitely see classrooms of high school students hating this book as they are forced into essays about 'the role of flowers as gifts' or 'social norms versus trends' but outside the classroom setting, I quite liked it.
The narrator did a mostly adequate job, but I'm not sure why they had a British narrator do the definitely American story. Why not get an American? Horovitch tried an American accent for the dialogue, but didn't do a great job, I don't know anyone who puts an 'r' sound after vowels. No one I know would pronounce it "Olensker".
Edith Wharton's writing is perfection. Crisp, creative adjectives. I've read it twice in the past. Listening is even better because you can't be in a hurry to finish the chapter. You hear every nuanced word.
Romance resisted, relished
Mrs. Dalloway. Emotionally interior navigation upperclass society
Only in samples, but this one by far the best because of the pacing
The ending - no spoilers here
I'm reviewing this book mainly because of David Horovitch's delightful performance. It's on the slow side which lets the story breath. If you tend to find yourself feeling hammered by relentless-sounding narrators, you will find this performance to be a relief. There's time to have an emotional or thoughtful reaction to the story as it unfolds and I didn't find myself losing track or zoning out. As I like to paint while I listen to audio books so my attention is split and variable, I sometimes find classic books that I would enjoy in print "too hard" to be enjoyable as audiobooks. Horovitch breathes life into this story in a way that it never feels dull, dry or sluggish...though of course the credit here must be shared with Edith Wharton. Her wry depiction of the New York high society mores of the late 19th century century feels fresh and relevant to our present time. I wish there were more performances of this caliber available.
The narrator is a skilled reader by most technical criteria. However, I found the overall tone inappropriate for a novel of manners. There is a humorless sense of foreboding that might work in a horror novel but lost me. Although I was enjoying the content I could not get through more than a couple of chapters
I chose this book because I liked the movie & as they say the book is usually better than the movie. This holds true for this book. The narrator was very good and the story held my attention.
I didn't know the story. I read it because I just visited Wharton's home in Mass. It is a very old style of writing and took me awhile to get used to but the characters came to life and I became very involved in there stories. I enjoyed visiting NYC in a different time.
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