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The Age of Innocence | [Edith Wharton]

The Age of Innocence

Countess Olenska, separated from her European husband, returns to old New York society. She bears with her an independence and anawareness of life which stirs the educated sensitivity of Newland Archer, engaged to be married to May Welland.
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Publisher's Summary

Countess Olenska, separated from her European husband, returns to old New York society. She bears with her an independence and anawareness of life which stirs the educated sensitivity of Newland Archer, engaged to be married to May Welland.

© and (P) 2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (384 )
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Performance
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  •  
    murray LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 01-19-13
    murray LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 01-19-13 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "HAS IT ALL"
    If you could sum up The Age of Innocence in three words, what would they be?

    romantic love squared


    What did you like best about this story?

    portrayal of the life style of the new york in the 19th century


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

    all the characters - he does it so well - they each have such distinct voices


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

    no


    Any additional comments?

    just a very tight story about a family and an era and a society that was beautifully and insightfully written

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lois 10-12-12
    Lois 10-12-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A Thoroughly Good Read"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 08-24-14
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 08-24-14 Member Since 2008

    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

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    "An Unexpected and Very Pleasant Surprise!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 08-05-14
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 08-05-14 Member Since 2015

    Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the best narrated novels I've heard"

    This is a favorite novel which I am hearing for the first time in audio. The narration is a wonderful surprise and has really enhanced the pleasure of an already beloved text. The reader is British, but uses American consonants and more nasal vowels to distinguish the mostly American dialogue from the narrative text. That distinction, plus his resonant voice and sensitive reading gives an extra level of meaning to the book which focuses on a love triangle in late 19th century New York. The reading illuminates Edith Wharton's particular view of American customs and social distinctions in that period. The characters are rich and well defined by their dialogue, making this perfect as an audiobook. The 'innocence' that characterizes many of the actors in the drama at different moments is a somewhat sarcastic commentary by Edith Wharton whose eye is sharp and whose writing is incisive. This audio is such a pleasure! In an impatient and fretful period when I have been starting books and abandoning them unable to sustain interest, this excellent performance has been like an oasis in the desert. From the moment I sampled the audio I have been unable to put it down. Highly recommended both for the beauty of the prose and its very sensitive reading.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah AUSTIN, TX, United States 10-09-12
    Deborah AUSTIN, TX, United States 10-09-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Performance did not work for me"

    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

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Riverton, WV, United States 02-02-13
    J Riverton, WV, United States 02-02-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Good listen"

    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.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 03-17-15
    Alison Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada 03-17-15 Member Since 2013
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    "surprisingly compelling"

    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".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire 02-19-15
    Claire 02-19-15
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    "Stylish writing"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Levy United States 01-04-15
    Judith Levy United States 01-04-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Exquisite in every way"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. It's a deeply moving, extremely witty, beautifully told story, peopled with extraordinarily vivid characters. It's also an exceptionally detailed portrait of a time and place (1870s New York City among the extremely wealthy). And it's narrated just about perfectly.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Newland Archer, because he is so completely realized as a character and because his journey is so gracefully and intelligently conveyed.


    Have you listened to any of David Horovitch’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will certainly seek him out. He managed to convey not only Wharton's sly humor but also a real compassion for the characters he was playing. It's a wonderful, sensitive, thoughtful performance.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    So many! Two come to mind: the carriage ride Newland and the Countess Olenska take in May's carriage late in the story, and the moment at that last dinner when Newland realizes what everyone around the table is thinking about him, and what they are trying to communicate to him. And of course the ending, so fitting and so moving.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Houston, TX, United States 12-02-14
    Pat Houston, TX, United States 12-02-14 Member Since 2010

    Evening and Weekend Manager Lone Star College-Greenspoint Center Houston, TX 77060

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Being a Fly on the Wall in The Gilded Age"

    In my early college days I took a course in British literature from Dr Wyatt, who told me that history records the events, biographies, and ideas of previous years while literature communicates the emotions and thinking of the participants in those times. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton validates Dr. Wyatt's hypothesis. In 1921, Edith Wharton was the first female author to win the Pulitzer Prize for Literature.

    Wharton uses many literary devices to communicate the culture of the very rich during the Gilded Age. Her word pictures are created with multi syllable pretentious words that reflect the pretentions of wealthy of that time. Her discussion of characters repeatedly describe subtle failures to meet the norms of their society. For instance, One of her characters gossips about another who is so low class that her bedroom is on the first floor of her mansion as opposed to more appropriately being on the second floor. The Age of Innocence captures with every page how many culture customs and sanctions people a part of that small and short lived period of history had to master to remain in good standing. The language makes the reader feel the repression of feelings that everyone was expected to exhibit. Because the story spans a generation and focuses on one family, the reader discovers how quickly the norms and customs change. This is the universal and timeless truth that makes The Age of Innocence a classic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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