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The Bridge of San Luis Rey Audiobook

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Wilder's stories consistently explored the connections between the commonplace and cosmic dimensions of human experience, always returning to fundamental questions about the meaning of life. This Pulitzer Prize-winning tale concerns the lives of five people who fall to their deaths from a Peruvian rope bridge in 1714. A humble Franciscan, Brother Juniper, witnesses the accident and determines to learn about the lives of the victims in order to find out whether this accident happened by chance or by plan.
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Publisher's Summary

The Bridge of San Luis Rey, first published in 1927, was Thornton Wilder's first major work and won him instant international recognition. The story concerns the lives of five people who fall to their deaths on July 20, 1714, when a rope bridge breaks on a road near Lima, Peru. A humble Franciscan, Brother Juniper, witnesses the accident and determines to learn about the lives of the victims in order to find out whether this accident happened by chance or by plan.

Again and again, the novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder explores in his works the connections between the commonplace and cosmic dimensions of human experience, always returning to fundamental questions about the meaning of life.

The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one of the true great American classics, has been translated into more than 30 languages. The book won Wilder the first of his three Pulitzer Prizes.

©1927 Albert and Charles Boni Inc., ©1955 renewed by Thornton Wilder; (P)1997 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

  • Pulitzer Prize winner

"A masterpiece." (New York Herald Tribune)
"A melancholy narrative of great power, simplicity and beauty." (AudioFile)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (311 )
5 star
 (96)
4 star
 (100)
3 star
 (69)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (20)
Overall
3.9 (185 )
5 star
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4 star
 (60)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (9)
Story
3.6 (186 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (60)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (17)
Performance
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  •  
    William Cherry Hill, NJ, USA 01-24-08
    William Cherry Hill, NJ, USA 01-24-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    0
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    "Is Waterson dying?"

    I started listening to this audiobook having forgotten that Sam Waterson was the narrator, if I ever knew. Fifteen minutes into it I wondered who was the terminally-ill emphysemic Audible had recruited to ruin this download for me. I was shocked to read it was an actor, a well-known one at that.
    Waterson is constantly running out of breath at the end of sentences. His tone lacks all nuance, let alone any emotion. It is dry, dull, gasping, wheezing, colorless and hard to hear.
    Otherwise, Waterson is a fine choice.
    Don't quit your day job, Sam.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Rah 09-16-15
    Jeanne Rah 09-16-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    63
    8
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    Story
    "Complicated story worth the listen"

    Not a perfect recording. Possibly not the perfect narrator. But an interesting look at the impact of five lives. Worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trooston 07-16-15
    Trooston 07-16-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "Quick read, classic book"

    Sam waterston has a wonderful voice but t sometimes trails off so you need to listen carefully. He does put emotion in the story which makes this classic come alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Marsh New York, NY United States 04-25-15
    James Marsh New York, NY United States 04-25-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    2
    Overall
    "Great story, poor audio quality"

    Beautiful book but the audio has some issues. Chapters 3&4 were swapped, the transitions are rough and volume is very low.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    qhumberd 05-17-14
    qhumberd 05-17-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    38
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story, worst audio quality"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, I would have them read it


    What other book might you compare The Bridge of San Luis Rey to and why?

    This book was unique; it had features of Hemmingway's Old Man and the Sea


    How could the performance have been better?

    Sam Waterston did a good job, but the audio quality made listening a challenge


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No; it is an introspective story


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Fayetteville, PA, United States 11-12-12
    Bill Fayetteville, PA, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    25
    4
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    Story
    "A well constructed and thoughtful story"
    Would you listen to The Bridge of San Luis Rey again? Why?

    Excellent plot with well developed characters. Universal morality tale.


    What other book might you compare The Bridge of San Luis Rey to and why?

    Graham Greene's "The Power and the Glory."


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

    Good grasp of characters and ability to express many emotions.


    If you could rename The Bridge of San Luis Rey, what would you call it?

    A Bridge to Eternity


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Harrisonville, NJ, United States 02-21-12
    George Harrisonville, NJ, United States 02-21-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "True American Literature"
    If you could sum up The Bridge of San Luis Rey in three words, what would they be?

    Examination of the human heart.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The psychology.


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

    The characters were brought to life.


    If you could rename The Bridge of San Luis Rey, what would you call it?

    Lives completed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kansas Mom 11-29-11
    Kansas Mom 11-29-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    Story
    "A very compelling story performed well."

    A very thought provoking story. Incredibly enjoyable and well performed. Characters have depth and are realistic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elizabeth in la plata 06-18-14 Member Since 2013

    elizabeth in la plata

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a good reading"
    What did you like best about The Bridge of San Luis Rey? What did you like least?

    Actually the story isn't very good! I expected better. And the reader wasn't really suited to this type of book.


    What was most disappointing about Thornton Wilder’s story?

    Boring story, annoying reader.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Sam Waterston’s performances?

    Maybe.


    Could you see The Bridge of San Luis Rey being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    N/A


    Any additional comments?

    N/A

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Castillo Dorantes California 05-26-14
    Roy Castillo Dorantes California 05-26-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Boring due to the reader's low and sleepy tone"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A better reader, someone who read it with some heart and volume to the voice.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Thornton Wilder again?

    It wasn't Wilder's problem - it was the reader, Mr. Sam Waterson. I will not buy or listen to anything by Mr. Waterson again.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Low voice and sleepy tonality.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Redo the book with another reader, being careful to the quality of the voice and tonality.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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