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The Importance of Being Earnest | [Oscar Wilde]

The Importance of Being Earnest

This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.
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Publisher's Summary

This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence."

Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

©2009 L.A. Theatre Works; (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 09-10-14
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 09-10-14 Member Since 2014

    Rob Thomas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The inspiration for much that followed."

    It was interesting to finally hear this play. You can see almost at once how this story profoundly affected the next fifty years or so of British books, movies, and television.

    I though it was the Monty Python crew who had invented that zany kind of comedy. Now, I'd say they just updated and perfected what they learned from this play.

    And that too-clever and insanely fast banter of old British movies? Yup, it seems to come from this play as well.

    The play is a bit dated now, of course, but was still funny and very fascinating to listen to.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-07-14
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-07-14 Member Since 2009

    I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.

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    "Brilliant and hilarious"
    Any additional comments?

    A must read for anyone with a refined sense of humor.

    This is an audio recording of the play with a live audience, so that really added to the flavor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Belle 07-26-14
    Belle 07-26-14
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    "Delightful"
    Any additional comments?

    Although I've seen the movie, I'd never read - or listened to - the original play, so I was excited when I came across this audiobook performance on Audible. It didn't disappoint. I loved the story of mistaken identities, long-lost family and rich people's shenanigans, and the characters were all charming and endearing in their own way. The language is obviously gorgeous and witty, and it was brilliantly delivered by the actors in this edition. It all flowed really well and was just a delight to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 05-16-14
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 05-16-14 Member Since 2010

    Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...

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    "Fuuuuuunny!"

    This dramatization is excellently done and hilarious! Why not get this classic? The 15 minutes of commentary at the end was worth a lot also. It enlightened the play. It was easily listened to at 1.5X speed. Hope this helps. Later.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 06-17-12
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 06-17-12

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

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    "Wanted to Love It!"

    I love "The Importance of Being Earnest" and have seen and heard a number of productions. Being also a fan of James Marsters, I bought this with great anticipation. It's respectable, but it was ruined for me by the actor (yes, actor!) playing Lady Bracknell. One of the great female parts in the theater, Lady Bracknell deserves more than just the novelty of being played by a man. No objection in this of all plays to gender-bending, but it just didn't work in this case. See if you can find "The Importance of Being Earnest" from BBC, with Joan Plowright in the role.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anders Petersen andeby1981 07-01-15
    Anders Petersen andeby1981 07-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A great play!!! And great fun!!"
    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    They are good all as one,did not think I'd like a piece as an audiobook.But I love it, have already listened to it twice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katy Howard 06-10-15
    Katy Howard 06-10-15
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    "So much fun!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Importance of Being Earnest to be better than the print version?

    This is a play and MUST be read aloud!


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    I loved ALL the character readers. They did a marvelous job and had spectacular timing in the execution of the punch lines. :)


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

    This book definitely made me laugh out loud many times while listening along.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Parish 05-18-15
    G. Parish 05-18-15 Member Since 2013

    Blind Bard

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    "A Quite Amusing Play"

    This is a play full of fun word play and Shakespearean like twists. The full cast really makes this one and it's well worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shenandoah1865 05-11-15
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    "Delightful!"

    An excellent, hilarious play, well voiced and just great fun. I think Wilde would be well pleased. How I wish history could go back and apologize for all the wrongs done him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Young in another realm 04-29-15
    M. Young in another realm 04-29-15 Member Since 2015

    horror mistress

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    "This Was Fun!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Importance of Being Earnest to be better than the print version?

    Not really, but hearing it was so cool. Hearing the performance made me appreciate the story that much more.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Importance of Being Earnest?

    Ha! Anytime James Marsters spoke I stood to attention.


    Any additional comments?

    This little listen was just fun. I loved it because I wanted something short and funny for an afternoon. This was just perfect. I recommend sitting in the lounge chair with a spirit of your choice, headphones, and your eyes closed!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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