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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

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (836 )
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Story
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Performance
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  •  
    Belle 07-26-14
    Belle 07-26-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 06-18-14
    Jami VICTOR, NY, United States 06-18-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining Play"

    I enjoyed the way this was presented on Audible; it included the audience laughing and the applause, and the various actors narrating the characters made me feel like I was at the play. As far as the content of the play, I thought it was excellent. I liked the story line and laughed throughout. I thought this was highly entertaining and well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Old Bridge, NJ, United States 05-24-14
    Anthony Old Bridge, NJ, United States 05-24-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meh"
    What disappointed you about The Importance of Being Earnest?

    It was just silly, which i get is its intention and there are finer artistic notes and use of language and pun to make thoughtful remarks on the society of its time. But generally, i think this work would be better appreciated in print.


    What was most disappointing about Oscar Wilde’s story?

    It was slap-stick- that's not really disappointing because i didn't know much about the story before i started it.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of the narrators?

    Maybe a different cast, the switching of names back and forth lends itself to multiple narrators. a single narrator would likely have a tough time differentiating between each speaker.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Importance of Being Earnest?

    the proposals


    Any additional comments?

    not really worth the time for me. i guess it could be worthwhile to someone. i was expecting better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dillon TURLOCK, CA, United States 05-23-14
    Dillon TURLOCK, CA, United States 05-23-14 Member Since 2012
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    "I listened to it over and over"
    Any additional comments?

    I always imagined Oscar Wilde as being a very serious writer. However there were several instances in this play were I couldn't breathe because I was laughing to hard. I've made everyone I know listen to it and everyone has thanked me for the experience. I definitely recommend this for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Wagenaar Chaumont, NY United States 05-23-14
    Beth Wagenaar Chaumont, NY United States 05-23-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Makes me remember why I love Oscar Wilde!"
    What did you love best about The Importance of Being Earnest?

    I really enjoyed this performance. Because it is a play, it was performed with different actors for each character. Loved it!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mizscience FAIRFAX, VA, United States 05-23-14
    mizscience FAIRFAX, VA, United States 05-23-14 Member Since 2013

    A wannabe riot.

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    "A short, sweet, laugh-out-loud classic!"

    Interesting story, funny characters, and timeless, witty one-liners that had me laughing out loud made this very short play an enjoyable book to experience, particularly as an audiobook. Will be checking out Wilde's other works asap!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roseanna Lubbock, TX, United States 05-20-14
    Roseanna Lubbock, TX, United States 05-20-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Does Each Sentence Have Multiple Meanings?"
    What made the experience of listening to The Importance of Being Earnest the most enjoyable?

    The actors were able to convey multiple meanings to the words they spoke through intonation, phrasing, etc. I listened to the performance at least 3 times and noticed more details each time. The interview with the director at the end of the book added perspective to the play.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I really liked Earnest/Jack because his voicing was very distinctive for each of the charactarizations.


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

    Earnest/Jack was my favorite male character performer and Cecily was my favorite female character.


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

    This book was extremely funny. I laughed while listening to the book, and still smile when I recall some of the dialog.


    Any additional comments?

    Fantastic on multiple levels--great language, great performances, great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arnie Smith 05-18-14
    Arnie Smith 05-18-14

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Great one-liners!"
    What did you love best about The Importance of Being Earnest?

    The fast pace was great. Made you feel as though you were blindfolded, but inside the theatre.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The role of Gwendolyn


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not sure, but early in the play - during the proposal


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

    Neither, but you certainly will chuckle.


    Any additional comments?

    Great play!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 05-16-14
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 05-16-14 Member Since 2008

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carolyn 06-20-12
    carolyn 06-20-12
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    "Performances that bring out the best in the play"

    Wilde was devastatingly witty, and this production and the "vocal acting" bring out the best in this play. An endearing play enlivened by an engaging cast. Just the thing to listen to on a long night flight to England.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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