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The Comedians Audiobook

The Comedians

Three men meet on a ship bound for Haiti, where corruption and terror reign. Disillusioned and noncommittal, they are the “comedians” of Greene’s title, hiding from life’s pain and love behind their chosen masks.
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Publisher's Summary

Three men meet on a ship bound for Haiti, where corruption and terror reign. Disillusioned and noncommittal, they are the “comedians” of Greene’s title, hiding from life’s pain and love behind their chosen masks.

©1965 Graham Greene (P)1993 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Graham Greene arouses responses of curiosity and attention comparable to those set up by Malraux…Faulkner and Hemingway.” (New Statesman)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (131 )
5 star
 (47)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (113 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.7 (106 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (20)
2 star
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1 star
 (11)
Performance
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  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 11-20-12
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 11-20-12

    But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^

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    "We are bad comedians, we aren't bad men"

    "We mustn't complain too much of being comedians—it's an honourable profession. If only we could be good ones the world might gain at least a sense of style. We have failed—that's all. We are bad comedians, we aren't bad men."

    I started out thinking I was going to just listen to a 'minor' Greene, and finished the novel once again shocked by my ability to completely underestimate Greene once again. The Comedians is a dark tragedy set in a Haitian Hell ruled by Papa Doc and his Tonton Macoute. Into this tortured hell floats Brown, the Smiths and Jones. This sad troupe each struggles with overcoming fear, death, love and apathy while dancing on the edge of the abyss. It reminded me a little of Under the Volcano, but instead of one man's struggle with mescal, it is humanity's struggle with apathy and fear.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim McBride 07-15-14
    Jim McBride 07-15-14
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    "Fine book, misguided performance."
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I don't think he necessarily meant it that way, but his delivery came off snide and condescending instead of ironic and empathic. I don't think Haitians sound as he made them sound, and his American accents were lame caricatures.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seth St. Charles, MO, United States 10-22-14
    Seth St. Charles, MO, United States 10-22-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Worst reader ever"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It is a wonderful, disturbing story. I would not recommend this version because the reader preforms his task so poorly. I have listened to dozens of recorded books. This was the worst performance I have heard.


    What other book might you compare The Comedians to and why?

    The End of the Affair, of course.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I was astounded at how badly the book was read. The reader's attempts at accents were...I don't know what to say...a little like a stew made by a drunken house-painter. Beyond that, the reader betrayed no understanding of timing, inflection, or the intent of the author. He almost manages to ruin the story itself...but not quite.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Mangrum 10-09-14
    Jim Mangrum 10-09-14

    Jim Dandy

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    "Terrible Narrator"
    What disappointed you about The Comedians?

    I somehow missed that Joseph Porter was the narrator. He is a truly awful voice talent. I couldn't get past chapter 2. I don't know if it is a good story - I just can't get past his narration.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Joseph Porter?

    Anyone. Really, anyone else.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Diego, CA, United States 09-10-14
    David San Diego, CA, United States 09-10-14 Member Since 2011
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    "A Contemporary Classic"
    Would you listen to The Comedians again? Why?

    I would, if only to get a sense of Haiti during the Duvalier regime.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The details Greene poured into this world. You got a strong sense he had seen at least some of the events that occurred in this world.


    Did Joseph Porter do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I had a hard time differentiating between some of his voices, especially for Brown and Jones. His attempts at an American accent for Mr. and Mrs. Smith came off as attempts rather than authentic.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Verl COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States 04-05-16
    Verl COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States 04-05-16 Member Since 2011

    Reader and Writer from Colorado Springs carefully disguised as a financial advisor all these years. Who knows what lies below a snowy rooftop?

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    "Dare you. Terrible performance."

    The narrator's nasal and snotty English accent is sleep inducing. Almost indecipherable. Tried to focus on the story twice. Gave up. Skip this one!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christo 10-25-15
    Christo 10-25-15

    Lover of fiction and beautiful, powerful prose ...

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    "Good dramatic rendering of a Greene masterpiece"

    Joseph Porter gives a good rendering of this excellent novel. It would have been more satisfying if he had added more energy to the task. However there is a lovely range of nuances that he uses for the various colourful characters. Greene's brilliant prose underscores the entire experience. I look forward to reading the novel soon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    faye brown 03-26-16
    faye brown 03-26-16 Member Since 2014
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    "devoted Greene reader"

    Greene is a master story teller and always an intense observer of the world in which he places his story. I'm always intrigued as he questions faith and the good and evil which concern the human condition.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Art Carden Birmingham, AL 06-10-15
    Art Carden Birmingham, AL 06-10-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Interesting and Absorbing"

    You'll like this: it's an interesting exploration of life in Cold War Haiti with compelling characters and an important but tragic lesson for those who think they can remake societies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Perry Carrison 01-06-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A Good Passtime...but not great."

    I went to Haiti in 1986, two days after Baby Doc left. I was immersed in the foreknowledge of VooDoo thanks to an excellent book (later a horrible movie) titled "Serpent & The Rainbow". I was able to see a whole different layer of complexity thanks to the author's experience recorded in the book.
    So I read "The Comedians" with vested interest. I wanted historical facts as much as anything. And I got that.
    What was missing was story. Though full of color, it was thin in meaning. I didn't care about the people. Ever.
    And the reader's voice didn't help.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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