Flo Gibson, the grande dame of audiobook performance, lends her renowned voice to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterful treatise on sin, knowledge, and consequence. Gibson, known for her fluid diction and deep, soothing timbre, is regarded by many as the most versatile voice in audiobook history. Here Gibson whisks listeners away to a 17th-century New England Puritan village. Gibson plays Hester Prynne - the ignoble adulteress shunned by her community - and her secret lover, the sickly Reverend Dimmesdale, besot by guilt from his carnal transgression. Prynne is forsaken by her former husband, a jealous doctor, and left alone to raise her mischievous child, the impish Pearl. As Prynne and Dimmesdale reckon with knowledge of their sin, the puritanical villagers’ rigid morality is called into question.
This powerful story of passion, adultery, honor, and repression caused a tremendous controversy in 1850 when it was published, because of its provocative subject matter. Set in Puritan New England, the novel begins with Hester Prynne, a young woman with an illegitimate baby daughter, leaving prison to face her scornful townsfolk. Forced to wear a scarlet letter "A" to remind people of her adultery, Hester obstinately holds her head high and refuses to reveal the father of her child. In the process she cuts herself off from society - and her lover. Why won't Hester reveal her secret? The answer has much to do with guilt, passion, and repentance - timeless themes within a splendid story that has remained a literary classic for over a century.
(P)1982 by Recorded Books, Inc.; Cover Art ©1995 by Max Ginsberg
"A masterpiece." (Henry James)
This is by far the worst audible program I have purchased. It is a wonderful story; however, this production is utterly unintelligible. I listened to the sample before purchasing the title and thought it was tolerable. It was nearly impossible to understand the narrator much of the time due to the horrible quality. I have purchased other books such as this (originally recorded in 1 and upgraded to 2) and have been able to understand them fine.
The story is wonderful, but utterly not worth trying to wade through this awful recording. At the time I purchased it this was the only unabridged version. I urge you to skip this one and try the other.
The story was read thoroughly. The change in the readers voice to signify the different characters was a bit of a distraction.
The narrator puts too much effort into the voices of the characters, and makes them either pathetic (Hester and Dimmesdale), laughable (Chillingsworth), or cloying (Pearl). I don't believe any of it is supported by the text.
The narrator's talents were well suited, I thought, to the long introduction concerning the custom house. It's a chapter first-time readers might do well to skip, although, once worked through, it's a wonderful piece of writing, and the narrator does a good job capturing its humor, which is possible to miss on the page.
Sadly, I found that this book was ruined by the reader. The voice seemed old, crone like, rough and manly although the reader is a woman.
Although the sensibilities of both the time of the story and the time of it's writing are both some what foreign to most of us today, still the character of Hester was more cowed than would render her a heroine. Also the portrayal of the little daughter as a wicked sprite was less than generous.
First the narrator is no good, then the chapters on the book don't match up with the chapters on the recording so you if you set the app to stop at the end of a chapter it stops in the middle of the books chapter. Also the first hour and a half was the author talking about the custom house instead of telling the story, the custom house stuff added nothing to the story and was just a huge was of time.
Yes, but mainly just the author.
Her voices all sound the same, and she seems to just drone on and on.
Please at least get a new recording of the book with a better narrator and end the chapters with the actual book chapters.
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