84 Charing Cross Road

Length: 2 hrs and 11 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Told in a series of letters, this true story of the correspondence between a New York writer and a London bookseller has touched the hearts of thousands.
©1970 Helene Hanff (P)2007 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Unmitigated delight." (Daily Telegraph) "Immensely appealing...witty, caustic." (Listener)

What listeners say about 84 Charing Cross Road

Average Customer Ratings
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoy This Book As Much As I Did

Beautiful - with such a genuine reflection of the period and different cultures of the two main characters. A love story of sorts built on human kindness, intellect and decency

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Just beautiful!

Wonderful book and beautifullynatrated. A joy to listen to. Whatever am I going to read or listen to next?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Crispin
  • 06-03-07

Truth Stranger than Fiction

A story told entirely in letters charting the relationship between two people who never meet. It is a cliche, but 84 Charing Cross Road is heartwarming, tender, funny and tragic. The relationship that develops between Helene Hanff (a spiky, impoverished New York writer) and Frank Doel (a conventional, formal English bookseller) is told through their correspondence as HH tries to obtain rare and obscure titles from the eponynous bookshop. That it is a true story told through the actual correspondence between the two makes it tremendously affecting.

The story is beautifully read by Juliet Stevenson and John Nettles - brilliant casting - and the whole unabridged reading lasts barely 2 hours which just goes to show that the best things really do come in small packages.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fliss
  • 06-14-11

An utter joy!

I laughed out loud and then wept on the train - and that's saying something.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lingwelli
  • 11-01-09

Love by mail

What a wonderful story. It was like waiting on the doorstep for the next letter to arrive. You could almost imagine rows and rows of books in a tiny shop. It was a love story yet, it wasn't. It was a lovely story.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Alison St Pierre
  • 09-08-13

Quintessentially English and bursting with charm.

I really enjoyed this book! The description of London around the war time period and the incredibly English characters are a joy to imagine. I could see the bookshop and smell the books. This book gave a real insight into rationing and the joy of exchanging letters, (a dying art). Totally recommended!

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Wolff
  • 08-21-08

Short but Sweet

This is such a lovely book and a great recording. Only a couple of hours long but it is still worth downloading. This accompanied me on a long run and I was smiling through most of it.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fiona
  • 11-20-10

lovely listen

Really enjoyed this book - lovely true story - great book to listen to at bedtime.

3 people found this helpful

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  • xx
  • 10-18-20

The book that has convinced me of the merits of audiobooks

I was initially put off by the short length of this, making the mistake of trying to extract the best value from audible credits by looking for the longest books. However, I saw this recommended somewhere and it seemed such a left field choice, not being a new book, star narrator, or the much publicised big ticket books, such as the complete Sherlock Holmes, that I thought I’d try it. I’ve had the headphones in since. Utterly amazing. Perfect understated narration of the unfolding friendship between the author and her correspondent, an unassuming book shop employee. The correspondence spans a period of around 20 years, from the years after WW2, when rationing was still in place in England, to the late ‘60s, and the world seems to move on around Helene and Frank, as she seeks out good quality second hand books, but only ever in the background. It is completely mesmerising.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Donna
  • 11-02-17

Such a sweet book

A wonderful, intimate glimpse into the lives of just a few people from London to New York. Makes you wonder about all the amazing stories of lives led that are untold. Delightful relationships fill your heart with warmth, reminding you of the joy in kindness & friendships. A moment in time is captured, taking you back to what is was like in yester year. Makes you want to begin letter writing straight away & to seek out some classic books to lose yourself in. Also leaves you with a sense of Carpe Dium. Such a sweet book - loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • JB Johnston
  • 03-12-15

Great!

Truly amazing! Loved it so very much. I would highly recommend this super classic. Wonderfully read and produced. Five stars!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Flint
  • 01-07-15

It was a joy to listen to

If you could sum up 84 Charing Cross Road in three words, what would they be?

An unexpected friendship

What other book might you compare 84 Charing Cross Road to, and why?

It's unique

Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson and John Nettles ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, I haven't heard them reading anything else but they were both excellent in this so I will look out for their other work

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

It made me smile, it was beautiful.

Any additional comments?

This is among my all time favourites

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kylie
  • 09-01-16

Marvellous!

Loved this almost from the start. I thought the reading of the addresses every couple of minutes was annoying at first and if I was reading it would have skipped looking at the address but as it went on it was almost rhythmic and I grew to love it as part of the overall experience. The performance by Juliet and John was excellent and added so much to the enjoyment of the book. I loved researching more about the story once I had finished. What wonderful kind people they were.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maria Gray
  • 05-18-15

Kindness of a Stranger

I read the book when it was first published and absolutely love this audible edition. I was unable to listen to this book in public places, as tears kept welling in my eyes, especially at the kindness this woman showed for people she didn't know on the other side of the world. At the end of the book the producer stated that when he asked the actors to read this book, their response was the quickest and most enthusiastic he had ever had from anyone for any book. I think that says it all.

2 people found this helpful