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Publisher's Summary

This book is considered by many to be the finest literary biography ever published. Samuel Johnson was the leading literary scholar and critic of his age, helping to define the Augustan Age of English Literature. He is as celebrated for his brilliant conversation as he is for his writing. He began contributing to London magazine around 1737 on literary and political subjects. Johnson's place in history and literature was assured with the publication of his Dictionary of the English Language, the first comprehensive English lexicography. In 1763 Johnson met James Boswell and, by 1791, The Life of Samuel Johnson appeared. Boswell recorded Johnson's conversation so minutely that Johnson is better remembered today for his sayings than for his own literary work. His biography is generally regarded as one of the greatest in the language.
(P)1989 Jimcin Recordings

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great if...

If you are interested in history and biography, this book gives a fascinating portrayal of its time and of probably the most famous man of that time.
A word of warning - listen to the sample. It is an English book but read by an American. I happen to like that - I find English accents call too much attention to themselves..at least for me. Some feel the opposite though so...listen first.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Stefan
  • west caldwell, NJ, USA
  • 07-18-09

Such a Shame

The book was so promising, lively, witty, literate, entertaining. But I realized after half an hour, there was no way I could listen to this reader for 33 hours. For sheer monotone, lack of expression, insistence on pausing every five or six words, making no vocal distinction whatsoever when a character begins to speak, and overall indifference to the material read, I have seldom heard his equal. For those of you familiar with the site, he reminded me of a LibriVox volunteer reader. A drone to say the least. The book deserves so much more.

18 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Keith
  • 05-18-10

Computer generated voice ?

The reader sounds almost like a computer generated voice. I had to come back to the Audible page just to make sure. Two stars because at least someone has made the effort to create this unabridged audiobook. If there were several other choices, I would give it just one star.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 08-14-10

Wrong Reader

I was delighted to see an unabridged version of the Life of Johnson...and listening to clip exhibited I had to agree with the previous reviewer. The Billy Hartman version - available here on Audible is fantastic but abridged. Get that and then read the original. Hartman (a Scot) is massively convincing as both Boswell and Johnson - if ever I get enough money I will sponsor him to do the full version! Naxos - get him back - I know several others who will be buyers...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Charles
  • 09-24-11

well worth listening to!

In spite of the reader's robotic reading I have really enjoyed the whole 32 hours. I had failed to read very far into the books on two occasions but looked forward to each session of the audiobook. In fact I finally enjoyed the reading and smiled at the hopeless pronunciation of every British place name and the execrable French and Latin.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • 02-15-11

Struggle to Listen

I wanted so much to hear Samuel Johnsons story, so facinating to catch what people did in 1700's....but I found it painful to listen to as the reader had not researched any pronunciation of places and names and some so obvious and well known places...I found myself thinking what was that?? and then missed something interesting..I agree with the previous review maybe better coming from a Scotsman