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Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce Audiobook

Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce

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Audible Editor Reviews

Gulliver’s encounters with fantastic peoples and creatures - from the small-statured Lilliputians to the stargazing Liputians - reach to the far corners of the world. As narrator, David Hyde Pierce wonderfully captures the wit and irony of this much-loved classic. Despite Gulliver’s detailed, and sometimes cumbersome, descriptions of strange lands and their inhabitants, Pierce doesn’t miss a beat. His melodic voice wraps perfectly around Swift’s eighteenth-century language. His pronunciations of the imaginative languages are delightful, especially the neighing expressions of the Houyhnhnms, a utopian society of horses. Pierce’s consistently matter-of-fact tone fits Swift’s own. His reading highlights the author’s humor and sarcasm, pulling the listener into this fantastic journey.

Publisher's Summary

Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce is famous for playing the lovably self-important Dr. Niles Crane in the hit TV series Frasier. Now, he brings the same wit and charming arrogance to his Signature Classics performance of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

More than just a mock travel book and fabulous adventure, Gulliver’s Travels is a character study and social satire that skewers politics, science, religion, philosophy, and pretentiousness with a bite and resonance that remains as fresh today as the day it was published. Maybe that’s why it hasn’t been out of print in nearly 300 years.

Set sail with David Hyde Pierce for a smart, fun, new Gulliver’s Travels experience that’s unlike any other. And stay tuned for more one-of-a-kind performances from actors Leelee Sobiesky, Casey Affleck, Tim Curry, and more, only from Audible Signature Classics.

Listen to more Audible Signature Classics.

Public Domain (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

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What the Critics Say

"Despite Gulliver’s detailed, and sometimes cumbersome, descriptions of strange lands and their inhabitants, Pierce doesn’t miss a beat. His melodic voice wraps perfectly around Swift’s eighteenth-century language. His pronunciations of the imaginative languages are delightful, especially the neighing expressions of the Houyhnhnms, a utopian society of horses. In a book in which the author’s voice comes through on every page, Pierce’s consistently matter-of-fact tone fits Swift’s own. His reading highlights the author’s humor and sarcasm, pulling the listener into this fantastic journey." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (1591 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Ward 10-08-14
    J. Ward 10-08-14 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "more annoying with each chapter"
    What does David Hyde Pierce bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    David Hyde Pierce does a terrific job bringing the opinions of the narrator to life. His performance was great.


    Any additional comments?

    I just didn't enjoy the story much, so it was a chore to finish the book. Thank goodness for the narration of David Hyde Pierce, which brought some fun to the listening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reader 05-01-14
    Reader 05-01-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Second A-list book and loved it!"
    Any additional comments?

    I mistakenly thought this book was for a younger audience....i.e. if I am fifty-something I should have gotten to it earlier. Not so. Each "world" he travels to is an ironic joke directed at segments of regular society. Should we divide along party lines over the method by which you crack your eggs (big-end crackers or small-end crackers)? David Hyde Pierce did an outstanding job. I have not seen the printed version of the book and thus can only imagine how he sounded out some of the languages. He did a particularly good job with the horses. A great book and a great performance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoffrey Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 03-14-14
    Geoffrey Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 03-14-14 Member Since 2017

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Informative and Funny!"

    Mr. Pierce does a great job narrating. The notion 'Miles' is reading this does not interfere with the quality of the text. He's pretty perfect. Knowing this story from movies only, I was pleased to hear it as written. It's humorous and satirical, lots of 'potty' stuff, full of fantasy and Swift's personal politics and humanism. It's wonderful, for me, to hear an author of the period, blast the cruelty and evil of imperialism for it's destruction and massacres of lands and inhabitants, for greed, and in the name of God and goodness.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 03-31-13
    Rebecca 03-31-13 Member Since 2009

    Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "David Hyde Pierce puts the fun back into this book"

    I have tried to read this book, but found it difficult. I decided to give it a go when I saw this edition narrated by David Hyde Pierce. Previously I hadn't gotten past the Brobdingnag chapter. I knew it was a satire, but didn't realize it was also science fiction (3rd chapter with a "floating island") and is very earthy.

    Gulliver has four travels and he progressively realizes how corrupt his race/nation is. I read one description of the stories that is great for summarizing - little (Lilliput) to big (Brobdingnag), and math/music (Laputa mainly) to natural (Houyhnhnm - which is horse language). Along the way Gulliver compares the government of each country to his own and finds they are worse or better.

    The audio book was superb - especially David Hyde Pierce's perfection of the Houyhnhnm pronunciation.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIYBRID 02-09-13
    HIYBRID 02-09-13

    Cook, Steelworker, Sailor in Viet Nam. Retired after 4 decades as an RN. Share a birthday with Mark Twain and his love of "spinnin' a yarn"

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Go on, Indulge your inner Child"

    I got this as a book when I was 5. Six decades later I finally appreciate and understand it. The reader adds much to this work. I feel the story was acted as well as read and that made it all the more enjoyable. For his time Mr. Swift must have been a true iconoclast.
    I know it's a classic but it is well worth the time to re-examine in this form. You'll enjoy it I'm sure.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon 07-11-13
    Sharon 07-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    "I hated this story!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce to be better than the print version?

    Yes, I would not have finished the book if I had to read it. David Hyde Pierce was fantastic!


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I actually ended up hating this book. As a kid you only hear of part of the story. This was not kids book and I thought the ending was disturbing, although it may have been valid.


    What does David Hyde Pierce bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    When Davis Hyde Pierce is reading you get the full experience of the emotions involved from Gulliver"s prospective. I do wonder how he figured out how to say some of the words.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was moved at Gulliver's mistreatment all through the book. I guess so was Gulliver based on the ending of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I am not sorry that I got this book, but I really disliked the story. I was hoping for a nice fairy tale. Wow! So much craziness going on in this book.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAyn Maplewood, MN, United States 02-20-16
    JoAyn Maplewood, MN, United States 02-20-16 Member Since 2014
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    "I forget how boring the clasics can be."

    I really loved the idea of catching up on classics that I had missed on audio but I never realized how boring some of the stories are and how hard it would be to stay with them. I thought I was at the end of the book here and then they would go on to book 2 and 3 which made it really long and really boring. I don't know what mad these stories classics but I would be so concerned about catching up on them anymore.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 08-06-15
    Jennifer 08-06-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Travel memoir, more a derisive social commentary"

    I took longer to read this than planned, I found some sections rather dry. Overall it was fine, just a memoir account of the hazard-ridden journeys to some unknown lands.

    It had the element of the fantastic (and sometimes very creative) in the descriptions of the inhabitants and cultures he encounters, but almost more notable to me was his descriptions of Western European culture to them. It was as much a social commentary and criticism of 'civilization' as it was a story of exotic new places. I was less impressed by his initial accounts of Liliput as the theme was familiar to me from pop culture references, as was some of his life among the giants of Brogdingnag. Laputa was quite new, and the floating island brought to mind the zeppelin affinity of the steampunk style. His final adventures were the most transformative for himself, and the most critical of humankind, but I didn't care much for it. At that point his themes and low opinions seemed predictable. I did pity him though, when he was 'rescued' against his will by the Portuguese captain. Quite unreasonable of them to simply force a man to leave with them. I don't suppose anyone would have considered that a shipwrecked, mutinied against and long-from-home traveler might not WANT to be rescued, but good heavens when he protested no one even bothered to ask him why or what he was about. Oy.

    Like I said, some good bits of adventure, but more than anything a commentary of the state of Western Europe a few centuries ago (though little has fundamentally changed in the intervening time).

    Wonderful performance by Pierce. I can't imagine at the moment what some of those foreign words must have resembled on the page, but he articulated even the most outlandish syllables Swift crated as if they were common vernacular. I couldn't help but picture Dr. Niles Crane sitting in a smoking jacket in some posh library in a leather chair reading aloud. ;P

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Parish 04-20-15
    G. Parish 04-20-15 Member Since 2013

    Blind Bard

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    "Education for all Yahoos"

    This is great piece of education on all matters political and moral for Yahoos, some of which style themselves Humans, of older ages. The narration conveys the feelings and points of the travelogue so well that it is hard to imagine any other in roll. He speaks excellently for a Yahoo.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-17-14
    Andrew FAIR OAKS, CA, United States 10-17-14 Member Since 2009

    I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a Kids Story"
    Any additional comments?

    I had always thought this was a kids story. This is not, it's a political satire that kids would not get, and apparently many adults didn't get either, if they thought it was a kids story.

    All should read this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • barbara
    NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom
    1/28/17
    Overall
    "Gulliver's travels"

    I enjoyed listening to this book. It was very interesting a d the narrated was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Martin and Sofia Carter
    England
    10/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Early satire, heavy going but spectacular!"

    As one of the earliest satirical works this is a highly political text that is laced with fantasy, rather than as I fancied a fantasy strewn with politics.

    However it is still pertinent to the modern world and an exceptional well written. Funny, motivational, and thought provoking definitely worth persisting through the dry parts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • HA
    6/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not bad"

    Not Bad...... Very wordy and detailed but reasonably entertaining. Very unlike expectation. Shows that often we only heat the choice cuts of a story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • rollingplacebo
    3/3/16
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    "One of my favourite books ever."

    There is so much more to this book than what one may know from some movie or cartoon adaptations.
    The narrator is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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