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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

3.9 (1754 )
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4.4 (1468 )
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Performance
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  •  
    andrew w. 02-08-11
    andrew w. 02-08-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I don't get it"

    Okay, so this book was written a few hundred years ago during an age of great discovery. I get that and also understand the effort made toward political satire. I have a pretty good knowledge of history, politics, and literature. Generally speaking, I like classical literature and have read my share. I also believe that I have a good sense of humor and I really wanted to like this book. But mostly I was bored and occasionally annoyed with it. Really, I couldn't help but think that this (author) was a man who liked to play with dolls all day. I kept imagining him locked away in his bedroom, laying on the floor, surrounded by his little dolls imagining that they were real, shooting arrows at him, etc. Then, every so often, he would take a little break, maybe for some milk and cookies, and jot down the scenes he had just imagined, then trot back to his dolls, peeing on the little doll house and laughing hysterically. Maybe he was hitting the opium, I don't know. But unless you are between the ages 5 and 10 or possibly 95 and 100, or are yourself on a hallucinagen, I can't understand how you would find this book funny or even entertaining.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope 11-11-13
    Calliope 11-11-13
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    "Satire? Farce? Vitriol?"

    I'd always heard that Gulliver's Travels was one of the great satiric works of English literature, but if that's the case, I don't really understand the word. I had always thought satire was a gentle, humourous, and sometimes even affectionate skewering of the status quo, but this book is actually often rather angry and ham-fisted. Then again, sometimes it is humourous to the point of almost being farcical. Either way, it's not the children's book that some might be expecting.

    Regardless of whether I'd call it satire, I did enjoy it - and I'm glad I listened to it rather than read it, as I think some of the language would have made it a very difficult read. It's a classic for many reasons, and it is referenced time and time again in popular culture, in whole or in part. Many know the basics of the 4 travel stories that make up this book - one to a land of miniature people, one to a land of gigantic people, one to a land led by a floating city with emphasis on math and music, and one to a land of rationality and reason presided over by equines, not humans. Mostly, I believed they allowed Swift an opportunity to lampoon all the parts of his society that he wished to insult, but in a more acceptable manner than shouting it out on street corners.

    David Hyde Pierce did a wonderful job, not only in making some of the imaginary language understandable rather than distracting, but also in making the events seem more plausible than they otherwise might be in print and in making the sometimes long and drawn-out descriptions more palatable. Sadly, it took a while before I stopped thinking of Niles Crane narrating a story with his brother as the protagonist, but that fault is solely my own and not a problem with his narration.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sunflowers 11-22-12
    Sunflowers 11-22-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great performance, dull book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If I had listened to a chapter a day this would perhaps have made a better listening experience.


    What was most disappointing about Jonathan Swift’s story?

    The pace of this book is very slow. This is more of a satire of his time than the adventure I have seen in the movies.


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

    Without David Hyde Pierce's performance this book would be unlistenable. He brings the story to life.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The only redeeming quality is David Hyde Pierce's performance. Just listening to his performance is enjoyable, if only I could tune out the book...


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie Geneva, Switzerland 11-01-17
    Katie Geneva, Switzerland 11-01-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Easy Listen & Enjoyable for All Ages"

    This book was written in the early 1700's but is really easy to listen to and can be enjoyed by all ages. The satirical parts are still relevant today and the narrator, David Hyde Pierce, fits the part well. If you enjoyed The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, then you will probably also enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitlin Martin Connecticut, USA 09-28-17
    Caitlin Martin Connecticut, USA 09-28-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Classic for a reason"

    Ah. This was a sublime listen... and apropos to modern issues. It was charming and pleasing to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MICHAEL 09-01-17
    MICHAEL 09-01-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Dry... it might be a classic, but it is dry."

    I remember this story fondly and bought the book out of a sense of nostalgia. The narrator is clear and well spoken but the source material is boring and difficult to become immersed in.

    I had to put it down, unfinished.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 08-30-17
    08-30-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Wonderful"

    A little dry in the middle but don't give up. It picks up
    Again and is just as wonderful as the beginning. David Hyde Pierce is terrific

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kat 08-24-17
    Kat 08-24-17
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    "has its moments "

    If you are familiar with this book already and are a fan, I have no doubt this wouls be enjoyable to listen to as the narration was spot on. I was not previously familiar and I found the story long, repetitive and confusing most of the time. I did enjoy pieces of chapters here and there, and i can see how upon close reading this might be a fun thing to study and grow to like. however this was not really to mt tastes for a fun commute listen to and from work and it was a bit of a slog to get through. quite glad i got it on sale. 😅

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-25-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Of the Classics, "Gulliver" disappoints the most."

    If one were to consider the entirety of Western Literature as analogous to the Bible, then "Gulliver's Travels" would clearly be the "Book of Deuteronomy". Swift devotes much of the narrative to endlessly, boring descriptions of so many insignificant details, e.g. the weights, measures and bounds of eveything the protagonist encounters. No amount of biting political satire or cultural commentary is enough to pull this dreadful book out of the monotonous, morass of minutiae that is sure to suffocate even the most patient of readers. Poor Mr. Pierce does his best to breathe life into the story through his competent narration, but to little effect. A book to be endured, rather than enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve 06-15-17
    steve 06-15-17
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    22
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    "I Enjoyed it"

    Fantastic reading. I was very engaged the whole time. I was annoyed only a few times with some inconsistencies and things that don't make sense but still worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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