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Editorial 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.

Public Domain (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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Story

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Loved the Narrator but Hated the Story

I'll be honest and say i bought this book for David Hyde Pierce. I love his voice! That being said I really struggled to finish this book as I did not like the story as much as I hoped I would. It amazes me that a man who was a surgeon (smart person around that era) would continue to go on adventures where he was repeatedly held captive by people very different than the one he knows in England. I'm sorry to say but I'll be returning this book even though I loved Mr. Pierce's voice. hopefully he'll narrate other things.

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Fantastic

Very enjoyable and ought to be heard /read by more adults. The stories are fantastic for any age, but many people don't realize the humorous references to government, politics and "society" in general. Very clever and I think unexpected.
David Hyde Pierce was the Perfect choice to narrate this classic. His tone and ease with complicated vocabulary made listening to this book a pleasure. I don't think that I had appreciated how clear his voice is and the range of emotion he seems to so easily convey. I am very impressed with his narration.

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ok, I get it

now I know went this is a classic: great story, wonderfully written. throw in the satire about British rule like the cherry on top. Reader is especially good.

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Most applicable in 2017

I heartily recommend this book as a commentary on contemporary politics and the state of affairs in the 21st century. It's brilliant!

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Timeless political satire. Brilliant. Hilarious.

This book was before its time. It may still be before its time. The insightfully brilliant and scathing critiques delivered on politics, government, law, gender, human nature, and more is both funny and thought provoking.

I would not recommend this to anyone under 30 unless they are unusually mature with much worldly experience.

You will not enjoy this book if you are not intelligent, have above average vocabulary, have the requisite perspective, or a lawyer.

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Abandoned this Horrid Boring Book

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who has enough background in the politics Swift is supposedly satirizing.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jonathan Swift again?

I did not like the style of this author. I plugged away far after I was bored stiff with the book, so no, I have no interest in anything else by Swift

What about David Hyde Pierce’s performance did you like?

David Hyde Pierce has a great voice. Had I been reading or listening to a lesser narrator I would have abandoned far sooner

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

The ideas of miniature people and gigantic people (compared to a human) that a man could potentially sale to find is creative.

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Not the children's book you think

Where does Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near top tier. Excellent choice of narrator. David Hyde Pierce is perfectly cast and poised.

What did you like best about this story?

The upending of the first part is familiar: big meets small. Then small meets big. But the latter parts, where the mind is inflated into the arbiter of all, and then the body prolonged beyond endurance, speak better to Swift's legacy, for these issues remain relevant today.

Which scene was your favorite?

The last section with the inversion of horses as dominating humans is coruscating. It's cutting satire and it stings deeply. All the same, Jonathan Swift's compassion mixed with his disgust for human cruelty and animal dignity resonates, in ways we may me recognize more than three hundred years ago for his audience, at least those tuned into sentient creatures.

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

I did snicker. While the Laputan third part was less interesting than I recall from high school (imagine this book being assigned in most places now, given its NFSW content and offending sensibilities couched in a courtly high style few perhaps can now appreciate), it held up despite this slow spot, for the novel from then on reaches its horrifying climaxes.

Any additional comments?

As above lauded, the pairing of Pierce and Swift is praised. The actor brings out the wit and the pain in the pages, and he renders the difficult registers of some of the high-flown rhetoric of which Swift's a master into entertaining adventure and instructive warnings of human follies. The messages of this often diminished (!) tale remain lively and surprisingly applicable, in life-extension and in animal rights as well as servitude and inequality, today.

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Classic political and humanist satire

Swift not only skewers the politics of his times, principally the Whig Parties, but through his travels offers many pointed observations on human behavior that still applies today. I don't think he's necessarily a misanthrope but offers hope in the end to see the good in humanity as well. That's a lesson for us even today where fear and hope are contenders in our political elections and each of us must decide whether to see the best or worst in our natures.

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Brilliantly read for the modern listener

If you could sum up Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce in three words, what would they be?

Lucid, Brilliant, Timeless

What was one of the most memorable moments of Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce?

Toward the end of the story, Gulliver launches into a hilarious tirade against the legal profession - lawyers and judges. At least as funny and on-target in the 21st century as it must have been in the early 18th century.

What about David Hyde Pierce’s performance did you like?

He reads very clearly for the modern reader. He knows exactly where and how to place emphasis in each sentence so that you have no trouble following along, even though the style of English is formally rather old fashioned. He also has a great comic style, bringing out the wry humor for maximum effect. Modern readers should have no worries about whether they will enjoy this reading.

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

I was stunned that I waited so long in my life to read this book. I should have read it forty years ago.

Any additional comments?

There is a reason why this book is still in print after three hundred years.

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The excellent origin of political satire

Outstanding rendition of a classic that is as compelling now as ever before . . . Thanks, Audible!