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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 (1656 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Caitlin Martin Connecticut, USA 09-28-17
    Caitlin Martin Connecticut, USA 09-28-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    15
    13
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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
  •  
    Jennifer 09-04-17
    Jennifer 09-04-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
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    493
    96
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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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 08-30-17
    08-30-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
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    5
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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
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    steve 06-15-17
    steve 06-15-17
    RATINGS
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    22
    8
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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
  •  
    judytk669 06-12-17
    judytk669 06-12-17
    RATINGS
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    29
    3
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    "Incredibly disappointed"

    Ridiculous satire. Boring but forced myself to finish it. Wouldn't have finished if not audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon from Tx 06-01-17 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
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    8
    8
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    "Excellent performance of a well-known classic."

    Anyone who enjoys the movie of the same name (Gulliver's Travels) with Ted Danson should enjoy this book. As recognized in the above mentioned movie and unlike movies following Jack Black's version, which are purely comical, the book takes a satirical look at the corruptions in the society of that age and to greater or lesser degree still apply today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    concern buyer 05-24-17 Member Since 2015
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    2
    2
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    "Neil deGrasse Tyson made a great recommendation"

    David Hyde Pierce does an excellent performance in his reading and the story was an excellent book. I actually decided to pick up this book after reading Neil deGrasse Tyson recommend it and when my nephew is old enough I'll be sure to buy him a copy of the book to read along with this recording.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 05-23-17
    Josh 05-23-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Excellent narration of a book that does not make the transition to modernity"

    Strong credit goes to David Hyde Pierce for his terrific narration of this Swift story that was at times hard to follow and others just dull. It was much more meandering than just Lilliput, which was the only entertaining section. Especially towards the end when it was all about bodily fluids and strange sounding names, the novel was disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-22-17 Member Since 2016
    RATINGS
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    16
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    "Sooooooo boring"

    David Hyde Pierce was great but this book was just the most boring thing I've ever listened to. Why is this book so famous? I'm pretty sure the only reason people read it is because it's so well known. It was not worth the time or money spent

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Ruth
    Brockley, London, United Kingdom
    2/13/11
    Overall
    "Lively and unusual"

    I chose this audiobook because I took advantage of the 'free first chapter' offer and then couldn't resist getting the rest. I had read a child's version of Gulliver's Travels when I was about seven, and although I enjoyed it at the time, I've often wondered what the original is like.

    And it's great! Most people know about Lilliput etc, but the rest makes for just as compulsive listening - if not more so. It was both funny, clever and thought provoking. It is obvious that the book makes many political points which will be most meaningful to those with the appropriate historical knowledge (which I don't really have), but even so I found the humour and sharpness in it very effective and, interestingly, several of the comments seemed pertinent to our laws/politicians etc today!

    I thought it was superbly read, even though the English accent as portrayed by an American was slightly odd at times. But that didn't matter at all as it was read in such a lively and spirited manner. And his mastery of the many, many nonsense names made me want to laugh/cheer out loud! If you do choose this book, make sure you stick it to the end as the reading of the last section is brilliant. Full marks, I really enjoyed it.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
    2/6/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply brilliant."

    David Hyde Pierce brings this famous title alive with his narration. Hard to believe this was written so many years ago. As relevant now as it ever was. It should be required reading for everyone.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • D. Jackson
    Almeria, ES
    12/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great stuff well read"

    David Hp has the perfect voice for this story. An elegant sneer that keeps the story rolling.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • JBW
    7/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Novel - essential reading for all"

    Excellent Novel - essential reading for all

    Very well narrated - a true classic

    Most enjoyable

    JBW

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Cliff
    Frinton on Sea, United Kingdom
    1/23/13
    Overall
    "A True Classic"

    Evocatively written. The style and reader are beautifully matched. So much more to it than an old book for kids - which is what I have always thought it was.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
    10/21/12
    Overall
    "Highly enjoyable"

    Really enjoyed this reading. 'Niles Crane' makes an excellent narrator, although his fake posh English accent sometimes slips up. Had never read the story of Gulliver before, and think that listening to it probably added an edge to the irony and veiled sarcasm which reading may not have. Thoroughly recommended

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    UK
    1/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "DHP's accent is a distraction"
    What would have made Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce better?

    The performance would be much improved by David Hyde Pierce *not* adopting a faux English accent. For one thing the accent he tries to emulate is what I would call "Oxford English", which is not really appropriate for Swift (nor for Gulliver, who is meant to hail from Nottingham). And for another I'm afraid the quite frequent interpolation of a somewhat different accent (Yorkshire?) into occasional syllables means the performance just gets in the way of the text. I enjoy Mr. Pierce as a character actor but someone should disabuse him of the notion that he can carry an extended pastiche like this for very long. I gave up after 2 chapters.


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

    Didn't get far enough to have an opinion.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The shaky attempt at an English accent makes the listening experience hard work.


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • GenKan
    4/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Two lovely stores and two satirical"
    What did you like most about Gulliver's Travels: A Signature Performance by David Hyde Pierce?

    Fantastic, every time he "pronounced" the "words" of the different worlds I could barley keep myself from laughing out loud.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The first two was clearly the best, the satirical tone was turned on at the end of the of the second book. The dialog with the king of Brobdingnag was just a bash of his culture


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The way he saved the queen when he was on the island of Lilliput


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

    The strange relation he had to his human wife. Who would accept there significant other to go away for year after almost dying two times?!


    Any additional comments?

    Easy to recommend this book, was great but its obvious Swift show little respect and appropriation for royalty and lawyers.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Ron
    4/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is not a childrens book"

    Although much adapted as a children's story on film, this the original is more adult and complex taking a satirical swipe at differing political systems, well worth the read and well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scott R
    Falkirk,Scotland, UK
    3/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well written for its time"

    As this is the classic the language as is what you would expect. unfortunately this is more of a struggle to keep track of on audio. I kept finding myself rewinding back to catch the story. Although the narrator is very well spoken and he does sound very appropriate to this type of era of speech i found him to be far too flat in his delivery so long periods of a chapter tended to be all the same. With an audio production i like to be caught up in the stress, action , excitement of the moments.
    For some this will be a nice tale and will be well received but for me i found it too descriptive and not enough depth of emotional waves to keep me engrossed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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