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Publisher's Summary

"The fortunes and misfortunes of the famous Moll Flanders, who was born in Newgate, and during a life of continue'd variety for three-score years, besides her childhood, was twelve year a whore, five times a wife (whereof once to her own brother), twelve year a thief, eight year a transported felon in Virginia at last grew rich, liv'd honest, and died a penitent."

So begins Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe's honest portrayal of one woman's struggle for economic survival in an unsympathetic world. Told with uncompromising directness and an extraordinary empathy, it is, as Virginia Woolf once claimed, "one of the few English novels we can call indisputably great".

Public Domain (P)2017 Naxos AudioBooks

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Lively and convincing

Moll Flanders is a wicked creature but a lively narrator; and Georgina Sutton is a delightful reader. After a lifetime of sexual indulgence and theft, Moll ends up happy and repentant on the Eastern Shore, managing a plantation with her husband and reunited with her son - the product of another marriage to a man who turned out to be her brother.

It's a sparkling tale that shows off Defoe's skill with characters and dialogue. It's written in the first person, as if Moll (not her real name, she assures us) is writing her own memoirs. I found Defoe's impersonation of a female narrator convincing. (I should note that when I mentioned this over breakfast one morning, my daughter said: "How would YOU know?" Point taken. All I really know is that I found myself returning to the audiobook with pleasure many times during the day.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Pure joy.

What a delight to travel back three hundred years and make new acquaintances. Highly recommended.

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Interesting artifact

What a difference a few decades can make! I seem to remember having a lot more sympathy for the heroine the first time I read this. This time, Moll began to grate. As many times as she bemoaned her fate with a cry of - and I, without a friend in the world - you'd think she'd try to cultivate a few before she got into another pickle. She doesn't. You get very little sense that she cares about anything outside her own small orbit. Ye gods, after having and abandoning so many children I lost count, she claims her son in the colonies is her only child!

But I quibble. It's still fascinating to read/listen to this for what it is: a very early example of the English language novel. It's not at all explicit, but it's frank, and I have to think it's a pretty good depiction of how difficult life could be for a poor woman in 17th century England.

Georgina Sutton is excellent as the narrator.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

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  • Tanya
  • 11-15-17

Moll Flanders

loved the book, very funny in places and will recommend it to my friends.... Thank you !!!