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The Forsyte Saga Audiobook

The Forsyte Saga

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Publisher's Summary

The three novels that make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commercial upper-middle class Forsyte family through three generations, beginning in Victorian London during the 1880s and ending in the early 1920s. Galsworthy's masterly narrative examines not only their fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women.

The Forsyte Saga is a sequence of novels comprising The Man of Property (1906), In Chancery (1920), and To Let (1921) with two interludes, "Indian Summer of a Forsyte" (1918) and "Awakening", published together in 1922.

The saga begins with Soames Forsyte, a successful solicitor who buys land at Robin Hill on which to build a house for his wife Irene and future family. Eventually, the Forsyte family begins to disintegrate when Timothy Forsyte, the last of the old generation, dies at the age of 100.

In these novels, John Galsworthy documented a departed way of life, that of the affluent middle class that ruled England before the 1914 war. The class is criticized on account of its possessiveness, but there is also nostalgia because Galsworthy, as a man born into the class, could also appreciate its virtues.

(P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (402 )
5 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.4 (202 )
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Story
4.0 (202 )
5 star
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4 star
 (43)
3 star
 (29)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Anonymous 08-29-17
    08-29-17 Member Since 2015
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Property and beauty"

    I am a fan of Victorian novels, particularly Anthony Trollope. galsworthy is fascinated by this time period with all of the contrasts within. This book was a bit overread as are many audible recordings, but the writing is good enough to overcome the overripe reading.
    Galsworthy characters are drawn well and I think anyone fond of a tale well told would love this book.
    It is long and worth the hours of reading time. The characters and story are memorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Clarendon, TX, United States 07-19-17
    Anne Clarendon, TX, United States 07-19-17 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    859
    4
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    Story
    "A favorite"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, one of the best books I have ever read.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Soames, because he was so oblivious.


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

    I loved the whole story.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like a book, it is great to have a long one. You feel like it will last forever

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Baus New York City 06-22-17
    Susan Baus New York City 06-22-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Poor editing, fine story"

    The novel is great but the editing made it hard to listen to. The chapter numbers are cut into the text so tight that you can't absorb the last sentence of the previous chapter. Sometimes they even cut off the last few words. I almost sent it back

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Garten 03-08-17
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "The narrator is awful"
    What would have made The Forsyte Saga better?

    I could not listen to this book the narrator is the worse I have ever heard! I couldn't even get thru the first chapter


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 11-03-16
    Ellen LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 11-03-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    17
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    "Truly Wonderful"

    This is such a beautifully written work that it did not surprise me to learn that John Galsworthy was a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature. At 43 hours, it was too short. Some have complained of the narrator, and I agree he takes a little getting used to, but once that happens, he does great justice to the work and I enjoyed listening to him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma 05-12-16
    Emma 05-12-16 Member Since 2014
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good book, not a good reading"

    Williams reads sooooo slowly. I got used to it after a while, but oy vey. And his accent work is atrocious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth J. Mcclure San Jacinto, CA United States 05-08-16
    Ruth J. Mcclure San Jacinto, CA United States 05-08-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Truly interesting period family saga"

    Worth reading/listening to again to fully appreciate the characterizations and Galsworthy's point of view strategies as he moves from third person omniscience among the primary characters to various degrees of omniscience and strictly limited third person narration for most secondary characters. Most interesting is the opaque narration of the primary female protagonist Irene compared to her counterpart first husband whose thoughts Galsworthy so generously shares with us to the end. A true in- depth portrait of an American family and turn-of-the-century era.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sergei y. 02-16-16
    sergei y. 02-16-16
    RATINGS
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    "Excellence"

    Undoubtfully excellent philosophical book, but what even more important, wonderfully narrated. Probably, will listen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Burtch Cumming, GA United States 01-09-16
    Doug Burtch Cumming, GA United States 01-09-16 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    13
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    Story
    "Indeed a Sweeping Saga"
    What did you love best about The Forsyte Saga?

    The story of the family line, morals of the time, insightful & full of intrigue.


    Who was your favorite character and why?


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    It did take me awhile to get used to the reader's voice, very dry, almost monotone. But once I got into the story I was able to keep engrossed. I think a more animated reader would really make this story even more enjoyable.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. M. Updike Chilcoat Houston, TX USA 09-30-15
    C. M. Updike Chilcoat Houston, TX USA 09-30-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    14
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    "A very good read."

    A very absorbing story. Much like the time in which it was written, requires patience. Much to be gathered from this tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Angela
    Penge, London, United Kingdom
    7/4/10
    Overall
    "not for me"

    I really fancied escaping into the Forsyte Saga, but could barely get past the first few sentences in the sample. This narrator has succeeded in producing the worst rendition of a book I have heard in a long while.

    I hate that about audio books - sometimes the narrators don't seem to have a clue how to put any natural expression in. I won't be buying this and reminds me to be extra careful to listen to the samples in future. I would give it no stars but was forced to pick one!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Elizabeth
    3/12/09
    Overall
    "I don't know about the content..."

    I was really looking forward to this epic listen! But I just couldn't get on with the narrator - found his voice incredibly irritating - so gave up about half an hour in. Would urge others to listen to the short excerpt to judge for themselves whether they feel the same.
    If you don't find him grating, go ahead and purchase this - it is excellent value for a classic and lengthy novel(s)

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Stanmore UK
    3/16/10
    Overall
    "one of the most boring readings I have heard"

    This was indeed good value for a monthly purchase, and the writing is excellent, but the slow flat interpretation tempted me again & again to abandon the book.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Nelly_dog
    Fife
    11/9/05
    Overall
    "Great Stuff"

    This is excellent value for one book credit. The success of the TV dramatisations is testament to the quality of the stories on offer here. Admittedly, it is a little soap opera like at times but it is very gripping listening, once you get past the first few minutes of introduction and into the story proper.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Cynthia
    Hinckley, United Kingdom
    3/9/07
    Overall
    "The Forsyte Saga"

    I don't want to listen to anything else read by this actor. He spoiled an excellent book.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Mary
    10/27/11
    Overall
    "Narrator Choice"

    The choice of reader must have been made by someone who thought that the Forsyte Saga was an episode of Noggin the Nog or Wagner's Ring Cycle!

    I'm sure Fred Williams is a highly talented actor/narrator, but I suspect that even he might agree that the Forsyte Saga needs to be read by someone with a rather lighter touch. The delivery was so inappropriate that I was unable to listen beyond the first few pages and, were I able, I would have already taken this 'book' off to the charity shop!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • graham
    lincoln, United Kingdom
    6/27/11
    Overall
    "A MAN A PASSION A CLASSIC"

    LISTENING WHILE DRIVING THIS SAGA IS SUPERB ACCOMPANIMENT, INSIGHTFUL QUITE FAST PACED AFTER THE FIRST CHAPTER AND DEEPLY THOUGHT PROVOKING CONCERNING BOTH MODERN CAPITALSIM, LIFESTYLE AND RELATIONSHIPS, I WAS GRIPPED THROUGHOUT. A small down side is that the narrator is clear but a little ponderous. I found that playing my ipod at "faster setting" soon amended this and I rapidly became accustomed to his style. I cannot believe that such an old book can be so relevant and evocative.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Alice
    Derby, United Kingdom
    4/7/11
    Overall
    "The Forsyte Saga"

    The tone of the reader reflects perfectly the tone of the author and of the period. To maintain interest throughout such a long work is a real achievement.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Bridget Jones
    11/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story, pity about the performance"
    What disappointed you about The Forsyte Saga?

    The poor editing of the tracks. Not a breath between the last sentence of a chapter before the number of the next chapter. For example it might be something like ..........as she left the room chapter 6.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the story with the family moving down the generations.


    What didn’t you like about Fred Williams’s performance?

    Very wooden, jerky style of reading at times emphasising each syllable in a word and each word in a sentence. Very strange way of speaking.


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

    The story


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Paulina
    W?ngiSwitzerland
    12/14/08
    Overall
    "Depressing!"

    Wonderfully written, such rich expression of thought. But the thoughts.... Excruciating nihilism, human nature at its worse hopelessness. If you desire an uplifting reading, don't read this. The reader does a great job at pushing the depressing picture of English society at the turn of last century. All is told in this mournful voice. It makes you want to scream at times. Even the description of the \"good characters\" is depressing.
    It was painful to listen until the end. Nothing good happens to anyone in this book. Recommended only for times when nothing can spoil your mood. Definitely a good plunge into beautifully written English.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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