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Editorial Reviews

There was nothing civil about the 15th-century ‘War of the Roses’ for the English throne. The same could be said about the guerilla war waged by Oliver and Barbara Rose over their beloved Washington, D.C. mansion in Warren Adler’s best-selling novel, The War of the Roses. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner stared in a famous 1989 film adaptation of this 1981 novel, but the film is nothing compared to the newly-released audio version of this delicious black comedy.

Dave Giorgio brings just the right touch to his reading of The War of the Roses. The book gradually gets darker and darker as Oliver and Barbara raise the stakes in their winner-take-all battle over who gets what in their messy divorce. But rather than give the book an over-the-top reading, Giorgio delivers each sentence in a steady, matter-of-fact tone that could also deliver a line like “Once upon a time…” — if this were a Grimm fairy tale about two people seriously determined to kill each other.

Giorgio is smart to take a light approach to the increasingly dark subject matter in the book. If he had tried to oversell his lines and give a heavy-handed performance, the novel would have felt contrived and unbelievable. Instead, Giorgio’s steady, deep voice makes all the ludicrous things the Roses do to drive each other out of the house feel and sound real.

Giorgio’s understated tone enables the audiobook to pack a serious emotional punch. The movie might have strictly been a black comedy, but Adler’s book achieves something more. The disintegration of the Roses themselves and their house almost takes on a horror-like quality.

And yet beneath all the bitter backstabbing, Adler’s book conveys the deep love the Roses still secretly feel for each other. No wonder this book became a worldwide best seller. The War of the Roses taps into our worst fears about lost love and failed marriages, then stylishly serves them up in devilishly delectable mouthfuls for us to savor, one stinging sentence at a time. — Ken Ross

Publisher's Summary

The Roses met at an auction on Cape Cod. Oliver had just bought a Staffordshire figurine - one of a pair - but Barbara outbid him for its mate. The figurines belonged together, and so did the Roses. Now the two objets d'art sat together on a shelf in the Roses' home - symbols of the passion their owners shared. A passion that united them and now was about to tear them apart.

Sharing, for Oliver and Barbara Rose, was a way of life. Living in the mansion they had restored together, with the antiques they had collected together, their rare wines, their orchids, and their children - all the beautiful things they owned - they were happy. Their latest project had been the kitchen, which was to be the core of Barbara's new-found career as a caterer of gourmet foods. Though Oliver was a busy and successful attorney, he had shared all the planning chores with her.

The tipping point occurred when Oliver collapsed with what seemed to be a heart attack, and Barbara, as he had expected, did not rush to his side. Her indifference to his fate was both galling and an eye-opener about the truth of their marriage, a truth based more on materialism than mutual sharing and love.

The War of the Roses is a timeless novel. Yet, this is a story uniquely of our own time, where more and more people measure their happiness and success in terms of the things they possess.

This is the book that inspired one of the most famous movies about divorce ever produced. Shown somewhere in the world every week, the movie is an excellent adaptation of the book that has been translated in almost every language on the planet. The impact of both the book and the movie have made them both classics and brought the title The War of the Roses into the accepted jargon of divorce, describing the terrible hatred and cruelty engendered in the process.

©2001 Warren Adler (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Tight, unique, intimate...fascinating and unusual." (West Coast Review of Books)

What members say

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The movie made more sense

Would you listen to The War of the Roses again? Why?

Yes, if I didn't see the movie. For some reason I felt the movie was better at telling the progression of events. Also I watched the movie back in 1989 and I have built it up so much in my head. So while listening to the story in 2016 I sort of have this high expectation and it didn't meet my expectation. Don't get me wrong, the book is still pretty good I just felt the movie was better.

Which character – as performed by Dave Giorgio – was your favorite?

Oliver, although I would have not gone down that path he did but I can understand why he did it. There was definitely the feeling of how angry he was because he worked so hard for what he have.

Any additional comments?

I remembered watching the movie and wondered how awful it was when two people in love fall apart like that. My aunt went through a really bitter divorce and that was how I related to the movie. I was excited when Audiobook Boom had the book to review, I couldn’t wait to listen to it. But because I love the movie so much that listening to the story pale in comparison. Sadly, I felt that the characters were not as interesting as the movie was. Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas was a perfect cast and made the movie. There were slightly more details in the book but it didn’t really matter because there wasn’t anything that you couldn’t derive from the movie. Overall it was a good read. <br/><br/>This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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wow one crazy ride, between love and hate!

I loved this movie when to first came out, I had no idea it was based off a book.
The book is different then the movie, but just as good! they cut a lot out on the movie. The book explains things in more depth. it lets you follow along as Mr and Mrs Rose slowly go insane trying to toucher each other to make the other one leave the house. how love can turn to hate so fast! the poor family and kids.
I was gratefully provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator for an unbiased review via Audio Boom..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Neil
  • Denver, CO, USA
  • 06-14-10

good job

was very nicely narrated

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Middling novel and poor reader

Here's a rare exception to the rule of the book is always better than the movie! This is the source of the Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas movie from the 1980s. The movie--a black comedy--is pretty good; the book is middling at best. The movie establishes its tone and carries it throughout, while the book sometimes seems to take itself seriously and sometimes seems to be a comedy. Also, the author takes the story of a nasty divorce and pretends to take a "both sides at fault" stance, but the wife is clearly the villian. No one could truly sympathize with this lady, no matter how feminist! She twice tries to kill the husband and does kill his dog. The husband puts dexadrine in the wife's valium and scares off someone who accidently runs over the wife's cat. And this is a balanced view of a divorce?

Also, the reader is not a winner. While he is enthusiastic and speaks and emotes clearly, his vocabulary is not up to some of the fairly simple language used, resulting in some jarring mispronounciations!

I would not buy again.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A painful listen

So boring to listen to.. Everyone you think something will happen it doesn't or is played down.
Hope the movie is better

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Love is ever expanding and unending

Would you consider the audio edition of The War of the Roses to be better than the print version?

I loved the narration and the plot and everything. It made for an excellent listen. Love and human nature propel individuals into a fascinating realm in this breathtaking timeless novel.

Any additional comments?

"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."

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The War of the Roses

What did you love best about The War of the Roses?

I loved the best the telling of a "love" story that wasn't really about love at all. I don't know if either of them were really in love with each other or just what the other person could do for them

What was one of the most memorable moments of The War of the Roses?

I actually liked how they first met and he kept going on and on about "how they are a matched set"

Have you listened to any of Dave Giorgio’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't but he did good

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

I can't say that there was since i didn't really feel love between them, just mutual using of each other so the nastiness that ensued during their divorce didn't surprise me at all

Any additional comments?

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

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The death of a relationship

Definitely a case of the book is better than the movie. A really interesting look into human nature and the death of a relationship. Warren Adler really hit the mark with this gem.

The narrator did a really good job. Great performance.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

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I loved the movie, but the book is sooooo much better

This is one of the best books that I have ever read. I loved the movie but in comparison the book is so much better. You really feel like you get inside of the minds of Barbara and Oliver Rose. I really enjoyed the addition of the au pair I felt like it added another layer to the story. The narration was wonderful. If you are on the fence about getting this book because of the movie do yourself a favor and get the book you will love it. I was provided this novel at no expense to myself for an honest review

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My ex hated the movie. I liked the audio book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would. This fleshes out the characters and what drives them far more so than the movie. Presents them as more real, more human.

What did you like best about this story?

Having seen the movie many years ago before my own divorce just about ten years ago, I can relate to the pain and feelings of not really knowing the other person that you built lives together with. It's poignant, funny, sad at the same time.

Which scene was your favorite?

The moment Oliver realizes his marriage isn't as strong as he believed.

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

Both. There are moments of personally relating to what's going on. And comparing what actions the characters take to what transpired for myself

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this more than the movie. <br/><br/>This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com