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Tropic of Cancer Audiobook

Tropic of Cancer

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Audible Editor Reviews

Tropic of Cancer is Henry Miller's 1934 "autobiography as novel" about the impoverished, middle-aged writer's expatriate sojourn in depression-era Paris and France. Banned in the US until 1961 for its sexual content, Tropic of Cancer has been and remains a literary classic of a unique sort. "A dirty book worth reading," Ezra Pound famously wrote, as he went on to compare it to James Joyce's Ulysses. Prominent 1930s literati — including T. S. Eliot, John Dos Passos, Aldous Huxley, and George Orwell — joined in praising this non-literary, literary work.

Campbell Scott's narrative style has a unique stamp. His baseline technique in Tropic of Cancer is the dampening of his voice, joined with a masterly expressive control that emanates from this restriction. The effect is a quite strong sense of, and control over, mood and an intimate narrative connection with the individual listener. Scott's approach is suggestive of sotto voce, literarily "under speaking", similar to that bit of news spoken by a friend through a cupped hand in lowered tones into your ear — in the Age of iPod, the narrator speaking through your earphones. Scott moves fluently from this baseline into the very lively stuff of Miller's tropes, riffs and rhetoric, and comically charmed outrages. Scott hits the marks, even as a tonal resonance of intimate communication remains constant. And Henry Miller's narrative voice? George Orwell observed, in his 1940 essay "Inside the Whale", "Read him for five pages, ten pages, and you feel the peculiar relief that comes not so much from understanding as from being understood. 'He knows all about me,' you feel. 'It is as though you could hear a voice speaking to you...with no humbug in it, no moral purpose, merely an implicit assumption that we are all alike.'"

With their production of Tropic of Cancer, Harper Audio and Campbell Scott have reached an elusive artistic benchmark: that point where the voice of the author and the voice of the narrator converge. —David Chasey

Publisher's Summary

Now hailed as an American classic, Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller's masterpiece, was banned as obscene in this country for 27 years after its first publication in Paris in 1943. Only a historic court ruling that changed American censorship standards, ushering in a new era of freedom and frankness in modern literature, permitted the publication of this first volume of Miller's famed mixture of memoir and fiction, which chronicles with unapologetic gusto, the bawdy adventures of a young expatriate writer, his friends, and the characters they meet in Paris in the 1930s. Tropic of Cancer is now considered, as Norman Mailer said, "one of the 10 or 20 great novels of our century".

©1961 Grove Press, Inc.; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (456 )
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4.0 (326 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Allen United States 08-06-17
    Allen United States 08-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Meh, I really wanted to like it."

    I'd been wanting to see what this book was all about. I was super excited to jump right into it.
    Like other people reviewing this book I can see how this book might have been very impressionable or even shocking at some point but imho it's not shocking enough to carry the book till the end.
    I believe the performance made it super dull and like the ramblings of some emo that didn't get his way. The narrator is monotone throughout the entire story too!
    Too bad because I can see how this audible production could have been hilariously fun!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Man in the Fishtower 08-16-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Awful bumper music"

    The music between chapters on this one is so bad and incongruous with the narrative it becomes something to dread whilst the story plods on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    drebra sterling everywhere, world, universe 06-28-16
    drebra sterling everywhere, world, universe 06-28-16

    bookfiend

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    "henry miller is a master storyteller."

    campbell scott couldn't match Henry's enthusiamsm and disgust with parisian life, but still, one gets used to it. i was saddened the story ended, but thank audible there's more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Higgins 05-27-16
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    7
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    "Honestly thought it would be raunchier."

    Didn't really like the narrative tone at the beginning. But I've got to say that it grew on me. The story was a bit hard to follow and didn't really have a goal or meaning, just following a guys experience in France.
    The sex scenes were rather lacking. Was expecting details, instead was given vague encounters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jeantoomer 05-14-16
    jeantoomer 05-14-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Fabulous book, nice reading, terrible, many, guitar interludes"

    Love this book, but why oh why have the frequent elevator music jam band breakdowns?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alma N 05-03-16
    Alma N 05-03-16 Member Since 2016
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    "amazing novel by Miller"

    one of the greatest American novelists. tropic of cancer is a masterpiece. great narration of the novel. enjoyed it thoroughly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 03-13-16
    Stephen 03-13-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Was shocked awake by the raw language"

    If you can see past the vulgarity, the writing is quite poignant, even today. Reading Tropic of Cancer for the first time illuminated so many other literary allusions. Recommended reading for those seeking a depiction of life as it is. You will not be handed rose colored glasses upon cracking open this gem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 06-11-15
    Steve 06-11-15
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    "ugg."

    is there really any point to this. Personally find this style hard to hold my attention.
    struggling to continue...

    really having a hard time understanding why I found this book on so many "must read lists"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenny Bangkok, Thailand 12-03-12
    Kenny Bangkok, Thailand 12-03-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oh Henry"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Too bad all of Henry Millers books are not audiobooks. Definitely one of the best writers I have come in contact with. Although there are massive ramblings, there are also very focused rants that hit a cord.


    What does Campbell Scott bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Campbell is a good reader but I thought he could have been a bit scruffier to match the drunken nature of the character.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, there is too much to think about, I actually wanted to roll back the audio and revisit passages; not so easy in audio format.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this in book format years ago and this audio version really intrigued me to go back and read all of the Henry Miller books again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlène United States 11-27-12
    Marlène United States 11-27-12 Member Since 2016

    orchid62

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Some literature seems out of my reach"
    What disappointed you about Tropic of Cancer?

    It seems more an essay than a story. Relationships between souls but more frequently bodies with crude descriptions. There does not seem to be a backbone throughout the story maybe perhaps sex and poverty. For me no "veni vidi vici" but heard I have....now Makes me wonder if all famous writers are worth catching up with ;-)

    About the reading, what can I say? I love the deep voice but the French names and words (the action takes place in Paris) are a clear struggle for Mr. Scott and it spoils some of the pleasure.


    Has Tropic of Cancer turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes Miller's books for a while. Maybe I'll venture it again but not soon


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

    I don't expect the narrators to master the foreign words often found in English books but I expefct them like an actor to learn to speak them out so event the native understands.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Tropic of Cancer?

    None a book needs to be unabridged - everytime.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish the reader would make some research before tackling this book and if foreign languages are read, at least narrators should master the pronunciation.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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