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Go Behind the Scenes of Little Women with Laura Dern

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"I fell in love with the March sisters! I think it was full of so many lessons that apply to people's lives today. Laura Dern and the rest of the cast performed the lovable characters with charm and bubbly energy!"

–Carly B., Audible Listener
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Our favorite moments from Little Women

"I don’t want any secrets."
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"I will never forgive you."
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Hail the Conquering Hero Comes
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  • Little Women
  • "I don’t want any secrets."
  • Little Women
  • "I will never forgive you."
  • Little Women
  • Hail the Conquering Hero Comes

About the Performer

Since her breakout role in David Lynch’s 1986 classic, Blue Velvet, Dern has astounded audiences and critics alike as Rose in Rambling Rose, Ellie Sattler in Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, Bobbi in Wild, and most recently, as the rage-fueled Renata Klein in Big Little Lies. In Audible’s Little Women, Dern narrates as Louisa May Alcott, bringing together a cast of perennial audio favorites, including Suzanne Toren (Pulitzer Prize winner, The Overstory by Richard Powers), Lauren Fortgang (I Thought It Was Just Me by Brené Brown), Allison Hiroto (1Q84 by Haruki Murakami), Emily Bauer (The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin) and Carly Robins (All The Lovely Pieces by J.M. Winchester), among others.

About the Performer

Lauded as a prolific narrator by the Audiobook Publishers Association, Emily Bauer has a passion for truthful, honest storytelling and creating memorable characters across all genres. The recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones, Listen-Up Awards, and Publishers Weekly Starred Reviews, Emily is also well-known for her animation work on shows such as Pokémon, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Wallykazam!, and has done hundreds of commercials and jingles. Emily has narrated more than 200 audiobooks, including the InCryptid series by Seanan McGuire, the Razorland series by Anne Aguirre, and Life As We Knew It from the Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

About the Performer

Lauren Fortgang is an NYC-based actor regularly working as an audiobook narrator for a vast roster of publishers, including Audible Studios, Hachette, Penguin Random House, Macmillan, Scholastic, and Blackstone Publishing. She's voiced hundreds of titles, including works by James Patterson, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Candace Bushnell, Ann M. Martin, R. L. Stine, and Brené Brown. Lauren is a winner of both an Audie Award and multiple Earphones Awards whose work has been recognized by AudioFile magazine, the Audio Publishers Association (APA), the American Library Association (ALA), and Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), School Library Journal, Library Journal, USA Today, Market Watch, Bustle, Forbes, and Publishers Weekly.

About the Performer

Allison Hiroto is an actor, musician, and voice-over artist. Her voice-over work ranges from commercials to audiobooks, and she is an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and Audie nominee. As an actor, Allison is a member of La MaMa’s Great Jones Repertory Company, Loco 7 Dance Puppet Theatre, Yara Arts Group, and NYU's First Look Theatre Company. She has performed all over the world, including London, Taipei, Toronto, Bogota, Zagreb, and the Venice Biennale. Allison is also a grant recipient of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Creative Engagement Award.

About the Performer

Carly Robins is an NYC-based actress and voice-over artist. Having narrated more than 500 audiobooks, she works regularly with a variety of publishers and production houses, including Audible Studios, Hachette, Harper Collins, Macmillan, Blackstone Publishing, Simon & Schuster, Dreamscape, Tantor, and Brilliance. Audible recognized her work on its 2018 Romance Audiobook of the Year, The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. In addition, her work has been recognized with starred reviews in Library Journal and Booklist, featured in USA Today, and highlighted in AudioFile and Audible's "Best of" lists. Carly can be heard on video games, commercials, animation, and more, as well as voicing the character Wicke on Pokémon. She has performed for 10 years in the NYC area and has written and produced her own work for stage and screen.

About the Performer

Suzanne Toren has appeared in works by acclaimed playwrights from Shakespeare and Moliere to Arthur Miller and Neil Simon, on Broadway (Goodbye, Fidel, starring Jane Alexander), off-Broadway (Westside Arts: A Shayna Maidel and From Door to Door; Castillo Theatre: Yiddish Death of a Salesman), and in regional theaters throughout the country (Paper Mill Playhouse: Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities; Philadelphia Drama Guild: A View from the Bridge; Pennsylvania Stage Company: Brighton Beach Memoirs; Syracuse Stage: The Seagull). In addition, she is an award-winning narrator (including, several times, "Narrator of the Year") of around 1,000 audiobooks. In 2019, she was honored with a Golden Voice Award from AudioFile for her "career achievements and invaluable contributions to the world of audiobooks."

What listeners say about Little Women

Average Customer Ratings
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

I had never read Little Women (apart from the Children's version when I was younger) and wanted to read it before the newest movie. I specifically waited for this new Audible Original version because I love Laura Dern and was super excited for it.

It is what it is - an abridged dramatization of the book. I was not aware of this, but this did not affect my rating. I rated it based on what it is. That being said, although quite enjoyable, I personally would have preferred to listen to the full novel. I do wish they had made this more clear to the listener, though I may have still chosen to listen to this version because, Laura Dern. Can she just read the whole thing next time?

I found the beginning difficult to differentiate the characters and their voices. The dialogue is without "said Amy" or "said Jo". As the stories begin to separate and each sister has their own path/narrative, it is not an issue. I loved Jo, Marmee and Laurie's voices the best. I found some of the voices to be a tad overdone, but it did not distract from my enjoyment. In the beginning I found the extra sounds - like foot steps, horses or a cackling fire interesting, but they lose their appeal by the end. They just don't add to the story in an effective way that makes you feel like you are part of that world.

In the end, I would think twice about listening to another "dramatization", though I think the idea overall has potential.

I can see why however, someone who may have read the full novel already, might appreciate this as a new way to experience a beloved tale; but I don’t have that frame of reference.

53 people found this helpful

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Very poor execution of this classic tale

Instead of allowing the cast to tell the story naturally through their performance, the action was constantly interrupted by a narrator adding snippets of backstory - sometimes right in the middle of active dialogue!
All of this backstory could have easily been woven into the story and told through the cast performance. It was too distracting to continue listening.

Also, the actors cast for the girls were a bit too similar in sound/portrayal and I struggled to differentiate who was speaking in scenes with the 4 of them.

I could have possibly overlooked the highly censored (historical and faith-based content removed/altered to make the story more in sync with our current "PC" world) and abridged aspects (though I would always prefer a true to the original portrayal when given the choice!), however the constant switch in POV was too jarring to allow myself to get lost in the story, or enjoy it on any level.

Overall a very disappointing mess of a beloved classic. Be sure to take the time to listen to the full sample offered to see if this is something you would enjoy - which I often don't because I know I can return books I don't enjoy - to save yourself a bit of frustration and a lot of wasted time spent hoping it might get better further in. It doesn't.

79 people found this helpful

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Ew

I could not get past the second chapter. I love this story, but the saccharine voices of the characters contrasts too much with Dern’s dry narration. It bothers me that they did not stick to the original manuscript. This is a dramatization, not an audiobook.

37 people found this helpful

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Censored

This version is not just abridged, it is censored. i didn't catch it until I was nearly through, but by trying to find my place in my kindle book, I realized one of the most moving scenes of the whole book, when Beth died, was edited of anything meaningful about the Lord or heaven. Now I've been paying attention and any mention of God is removed. No wonder I thought the book was just "okay." I'm going to have to start over again with an actual version of the book.

80 people found this helpful

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Not the full novel.

This is a radio play version that has been completely re-worked. I found it confusing.

7 people found this helpful

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It’s more performance than book

I waited for Dean’s version to release. It was a mistake. This is really awful.

31 people found this helpful

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Bangin', Clangin' and Emotin'

Note to self: Do not EVER get another "dramatized" audio book. Laura Dern of course is superb as a narrator. But the music, sound effects, dramatization? The Book: "She wept." The Dramatization: "Bwahahahahahah...snort...bwahahaha...Bwa! Ha! Bwahahahahahahahahahah." Good god just get to the story will you? Other than that, classic-novel-breaking-gender-roles etc. etc.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

I finally fell in love with the March sisters, and I will be forever grateful. I never read Little Women as a kid, just because the book seemed big and daunting to young me. I am kind of glad it took me until now to read it, because it's exactly what I needed at this time in my life. I am in my twenties and soon to graduate college. I have a lot of big life decisions quickly approaching, and I felt comforted hearing about the March sisters having to carve out their own life paths. Each sister imparts their own wisdom in some way. Meg teaches us how to enjoy the little things. Jo teaches us to nurture our passions. Beth teaches us how to love honestly and deeply. Amy teaches us about the beauty of change.

I know Louisa May Alcott considered her own work "moral pap for the young", but I thought it was full of so many lessons that apply to people's lives today. The narration was fantastic too! Laura Dern and the rest of the cast performed the lovable characters with charm and bubbly energy.

5 people found this helpful

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  • tj
  • 02-24-20

AMAZING but I wish it were closer to source book

Like I said in the headline, this edition of Little Women is so beautifully done and so fun to listen to; of course Laura Dern sold it to me and then killed it, her narration is gorgeous. I'll be honest, I wish she'd just narrated the whole thing. The actors for everyone sounded SO alike and their childhood voices were so fake sounding... Laurie sounds sooooo old it constantly took me out of the story haha. But I think it's perfect to listen to if you loved the movie or loved the book, just keep in mind it cuts out a lot from the book too.

4 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable Listen

I have seen a few not-so-great reviews about this audiodrama. Some hated the voice cast, while others were bothered that it's an abridged dramatization rather than the novel verbatim.  I do not have those complaints.  I enjoyed the voice work and the dramatization. 

This was a wonderful story and I loved listening to it.  I feel like I got the full story even though it was a dramatization. And the cast brought the characters to life for me.  

9 people found this helpful

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  • Katharina
  • 02-29-20

Difficult to distinguish voices

I found it very difficult to listen to as they do not introduce the different voices, and it is therefore difficult to know who is speaking. The girls’ voices sound very similar.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Sean Joseph Healy
  • 03-19-20

This is not Little Women

There is so much of the detail and the nuance of the book missing! I can only imagine Louisa May would be embarrassed to see her work stripped of so much of the skill and effort she had put into it.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Mahesh Subramaniam
  • 05-26-20

Reads like stage play

It reads like a stage play, not authentic experience. Laura dern tricked me. Dj dj

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-15-20

Loved this version!

Really enjoyed listening to this version, got used to all the voices quickly most of the time it was obvious who was speaking. Really brought the book to life would recommend to any fans of the book or films, great performances and a wonderful story that stands the test of time.

6 people found this helpful

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  • E. W. J. Tuppen
  • 01-05-20

Masterpiece

Beautiful story, brilliantly told.

A great way to experience this classic by an excellent cast.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bethany
  • 07-01-20

Love, love, love!

An extremely enjoyable and beautifully performed classic. The cast really brought this story to life, I thoroughly adored their performance and I would 100% recommend to anyone wanting to fall in love with a classic novel. It most certainly is a fine work of art created by not only the author but each and every cast/production member. A true credit to all who worked on it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • JOHN
  • 06-02-20

A Great Read

Just great to immerse yourself in a bygone era. Very atmospheric! Very good and engaging narration

2 people found this helpful

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  • Hennypen
  • 05-18-20

Little women

What a fantastic book on audio it was amazing hearing it acted out and narrated brought back childhood memories of reading this at school well done 👏🏻

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kamila
  • 05-11-20

Enjoyed listening to the performance.

Performance adds up to the story and makes it more pleasant than just read. I loved it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-27-20

Why does everyone love this book so much?

This is my mums favourite book, so I was excited to read it when I was given it at age 12. Unfortunately, I could barely get past the first chapter without getting bored. I didn't feel a connection to the characters at all, and just got frustrated with their way of whining. With the release of the new film rewritten by Greta Gerwig, I decided to give the book another chance and listen to it via audible. What a mistake that was. These women are insufferable. Jo is a character that has influenced so many influential women in my life, but all I wanted her to do was shut up. She was selfish, annoying, and the way they related everything back to being 'good little pilgrims' was just so incredibly boring. The only thing she actually gets herself worked up about is listening to two strangers talk about god??? The narrator did a good job but I think listening to the book just made it much more obvious how awful the writing was. it's basically Christianity propaganda. I don't even want to watch the film any more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Spike Vincent Thomson
  • 01-16-20

Awesome

After seeing the recent film adaptation by Greta Gerwig, I sought to discover the original text and this was a wonderful way to do so.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-22-20

I wish it matched the book

I loved it I was great but I got it so that if I wasn’t reading the book I could at least listen to this but there was one point where a whole chapter was different than what was in the book.

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  • Kelzi
  • 10-09-20

Little Woman a little boy mother father Hanna .

What a beautiful story. Don't we wish we didn't lose that innocence. I do.