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Publisher's Summary

The works of Thomas Wolfe cemented his legacy as one of the very best of the American Southern writers. Wolfe's largely autobiographical novel features Eugene Gant, who pines for a more expansive life after being born to a father whose bouts of maniacal raving are fueled by a prodigious appetite for drink.
©1957 Edward C. Aswell (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    116
  • 4 Stars
    61
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    21

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    95
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    16
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eric
  • Thornleigh, Australia
  • 02-22-09

One Of The Gret Novels Of The 20th Century

My purpose in writing this review is to provide a balance. It would be unfortunate if someone in the new Century, coming upon Thomas Wolfe for the first time, and unaware that they held within their hands one of the masterworks of the Twentieth Century, were deterred, and thus denied themselves a significant reading pleasure. If in reading it some 80 years after Wolfe wrote it, you feel it is too wordy, has too much description, or could have been edited more, remember this: Wolfe was in his mid twenties when he wrote it. Max Perkins, who is universally acknowledged as the greatest Editor of the Twentieth Century (he discovered/first published Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings etc.) was his Editor. Perkins, after much struggle, got him to cut 90,000 words from the original manuscript.

If you love the language; if you value wordcraft and the evocation of imagery in a sublime form; if you appreciate Steinbeck, Pat Conroy, Waltari and Shirley Haggard for these reasons, if you are a writer or want to be; if you hunger for a book that has masterful characterisation that will imprint the characters indellibly on your mind, then listen to and enjoy "Look Homeward, Angel". You will then know the Gants and the Pentlands like your own family and you will know why, as someone who averages reading / listening to 137 books per year (over 1200 since January 2000), I count this as one of my ten favourites, and why is has been for over 35 years. In addition, Scott Sowers has done a Masterful job of narration. It is worth the credit!

118 of 121 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A Classic for a reason

This is not the easiest listen/read but to me, well worth the time and money. A voice from another time, The tone of Wolfe's writing adds to the story, giving a sense of the time period. Narration is #1 with any audio book for me and Scott Sowers is great.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A classsic read

I saw that this book was one of Pat Conroy's favorites, and since he is my favorite author and I need to read some classics, I listened to this one. Thomas Wolfe's language is amazing and I see why they study this in school. Wow.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AJ
  • Honolulu, HI, USA
  • 05-31-16

Marvelous

I don't know which I loved more, Wolfe's poetic flourishes and a Woolfian ability to inject philosophical wonder into the mundane, or Sowers's flawless voicings and performance. I played this at a more comfortable 1.20x speed. I got hopelessly sucked into the world of the Gants, audibly gasping in wonder at some of Wolfe's most beautiful lines. A favorite from minute 1. I wish Sowers would record the sequel and the more recent uncut, unedited release.

The smallest of complaints - the chapters didn't line up with the Audible chapter breaks. Very minor issue that I could live with.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

the king of the adjective

what a painting of life lived out, if not wrung out, of such a diverse set of characters

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Monumental.

One of the finest works of American fiction, and easily the best narration I've ever enjoyed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a Classic

I will not lie, this took me months to listen to. and at times I was offended by the language or simply found it repetitive. But in the end, soaring passages of poetic praise lifted my heart. I heard the truth that there is beauty and wisdom everywhere if we care to look, and not just in the places we expect. I heard about a family's struggle and forgiveness. A true work of art.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

ONE OF THE GREAT NOVELS OF THE 20th CENTURY

My purpose in writing this review is to provide a balance. It would be unfortunate if someone in the new Century, coming upon Thomas Wolfe for the first time, and unaware that they held within their hands one of the masterworks of the Twentieth Century, were deterred, and thus denied themselves a significant reading pleasure. If in reading it some 90 years after Wolfe wrote it, you feel it is too wordy, has too much description, or could have been edited more, remember this: Wolfe was in his mid-twenties when he wrote it. Max Perkins, who is universally acknowledged as the greatest Editor of the Twentieth Century (he discovered/first published Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings etc.) was his Editor. Perkins, after much struggle, got him to cut 90,000 words from the original manuscript.

If you love the language; if you value wordcraft and the evocation of imagery in a sublime form; if you appreciate Steinbeck, Pat Conroy, Mika Waltari and Shirley Hazzard for these reasons, if you are a writer or want to be; if you hunger for a book that has masterful characterisation that will imprint the characters indelibly on your mind, then listen to and enjoy "Look Homeward, Angel". You will then know the Gants and the Pentlands like your own family and you will know why, as someone who has read over 5,000 books, who averages reading / listening to over 130 books per year (over 2.200 since January 2000), I count this as one of my ten favourites, and why it has been for over 45 years. In addition, Scott Sowers has done a Masterful job of narration. It is worth the credit!
Thank you Audible for going the Extra Yard with this. I originally Reviewed this February 22, 2009 as 'Eric, Thornleigh, Australia'. There were three typos, which I wished to correct, plus, I wanted to change the Review to being done by 'Eric J. Drysdale'. This would link in with other Reviews I have done on Audible and Amazon, plus my novel, THE PRICE TO PAY. Audible were most accommodating and suggested a new - updated Review. Also, thank you to the 115 readers who have checked out the Review and the 112 who found it helpful - I am most gratified. Any comments would be most welcome at: ericjdrysdale@gmail.com. Thank you, Eric.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Flawed Genius

A man chronicles his escape from the constraints that his father struggled against and his mother embraced.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Nothing ever happened.

What did you like best about Look Homeward, Angel? What did you like least?

I have never come across such a well-written book where nothing ever happened. Each character was worthless to every other character. Nothing ever made sense. I had no attachment or sympathy towards any character. I never discerned a plot or any point whatsoever. I desperately listened as the end approached and the author's brilliant writing swirled towards the punchline that would surely tie it all together, but it was one giant loose end in every regard. I did not get it. I just did not get it. What the heck was this guy's point? Why did he write this book? Why did he choose the title? I cannot even make a guess.

Did Scott Sowers do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

He took some getting used to, but yes. He has a nice speaking voice. In the beginning I resented a narrator reading with inflection as though to a child, but halfway through I rather enjoyed him. Nice singing voice.

Was Look Homeward, Angel worth the listening time?

Oh hell no.

Any additional comments?

I wanted to listen to this book because it was so highly recommended by Pat Conroy in his book, My Reading Life. The only reason I can imagine that Pat enjoyed it so much was that one of the characters like to read a lot.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful