Regular price: $14.00

Membership details Membership details
  • 30 days of membership free, plus 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals to get you started.
  • After trial, you'll get 3 titles each month: 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals of your choice.
  • Don't like your audiobook? Swap it for free.
  • Cancel anytime and keep your audiobooks.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Dorothy Parker's quips and light verse have embedded themselves in the American literary landscape, but it was her prose that proved her star and demonstrated her talent as extending far beyond her time. In her fiction, she not only brought to life the urban milieu that was her bailiwick, but lay bare the uncertainties of ordinary people living ordinary lives, all told in her unflinching and deeply personal voice.

In these selected stories, read for you by Elaine Stritch, we have the chance to draw upon her insight into the social and emotional realities of human nature. The following stories are featured in this audiobook collection:   

  • "Big Blonde"
  • "Too Bad"
  • "The Song of the Shirt"
  • "Mr. Durant"
  • "From the Diary of a New York Lady"
  • "The Standard of Living"
  • "The Garter"
©1924, 1928, 1929, 1933, 1941 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. These stories are selected from Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker, edited by Colleen Breese (Penguin Books, 1993). “Too Bad” first appeared in Smart Set; “Mr. Durant” in American Mercury; and “Big Blonde” in The Bookman. The other stories were first published in The New Yorker. (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"There have been other recordings of Parker's stories, several very good. But this is a particularly happy pairing of subject and reader. Stritch's famous whiskey tenor does the stories - with their glossy exteriors and yearning hearts - justice. Sympathy is always lurking in her voice, especially for Parker's female characters, but you can't stop and wallow; there's the next quip to get to, the next coping mechanism. A life in musical comedy brings timing and acidity to the brittle society antics of "Too Bad" or "The Standard of Living". And there is a poignancy, too, to the deep and rueful knowledge of the ravages of alcohol laid so bare in "Big Blonde". In case you're worried Stritch's personality overpowers Parker’s material, don't be; she's too good an actor for that." (The New York Times Book Review

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    109
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    131
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    95
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good/very depressing

For hours of uninterrupted reading enjoyment I recommend googling "Dorothy Parker Quotes". I expected more of the same from this recording, but that's not what I got. To be honest, if I'd known what I was getting I never would've bought the recording. I gave it 5 stars because of of the very high quality of the prose and the performance.

I'd never read any of Parker's prose before, so I had no idea how dark and melancholy some of it can be. She describes her characters with all the precision and attention to detail of an Ansel Adams photograph. If those characters are self-centered, evil, or just very unhappy, the result can be very depressing (for me anyhow).

If you want to listen to the words of a master storyteller read with exceptional skill, I very highly recommend this recording. If your temperament is similar to mine, however, I recommend doing so on a bright sunshiny day when the birds are singing and the children are playing and the next election is years away. If you choose to listen on a cold and rainy winter night, I suggest that you make sure that the pills and firearms are safely locked away, and that you're nowhere near any upper story windows.

I am glad to mention that the last story was more what I had expected. It is about the disaster of a broken garter at a party, and is very funny.

91 of 92 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MFM
  • Seattle, WA United States
  • 11-17-18

Two great talents

A moving reading of some of Parker's best by the perfect voice of a woman who understands Parker and her characters and who had lived some of their pains. Brilliant rendition unavailable until this digital remake of a long-treasured audio cassette.

30 of 31 people found this review helpful

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

A Delight!

Want to know what's really going on in everybody's head (including yours)? Just ask Dotty.

And if it's Elaine delivering the message, you'll learn even more. The best part is feeling the kind heart behind the sardonic prose, and understanding the deep concern for people under the laughs.

One of the best times we've ever had with an audiobook!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Not the stories I’d have chosen, but good

Kind of a random selection of Parker’s stories. Some were a little melancholy, some cruel, and only one funny. Elaine Stritch’s narration was spot on.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

ugh

I thought Dorothy Parker was supposed to be witty and funny. Maybe it was the performance, maybe the content, but I did not find it so. Dreary stories about dreary people behaving stupidly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Concentrates on Trival Minds

While Parker is a writer with acute observation skills, these stories focused on women whose thoughts were utterly insipid. The only way I knew one story was over and another had started was when the reader said "Chapter 1"

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Well done but so short??

A good collection as far as it goes. Well read. Displays the wry humour for which Ms. Parker is famous. Elaine Stritch has a rich gravelly voice that compliments Parker's (sometimes painful) irony. Where's the rest?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Perfect stories from a depressed alcoholic

These stories reflect the bleak, often limited lives of single women and housewives. The men are almost all rogues with no concern for the women in their lives. There's little of Parker's noted humor and wit unless you consider tragic irony to be wit. It's only 3 hours so not great value for the money.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Just delightful

Starts out with a few sad stories but this collection is marvelous and glamorous even in the wretched stories. Loved it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

So Great!

I really enjoyed how real each character is, her writing style is beautiful. I enjoyed each story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful