The Awakening

Narrated by: Walter Zimmerman
Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
3.8 out of 5 stars (195 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Nearly all of Kate Chopin's her work is set in the areas around New Orleans, Grand Isle and Natchitoches, and provides a vivid window into Louisiana life near the turn of the century. Her early stories were well-received nationally and earned her literary fame as a "local colorist," even appearing in the first issue of Vogue.

However, her novel The Awakening, published 1899, drew a storm of criticism for its "shocking, morbid, and vulgar" story and quickly went out of print. The novel was not resurrected until the 1950s, when participants in the growing women's movement recognized its importance. Today, The Awakening is among the most-read American novels in colleges and universities and is considered an early example of American realism.

©1899 Herbert, Stone and Co. (P)1985 Jimcin Recordings

What listeners say about The Awakening

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Trembling. Bridge Between Tolstoy and Woolf

Wow, not the book a financial advisor should read/listen to right before leaving his wife to go on a business trip. This is another novel where it seems more important (well timed) than it is actually good (well written). Don't get me wrong, I think this is a fine (and important) piece of literary fiction, but it just isn't GREAT fiction. Chopin, to me, is a little like a trembling bridge between Leo Tolstoy and Virginia Woolf that isn't as perfected as Tolstoy and not as consuming as Woolf, but feels like an adequate literary step between the two.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good value!

I paid cash for this when I had no credits. For a dollar an hour, well, I don't know how they did it so inexpensively, but thank you very much. I gather this work is important to the women's movement and also as American literature. Being a lit major, I can now say I've listened. However, it will take another listen or two and some background study to appreciate the work better. Don't choose it for a fun listen; you'll be put to sleep, hardly awakened, with details of drawing rooms and calling cards and removing the hat and so on. This story is subtle, somewhat like Henry James. I remember wanting to shake the man in "Beast in the Jungle" and holler at him, "SHE LOVES YOU, LUNKHEAD!" That said, the story is almost embroidered on silk or painted with watercolors. The narrator gets the Southern accent nicely, but I never forget he is reading. Maybe this is because of the writing. He does read clearly and the whole production is quite flawless. So if your professor has assigned this work, download and enjoy. I know you will enjoy. OTOH for a really good listen, turn to Diana Gabaldon, Bryce Courtenay, or Alexander Dumas.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Poignantly narrated, attentive and captivative

What did you love best about The Awakening?

Walter Zimmerman narrates vibrantly than Grace Conlin any day.

What did you like best about this story?

Listening to a male's voice was more appealing. Grace Conlin sounded like she was reading a college textbbook and sounded like a bore.

What three words best describe Walter Zimmerman’s performance?

He spoke with depth of an novel that has ranked as one in my top ten

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

Yes...thrice.

Any additional comments?

Wonderful. I have many copies of this title and will treasure this story always.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A surprisingly captivating story...

If you could sum up The Awakening in three words, what would they be?

A...

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

Walter's narrative is ideal for the story but could be a bit more captivating in its style.

Any additional comments?

This is about how we often accept less in life... thinking that it's enough, only to discover in time that our path, our acceptance of the ordinary, and our choices have become the walls of our own prison...

A wonderfully rich story, a finely woven life... with a main character who provokes neither affection nor consideration for her situation and her choices, her responses or her relationships until you come to realise you have beome a part of the web of her life... and that by the end you are willingly walking with her to her ultimate freedom.

A good quality story.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I had the book, but this is beyond description...

Where does The Awakening rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best!

What other book might you compare The Awakening to and why?

It is a feminist movement book, probably the first of it's kind.

Which scene was your favorite?

All of them, but hte once that had french words had perfect pronunciation.

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

Yes, I was hooked.

Any additional comments?

I bought the book, but the experience with Audible was incredible. From now on only audio books, I love it! It is cheaper than the books. I have audible on my phone, my table and my computer. Thank you audible!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard to get into. Performance was lacking. The story was good from middle to the end.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Slow at start, but picks up

Where does The Awakening rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book is about a 2 or 3 in desire to turn on the iphone and listen.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The begining was tedious and rather boring.

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

I listen while I multi-task my life. I wouldn't have read this book in text.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • TS
  • 12-22-11

Lighter version of Anna Karenina

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

If you enjoy the late 1800s, then I would recommend this book. Chopin writes so exquisitely that you feel as though you were traveling back to that period with her. This book was a shock in its time, and I would guess it opened a door for other writers to take those same liberties. It did end like Anna Karenina though, which was disappointing. It doesn't quite hold up to the current vernacular, which can create a misunderstanding of the story or cause one to become bored.

What didn’t you like about Walter Zimmerman’s performance?

The book aside, I was happy to have Walter Zimmerman read the French pronunciations so well, however, his voice became irritating. Maybe it had to do more with the story though.

Was The Awakening worth the listening time?

Sort of. I belong to a book club and listening to this made the book come alive. With Chopin's use of vivid imagery you could see yourself walking alongside Edna to the tragic end.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good but flawed

It's certainly an interesting book, and its historical significance makes it all the more intriguing. However I found plenty of fault with the selfish "awakening" she finds... Certainly worth the read and a discussion, however.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This recording has a high-pitched sound throughout

There is a high-pitched sound that runs through most of this recording. It is a technical problem that was neither addressed nor remedied. I would not recommend buying this recording of this book.