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The House of the Seven Gables

Narrated by: Anthony Heald
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
4 out of 5 stars (298 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In a sleepy little New England village stands a dark, weather-beaten, many-gabled house. This brooding mansion is haunted by a centuries-old curse that casts the shadow of ancestral sin upon the last four members of the distinctive Pyncheon family of Salem.

The greed and haughty pride of the Pyncheon family through the generations is mirrored in the gloomy decay of their seven-gabled mansion, where the family's enfeebled and impoverished relations now live. Mysterious deaths threaten the living. Musty documents nestle behind hidden panels carrying the secret of the family's salvation - or its downfall.

A brilliant intertwining of the popular, the symbolic, and the historical, Hawthorne's Gothic romance is a powerful exploration of personal and national guilt, a work that Henry James declared "the closest approach we are likely to have to the Great American Novel".

Public Domain (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Classic Thriller

It seems I've learned this lesson many times, and each time I think I've finally "got it," but then find myself learning it again:: Classics don't have to be "hard," and old authors of classics are not (necessarily) dry and long winded and stodgy. I was a little nervous about approaching a book written by the author of "The Scarlett Letter," but I needn't have been, as "The House of Seven Gables" was as unlike its sister novel as I am unlike my siblings. Whatever similarities are merely due to the author's linguistic environment; If written in the 21st centry the main difference in this telling of The House of Seven Gables and today's would be a few coloquialisms. Enough of that: the plot is interesting, the characters fascinating, the telling of the tale witty and believable and sympathetic. The narrator also does a great job conveying the various characters and their motivations. I found I loved this book and would definitely choose it again.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A Skillful Narration

Anthony Heald is an excellent narrator. His characterizations are distinct and never overdone. I very much enjoyed his consistently good work with this novel of one of my favorite authors.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Excellent Classic

Intriguing story;a mystery with a touch of horror.But perhaps what makes it timeless is it's study of human character.I had read the book in the past and liked it at the time.What made the story so much more interesting that the hard copy was the excellent narration.The narrator's tone and faultless rendition transported the listener with him to the century , watching and feeling with the characters so completely that the experience was more like viewing an excellent stage production.Recommend this audiobook to those who enjoy the classics and also to those who have found reading classical works dry and tedious and to all who enjoy studies of human psychology.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

They just dont write 'em like they used ta

Great story. Great writing. Great narrator. Finished it, very appropriately on Thanksgiving Day. Thanks Mr. Hawthorne, and thanks also to Mr Heald for an excellent reading.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Try Joan Allen's Abridged Version

This is one of the few books I'd advise people to buy in abridged form, as there's whole sections that seem to have little to do with anything and that don't advance the plot much. Over and over again, too, you'll realize six or seven minutes have passed and the story is still discussing the same point from several minutes ago.

That said, I liked parts of the book and characters and plot and moodiness of it in places.

What was very hard about this book was listening to the narrator. The modulation in his voice seemed to rise and fall even within single words and I was constantly, and I mean constantly straining to hear what he was saying. It didn't matter if it was on my iPhone with the app, in the car through the car stereo, or projected over to a smart speaker or what, I simply couldn't hear the guy well, or I was, and then the volume would dip to a near whisper.

It was such a non-stop strain I started looking for other versions of the book I'd already bought to try them.

I'm glad I read the story finally, but I've got hundreds of books from Audible and have never run across a single one that was such a strain to listen to from beginning to end.

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

Classic read with pleasant voice, great articulation.

Anthony Heald brings Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic to life. He is able to create and maintain a unique voice for each main character.

No need to critique Mr. Hawthorne he continues to stand in a league of his own. This is intelligent reading/listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • MANHATTAN, KS, United States
  • 08-27-18

Odious actor from Silence of the Lambs narrates

Utterly ruining Hawthorne's delicious prose by uttering every word in the same supercilious, fussy, pretentious voice you'll remember from every typecast role he has ever played as a superfluous, fussy, pretentious narcissist. I wish I could get a refund.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

great narration!

it's an American classic with a lot of old writing. but the narration really worked! his inflection and character voice's really helped keep the story flowing and helped me enjoy this story that much more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Mr. Heald Delivers

Anthony Heald’s narration brings the story to life. Hawthorne seems to be one of the few authors of classic literature that doesn’t induce chronic eye rolling. He is, however, verbose to the point of tedium...ad nauseam, etc. If it weren’t for the five-star narration, I may have missed out on, what is invariably a silly story, but enjoyable nonetheless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • G. Steyn
  • Newton, MA United States
  • 01-26-09

Great narrator, but not such a wonderful book

I didn't like Hawthorne in high school, but decided to give him another try, almost 20 years later. Sadly, although the narrator does a fantastic job, he just can't save this book. The individual scenes are beautiful, but they don't add up to much -- just about everything important in the story happens off-stage.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful