• The Life of Samuel Johnson

  • By: James Boswell
  • Narrated by: Jim Killavey
  • Length: 32 hrs and 48 mins
  • 3.7 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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The Life of Samuel Johnson  By  cover art

The Life of Samuel Johnson

By: James Boswell
Narrated by: Jim Killavey
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Publisher's summary

This book is considered by many to be the finest literary biography ever published. Samuel Johnson was the leading literary scholar and critic of his age, helping to define the Augustan Age of English Literature. He is as celebrated for his brilliant conversation as he is for his writing. He began contributing to London magazine around 1737 on literary and political subjects. Johnson's place in history and literature was assured with the publication of his Dictionary of the English Language, the first comprehensive English lexicography. In 1763 Johnson met James Boswell and, by 1791, The Life of Samuel Johnson appeared. Boswell recorded Johnson's conversation so minutely that Johnson is better remembered today for his sayings than for his own literary work. His biography is generally regarded as one of the greatest in the language.
Public Domain (P)1989 Jimcin Recordings

What listeners say about The Life of Samuel Johnson

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great if...

If you are interested in history and biography, this book gives a fascinating portrayal of its time and of probably the most famous man of that time.
A word of warning - listen to the sample. It is an English book but read by an American. I happen to like that - I find English accents call too much attention to themselves..at least for me. Some feel the opposite though so...listen first.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Such a Shame

The book was so promising, lively, witty, literate, entertaining. But I realized after half an hour, there was no way I could listen to this reader for 33 hours. For sheer monotone, lack of expression, insistence on pausing every five or six words, making no vocal distinction whatsoever when a character begins to speak, and overall indifference to the material read, I have seldom heard his equal. For those of you familiar with the site, he reminded me of a LibriVox volunteer reader. A drone to say the least. The book deserves so much more.

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19 people found this helpful