The Minister's Black Veil

Narrated by: Walter Zimmerman
Length: 37 mins
4 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Minister's Black Veil was first published in the 1836 edition of The Token and Atlantic Souvenir. It later appeared in Twice-Told Tales, a collection of short stories by Hawthorne published in 1837. Hawthorne's inspiration for this story may have been a true event. A clergyman named Joseph Moody of York, Maine, nicknamed "Handkerchief Moody", accidentally killed a friend when he was a young man and wore a black veil from the man's funeral until his own death. The story concerns the minister of a small town who suddenly and inexplicably begins wearing a black veil that hangs from his forehead and covers his eyes and nose. As one charater in the story says, "He has changed himself into something awful, only by hiding his face." Hawthorne thus creates a dramtic story based around two of his common themes - the effects of secrecy and guilt.
©1836 The Token and Atlantic Souvenir (P)1984 Jimcin Recordings

What listeners say about The Minister's Black Veil

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One of those "why do I have to read this" books

What disappointed you about The Minister's Black Veil?

There was pretty much nothing interesting in the story to me. The writing was good, but the story was not compelling. I'm not a fan of this style, why read this one when there are more interesting stories by other authors in this same genre.

What could Nathaniel Hawthorne have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Had a better conclusion.

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

The performance was fine, I think he did the best possible with this source material.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The quality of the writing was very high, just not a good story.

Any additional comments?

Skip it unless you have to read it for school.