The Scarlet Letter

Narrated by: Flo Gibson
Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (202 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

This powerful story of passion, adultery, honor, and repression caused a tremendous controversy in 1850 when it was published, because of its provocative subject matter. Set in Puritan New England, the novel begins with Hester Prynne, a young woman with an illegitimate baby daughter, leaving prison to face her scornful townsfolk. Forced to wear a scarlet letter "A" to remind people of her adultery, Hester obstinately holds her head high and refuses to reveal the father of her child. In the process she cuts herself off from society - and her lover. Why won't Hester reveal her secret? The answer has much to do with guilt, passion, and repentance - timeless themes within a splendid story that has remained a literary classic for over a century.

Public Domain (P)2003 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"A masterpiece." (Henry James)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    69
  • 4 Stars
    63
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    23

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    60
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    15

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    68
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    18

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Unbearable quality recording

This is by far the worst audible program I have purchased. It is a wonderful story; however, this production is utterly unintelligible. I listened to the sample before purchasing the title and thought it was tolerable. It was nearly impossible to understand the narrator much of the time due to the horrible quality. I have purchased other books such as this (originally recorded in 1 and upgraded to 2) and have been able to understand them fine.

The story is wonderful, but utterly not worth trying to wade through this awful recording. At the time I purchased it this was the only unabridged version. I urge you to skip this one and try the other.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Unintelligible

This book is so ridiculously hard to understand in my car that I couldn't listen to it.

5 people found this helpful

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

The reading of the Scarlet Letter

The story was read thoroughly. The change in the readers voice to signify the different characters was a bit of a distraction.

1 person found this helpful

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

ok

I couldn't finish the book. it was not the performance/the voice. it was the book.

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

Chapter markings don't line up at all!

Very poorly done. The chapter heading reads "Chapter 9" when the narrator says, "Chapter 2: The Marketplace." This makes it maddening to keep up with where you are in the story, and impossible to plan out listening to a chapter. The narrator reads it with feeling, and is enjoyable enough, but I highly suggest getting a different version.

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

not the right book

was using this to help me understand and used this one and realized was a totally different book from mine

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

Great book; narration a challenge

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator puts too much effort into the voices of the characters, and makes them either pathetic (Hester and Dimmesdale), laughable (Chillingsworth), or cloying (Pearl). I don't believe any of it is supported by the text.

Any additional comments?

The narrator's talents were well suited, I thought, to the long introduction concerning the custom house. It's a chapter first-time readers might do well to skip, although, once worked through, it's a wonderful piece of writing, and the narrator does a good job capturing its humor, which is possible to miss on the page.

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

boring

narrator and content were terrible, worst book i had to read for an assignment ever

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

Still resonates!

Even after a span of 160 years this story by Mr. Hawthorne still captures the essence of human nature with a humor and whit not often displayed in these much later days.

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

Disappointed....

Sadly, I found that this book was ruined by the reader. The voice seemed old, crone like, rough and manly although the reader is a woman.

Although the sensibilities of both the time of the story and the time of it's writing are both some what foreign to most of us today, still the character of Hester was more cowed than would render her a heroine. Also the portrayal of the little daughter as a wicked sprite was less than generous.