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Stephen

Stephen Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom Member Since 2005

Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play.

HELPFUL VOTES
374
ratings
REVIEWS
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174
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  • "A world away......"

    Overall

    A world away from where I am, who I am and what I am...but this is a totally engaging, funny, interesting, challenging and rewarding world. Lots of well trodden paths, new places to explore, thoughts to think and reflections to bring to the world inside and outside the Vauxhall Vectra where I sat in comfortable isolation and enjoyed this book. Hours and hours of time well spent - no better recommendation whoever you are, whatever you are, whenever you can be there.

    More

    Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Lindsay Duncan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (115)

    Pride and Prejudice has delighted generations of readers with its unforgettable cast of characters, carefully choreographed plot, and a hugely entertaining view of the world and its absurdities. With the arrival of eligible young men in their neighbourhood, the lives of Mr and Mrs Bennet and their five daughters are turned inside out and upside down.

    Stephen says: "A world away......"
  • "The Curiosity of Time"

    Overall

    This is a book that I returned to approximately 35 years after reading it at school ? and very fond and vivid memories of the opening scenes being read out loud to the class with the homework to fill in the bits and then read it to its conclusion. The opening chapters still burn very bright in the memory ? based on the brightly drawn characters of Daniel Quilp, Kit Nubbles and the onomatopoeic Dick Swiveller. Each leaps back into the imagination untouched by time and ready to entertain.
    The domestic scene where Quilp returns unexpectedly to disrupt his wife and her mother sitting around with their cronies is one of the funniest scenes in literature ? and there are so many common-place references that stand this book at the centre of London life.
    A welcome stroll down memory lane ? sometimes a little winding and slow ? and, paradoxically a little too quick in parcelling up the ending. But, nonetheless the Dickens cannon is at the centre of the English novel and a welcome return to times gone by brought freshly into mind.

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    The Old Curiosity Shop

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Anton Lesser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Provoking an unprecedented outpouring of public grief when it was first published, it follows the story of Little Nell and her feckless grandfather. Forced to leave their magical shop of curiosities in London, they are pursued across the English countryside by the grotesquely evil dwarf Quilp. They escape - but at what cost?

    Stephen says: "The Curiosity of Time"
  • "A life perfectly summarised"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There is a short section right towards the end of this excellent novel that perfectly and concisely summarises all that has gone before - puts everything in context, identifies the meaning, the significance and draws together all that has been proposed and learned in constructing and estimation of this life.

    It is very easy to draw a comparison and contrast chart with Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach and to look again at the shortcomings of the last novel that I read before this one - Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. But, ideally, great novels and literature should be allowed and deserve to stand and be considered on their own. The dry, mid-Western tone, the stale taste of classroom, library and books, the heaped insignificance of small conversations and long carried burdens of petty resentments and the difficult conversation not had.....I loved every page of it and felt that the final section delivered back more than my money’s worth as a reflective exercise on the considerations and insight that make up a life closely observe.

    The fact that the author departed the scene before all of the plaudits came adds to the piquancy of the sensation that has and will grow up around this one. It has all the essential elements that is required of the contemporary literary myth - but delivers an engaging and wonderful read and is a great reminder of just how good mid-twentieth century American literature became. Think DeLillo, think Updike, think Richard Yates, read John Williams!

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    Stoner

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Williams
    • Narrated By Robin Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (123)

    William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, far different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments.

    Stephen says: "A life perfectly summarised"
  1. Pride and Prejudice
  2. The Old Curiosity Shop
  3. Stoner
  4. .

A powerful 20th century classic

The timeless tale of Pip

What's Trending in Classics:

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UNABRIDGED) by Bram Stoker Narrated by Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren, Susan Duerden, John Lee, Graeme Malcolm, Steven Crossley

    Dracula [Audible Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

    Greg says: "Frankenstein Assemblage From Anaemic All-Star Cast"
  • Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh (






UNABRIDGED) by Joseph Conrad Narrated by Kenneth Branagh

    Heart of Darkness: A Signature Performance by Kenneth Branagh

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By Kenneth Branagh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    Story
    (57)

    A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.

    Tom says: "An Old Master Brought to Life"
  • Great Expectations (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Dickens Narrated by Simon Prebble

    Great Expectations

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
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    (2)

    One of the most revered works in English literature, Great Expectations traces the coming of age of a young orphan, Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations into a man of maturity. From the chilling opening confrontation with an escaped convict to the grand but eerily disheveled estate of bitter old Miss Havisham, all is not what it seems in Dickens' dark tale of false illusions and thwarted desire.

    Barbara says: "Difficult to stop listening to it"
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UNABRIDGED) by Wilkie Collins Narrated by Ian Holm

    The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Ian Holm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (95)
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    (97)

    Late one moonlit night, Walter Hartright encounters a solitary and terrified woman dressed all in white. He saves her from capture by her pursuers, and determines to solve the mystery of her distress and terror. This gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness and mistaken identity has never been out of print since its publication.

    Anthony says: "Fantastic"
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UNABRIDGED) by Charles Dickens Narrated by Martin Jarvis

    David Copperfield

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
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    Story
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    When David Copperfield escapes from the cruelty of his childhood home, he embarks on a journey to adulthood which leads him through comedy and tragedy, love and heartbreak, and friendship and betrayal.

    Barry says: "The Greatest"
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UNABRIDGED) by Elizabeth Gaskell Narrated by Juliet Stevenson

    North and South

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
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    Story
    (75)

    Set in the context of Victorian social and medical debate, this novel is about rebellion, posing fundamental questions about the nature of social authority and obedience. This revised edition draws on recent theoretical work on gender and class.

    grainne says: "Romance and Finance"
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UNABRIDGED) by Elizabeth Gaskell Narrated by Prunella Scales

    Cranford

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Narrated By Prunella Scales
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
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    Story
    (18)

    A portrait of the residents of an English country town in the mid-19th century, Cranford relates the adventures of Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two middle-aged spinster sisters striving to live with dignity in reduced circumstances.

    Sharon says: "Best Cranford Reading!"
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UNABRIDGED) by William Makepeace Thackeray Narrated by John Castle

    Vanity Fair [AudioGo]

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By William Makepeace Thackeray
    • Narrated By John Castle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Set during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, this classic gives a satirical picture of a worldly society. The novel revolves around the exploits of the impoverished but beautiful and devious Becky Sharp.

    Clare says: "A glorious romp of a novel!"
  •  
  • Barchester Towers (






UNABRIDGED) by Anthony Trollope Narrated by Timothy West

    Barchester Towers

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Timothy West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    Barchester Towers, Trollope's most popular novel, is the second of the six Chronicles of Barsetshire. Trollope continues the story, begun in The Warden, of Mr Harding and his daughter Eleanor.

    Francis says: "West is best"
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UNABRIDGED) by Harper Lee Narrated by Sissy Spacek

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the '30s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much. To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, an anti-racist novel, a historical drama of the Great Depression and a sublime example of the Southern writing tradition.

    Neil S. Reddy says: "Wonderful edition"
  • A Tale of Two Cities (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Dickens Narrated by Martin Jarvis

    A Tale of Two Cities

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (201)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (62)

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"; "It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known"; so the novel begins and ends with some of Dicken's best-known words, and between the two is every Briton's view of the worst excesses of the French Revolution.

    David says: "The best of books, the best of readers"
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Volume 1 (






UNABRIDGED) by J.R.R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    Overall
    (676)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (226)

    In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.

    Ian says: "Superb production"
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UNABRIDGED) by Lev Tolstoj Narrated by Karsten Pharao

    Kreutzersonaten [The Kreutzer Sonata]

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lev Tolstoj
    • Narrated By Karsten Pharao
    Overall
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    Performance
    (0)
    Story
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    I Kreutzersonaten beretter en midaldrende mand efter sin frifindelse for mord om sit ægteskabelige helvede, der mundede ud i et jalousidrab på hustruen. Under beretningen gør han sig tanker om seksuel frihed, cølibat, kærlighed og samliv i ægteskabet.

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UNABRIDGED) by Lev Tolstoj Narrated by Bent Otto Hansen

    Ivan Ilíitsj's død [The Death of Ivan Ilyich]

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Lev Tolstoj
    • Narrated By Bent Otto Hansen
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    Ivan Ilíitsj har som midaldrende efter mange års hårdt arbejde opnået den attraktive stilling som højesteretsdommer. Men på toppen af sin karriere bliver han som 45-årig syg, og efter nogen tid går det langsomt op for ham, at sygdommen er dødelig. Vi får en skildring af hans svingninger mellem håb og frygt for døden og følelsen af det uretfærdige i, at netop han skal rammes i en forholdsvis ung alder efter et pletfrit levned.

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UNABRIDGED) by Rebecca West Narrated by Flo Gibson

    The Return of the Soldier

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    • By Rebecca West
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    Overall
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UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Flo Gibson

    Julius Caesar

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A fickle public is fully supportive of Caesar's would-be assassins - until they actually do assassinate him. Discover wher political back-stabbing really got its start in this timeless tale of murder and revenge.

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UNABRIDGED) by Lev Tolstoj Narrated by Bent Otto Hansen

    Herre og tjener [Master and Servant]

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Lev Tolstoj
    • Narrated By Bent Otto Hansen
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
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    Den rige købmand Vasili Andréitsj Brekhunóf drager en mørk eftermiddag i december ud på en slæderejse med sin tjener Nikita for at købe et stykke skov, før andre får nys om det. Turen til nabosognet går absolut ikke som planlagt; vinden tager til, sneen ødelægger sigtbarheden, og de farer gang på gang vild.

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UNABRIDGED) by Aldous Huxley Narrated by Dan Schlosser

    Fagre nye verden [Brave New World]

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Aldous Huxley
    • Narrated By Dan Schlosser
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    Fagre nye verden handler om bagsiden af vore drømmes mål: romanen skildrer med bidende ironi fremskridtstankens endestation. Romanen foregår i London, 632 år efter Ford. Det er et rationelt og tilsyneladende humant samfund. Genmanipulation og mental kontrol sikrer borgerne og samfundet mod overraskelser.

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UNABRIDGED) by H. G. Wells Narrated by Flo Gibson

    The Wonderful Visit

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By H. G. Wells
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    Overall
    (0)
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    When the Vicar of a small village accidentally shoots down a "strange bird" it turns out to be an angel, who finds the customs and manners of Earth very strange indeed!

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UNABRIDGED) by Hermann Hesse Narrated by Bent Otto Hansen

    Siddhartha [Danish Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Hermann Hesse
    • Narrated By Bent Otto Hansen
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    Siddhartha er en buddhistisk inspireret dannelsesroman skrevet i en enkel lyrisk stil. Den foregår i Indien på Buddhas tid og fortæller om den smukke, velbegavede brahmanersøn Siddhartha, der forlader sit barndomshjem i søgen efter en højere mening og et harmonisk selv.

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UNABRIDGED) by Robert C. Benchley Narrated by Flo Gibson

    Of All Things!

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert C. Benchley
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    The titles in this delightful collection of essays include: "The Social Life of the Newt", "Coffee, Megg and Ilk, Please", "When Genius Remained Your Humble Servant", "The Tortures of Week-End Visiting", "Gardening Notes", "Lesson Number One", "Thoughts on Fuel Saving", "Not According To Hoyle", "From Nine To Five", "Turning Over A New Ledger Leaf", "A Piece of Roast Beef", "The Community Masque As A Substitute For War" and "Call For Mr. Kenworthy".

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UNABRIDGED) by Lev Tolstoj Narrated by Bent Otto Hansen

    Udvalgte fortællinger [Featured Stories]

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Lev Tolstoj
    • Narrated By Bent Otto Hansen
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Denne samling omfatter fire folkefortællinger fra jævne folks dagligliv. Alle bringer de Tolstojs budskab om, at det centrale i livet er næstekærligheden. I Pas på ilden vises de fatale følger af gen-gældelse fremfor tilgivelse i et eskalerende had mellem naboer.

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UNABRIDGED) by Henrik Pontoppidan Narrated by Dan Schlosser

    Mands Himmerig [Man's Heaven]

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Henrik Pontoppidan
    • Narrated By Dan Schlosser
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
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    Mands Himmerig (1927) er Pontoppidans sidste roman. Romanen giver et tidsbillede af årene op til og under starten af Første Verdenskrig. Den skildrer den kompromisløse og idealistiske redaktør Niels Thorsen, der gennem sine hudflettende artikler forsøger at bekæmpe den udbredte egoisme og materialisme, der hersker såvel i pressen som i det politiske liv.

  • Mørkets hjerte [Heart of Darkness] (






UNABRIDGED) by Joseph Conrad Narrated by Torben Sekov

    Mørkets hjerte [Heart of Darkness]

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joseph Conrad
    • Narrated By Torben Sekov
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Mørkets hjerte bygger på Conrads oplevelser som flodkaptajn i Belgisk Congo, 1890. Fortælleren Marlow beretter her om, hvordan han rejser op ad floden og ind i 'mørkets hjerte' for at finde den udstationerede belgiske elfenbensjæger Kurtz. Det viser sig, at Kurts fra et humant og ædelt udgangspunkt har udviklet sig til en begærlig materialist og despot, der hersker uindskrænket over de omkringboende indfødte.