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84 Charing Cross Road Audiobook

84 Charing Cross Road

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Publisher's Summary

Told in a series of letters, this true story of the correspondence between a New York writer and a London bookseller has touched the hearts of thousands.

©1970 Helene Hanff; (P)2007 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"The twenty year correspondence between bookseller Frank Doel, who worked at Marks & Co, specialists in rare and second-hand books, and Helene Hanff, an impoverished New York writer with an irresistible urge to buy books, made joyous reading when it first appeared in 1970 and this unabridged recording of 84 Charing Cross Road makes pleasant listening." (The Express)
"Human kindness is wonderfully to the fore in this little classic of autobiography, and the combined readings of Juliet Stevenson and John Nettles characterise the writers exquisitely." (The Times)
"One of the subtlest, sharpest, most moving relationships ever formed between pen pals. I can't imagine it without Stevenson and Nettles. Her warmth, his reticence, their shared love of old books - onionskin pages, leather-bound and gold-embossed, with flyleaf dedications circa 1847 and pencilled notes in the margin - made me weep."(The Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (140 )
5 star
 (110)
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3 star
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Overall
4.8 (85 )
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Story
4.7 (84 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Crispin 03/06/2007
    Crispin 03/06/2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    "Truth Stranger than Fiction"

    A story told entirely in letters charting the relationship between two people who never meet. It is a cliche, but 84 Charing Cross Road is heartwarming, tender, funny and tragic. The relationship that develops between Helene Hanff (a spiky, impoverished New York writer) and Frank Doel (a conventional, formal English bookseller) is told through their correspondence as HH tries to obtain rare and obscure titles from the eponynous bookshop. That it is a true story told through the actual correspondence between the two makes it tremendously affecting.

    The story is beautifully read by Juliet Stevenson and John Nettles - brilliant casting - and the whole unabridged reading lasts barely 2 hours which just goes to show that the best things really do come in small packages.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lance Canterbury, United Kingdom 01/11/2009
    Lance Canterbury, United Kingdom 01/11/2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    35
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    "Love by mail"

    What a wonderful story. It was like waiting on the doorstep for the next letter to arrive. You could almost imagine rows and rows of books in a tiny shop. It was a love story yet, it wasn't. It was a lovely story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison St Pierre Lancashire 08/09/2013
    Alison St Pierre Lancashire 08/09/2013 Listener Since 2010

    Local Government Officer, listens to audiobooks whilst commuting, loves Biographies of quintessentially English eccentrics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Quintessentially English and bursting with charm."

    I really enjoyed this book! The description of London around the war time period and the incredibly English characters are a joy to imagine. I could see the bookshop and smell the books. This book gave a real insight into rationing and the joy of exchanging letters, (a dying art). Totally recommended!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fliss London, United Kingdom 14/06/2011
    Fliss London, United Kingdom 14/06/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An utter joy!"

    I laughed out loud and then wept on the train - and that's saying something.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Wolff London 21/08/2008
    A. Wolff London 21/08/2008 Member Since 2015

    warriorwoman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Short but Sweet"

    This is such a lovely book and a great recording. Only a couple of hours long but it is still worth downloading. This accompanied me on a long run and I was smiling through most of it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    20/11/2010
    20/11/2010 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "lovely listen"

    Really enjoyed this book - lovely true story - great book to listen to at bedtime.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JB Johnston UK 12/03/2015
    JB Johnston UK 12/03/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great!"

    Truly amazing! Loved it so very much. I would highly recommend this super classic. Wonderfully read and produced. Five stars!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flint 07/01/2015
    Flint 07/01/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
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    "It was a joy to listen to"
    If you could sum up 84 Charing Cross Road in three words, what would they be?

    An unexpected friendship


    What other book might you compare 84 Charing Cross Road to, and why?

    It's unique


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson and John Nettles ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, I haven't heard them reading anything else but they were both excellent in this so I will look out for their other work


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me smile, it was beautiful.


    Any additional comments?

    This is among my all time favourites

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tothemanorbornfreak 06/12/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    "Charming, poignant, witty and totally satisfying"
    What did you like most about 84 Charing Cross Road?

    The atmosphere. It was beautifully conveyed by the two narrators, who handled the 10+ voices superbly. I was transported to the side of every one.


    What other book might you compare 84 Charing Cross Road to, and why?

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, partly because of the format but also because of the similar effect it had of drawing me to each character. But I think 84 Charing Cross Road is better.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    All the ones in which Helene flew off the handle and sent tantrum letters to Frank. He never rose to the bait - perfect English gentleman! - but you could hear the twinkle in his voice.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I wouldn't, partly because there is already a film that I have yet to watch, but mainly because I can't see how a film could possibly add to the magic of the voices.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a beautifully written true story, very engaging and really really interesting. Especially to book lovers! Please listen to it, you won't be disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crispin 13/11/2014
    Crispin 13/11/2014 Member Since 2014

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
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    "Fact beats fiction"

    I am inclined to agree with Helene that a good true story beats fiction every time. This one is brilliantly done. I have not seen the film but would be surprised if it is a good, I suspect it has been jazzed up in the way that movies tend to. Juliet Stevenson and John Nettles do a brilliant job of bringing the characters back to life from the pages of their letters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Jool
    The Netherlands
    03/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just beautiful!"

    Wonderful book and beautifullynatrated. A joy to listen to. Whatever am I going to read or listen to next?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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