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Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories | [Oscar Wilde]

Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories

"Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales continue to exert the same pull over the imagination and emotions as they did when he first read them to his children in the 1880s. Written with inspired poetic intensity and sudden flowerings of the matchless wit for which he is so well remembered, the stories combine the wisdom of parables with the impact of drama."
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Publisher's Summary

"Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales continue to exert the same pull over the imagination and emotions as they did when he first read them to his children in the 1880s. Written with inspired poetic intensity and sudden flowerings of the matchless wit for which he is so well remembered, the stories combine the wisdom of parables with the impact of drama. I have loved them since I was a child: indeed they continue to make a child of me. I do not mind admitting that at the recording some passages were hard to read out loud without choking. I hope you will be as entranced by them as I have always been." written by Stephen Fry.

©2008 SamFry Limited; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

©2008 SamFry Limited (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

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  •  
    Wendy Denny, Stirlingshire, United Kingdom 01/02/2009
    Wendy Denny, Stirlingshire, United Kingdom 01/02/2009 Member Since 2008
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    "A family favourite"

    These short, but entertaining, stories are a big hit with both my 'near teenage' son and my 20 year old daughter. Stephen's voice is, as always, a pleasure to listen to; and the stories are both entertaining and engaging.
    I recommend this for a car journey where you want everyone to just calm down.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom 05/03/2011
    Tim High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom 05/03/2011
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    "More than just kid's stories.."

    Having seen the other reviews, I was wary of this product & thought it may prove to be a flat note in Stephen Fry's/ Oscar Wilde's repertoire. Happily both were on top form with Oscar Wilde writing some devilishly clever stories, with his protegee Stephen Fry giving just the right voice to do them justice.

    All in all, there are 6 stories (including a story-within-a-story) at 15- 30 minutes a piece, so they are manageable in a long car journey/ walk. They are as follows:

    1) The Devoted Friend
    2) The Happy Prince
    3) The Nightingale and the Rose
    4) The Remarkable Rocket
    5) The Selfish Giant
    6) The Young King

    With all the stories I was expecting them to be either old fashioned or babyish. Fortunately they are neither & you can see why Fry says on the back cover that 'I do not mind admitting that at the recording some passages were hard to read out loud without choking'.

    Like the 'Stephen Fry Presents - Short Stories by Anton Chekhov', though, I have the same nagging grievance - why is it only 6 stories & 2 hours 14 minutes of material? Fair enough that Wilde wrote few short stories, but a double album with the Chekhov stuff (or better still with some of Wilde's under-rated poetry) would have made a much more desirable product.

    That said, I can think of few instances where a great narrator has been so perfectly matched with an author. Wilde & Fry are very much cut from the same cloth & Fry has even made a film playing his doupelganger.
    The only thing I can think of comparable to this pairing is that of Dawkins reading Darwin on 'On The Origin of Species' & I wonder why it is not done more often.
    Can anyone imagine The Queen reading 'Queen Victoria's Journals', or Terry Pratchett reading 'The Lord of the Rings'? It would give a whole new meaning to the phrase 'bringing a book to life'...

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren LondonUnited Kingdom 22/08/2009
    Lauren LondonUnited Kingdom 22/08/2009
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    "Simply Delicious"

    I could not help crying as I heard the story of the Selfish Giant, and the voice of Stephen Fry reading the story simply made the entire listening experience delicious. It is a guilty pleasure of mine to listen to a wee bedtime story, and this audiobook is the perfect thing for a sleepy-head. For children and adults alike. As I say, it is simply delicious.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gustav London, United Kingdom 17/06/2012
    Gustav London, United Kingdom 17/06/2012 Member Since 2009
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    "Oscar Wilde + Stephen Fry = Truth"

    How could you possibly go wrong when you combine Oscar Wilde and Stephen Fry? They were made for each other!

    I don't like short story compendiums very much, so the fact that I gave this a 4 is a good rating. (5 are reserved for books that truly moves me.)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian London, United Kingdom 10/02/2011
    Ian London, United Kingdom 10/02/2011
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    "Fry brings Wilde to life"

    That these stories were written by Wilde for his own children just makes them all the more special. Stephen Fry narrates them with his usual inimitable style and charm and really brings them to life.

    The story that stood out for me was the tale of The Happy Prince. Hearing it again brought back memories of it being read to me in school assembly and it was read with such tenderness by Fry it is hard not to feel emotional as the narrative progresses.

    I had downloaded the book to listen to with my daughter as she went to sleep but I stayed listening long after she had dropped off. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna HarrietshamUnited Kingdom 12/01/2010
    Donna HarrietshamUnited Kingdom 12/01/2010
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    "A gem of an audiobook for young & old alike !"

    Exceptionally narrated by Stephen Fry, these classic Oscar Wilde stories which include "The Unfriendly Giant" and the "The Happy Prince" reminds us of the need for giving to those who are not as fortunate as ourselves, and to embrace those who appear different and show them kindness and love. A great moral builder for children, and reminder for us adults. A gem of an audiobook!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yaser 08/07/2014
    Yaser 08/07/2014 Member Since 2014
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    "Read and written by masters!"
    What made the experience of listening to Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories the most enjoyable?

    I read the stories when I was a child. Having them read by Stephen Fry brought back some fond childhood memories. If you have children I find that these stories are great for them to listen to and to discuss the morals in the stories.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories?

    The Selfish Giant used to be a little scary for one of the younger children in the family. However, a year later they were loving the story as they could understand it better. (Age 9)


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The Happy Prince where the swallow takes all the things the prince gives to help the people. So moving!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could happily listen to it in one sitting, although the book is split into 6 short stories so can be listened to in a number of sittings.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GenKan 30/05/2014
    GenKan 30/05/2014 Member Since 2014

    Gaming addict living the rat race

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    "My favorite book on Audible"
    What did you like most about Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories?

    How sweet you can make a character, then add some feeling from Stephen and you get a perfect combination. Fell in love with almost every character


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories?

    The end of "The Selfish Giant", had me almost crying
    Took so many unexpected turns, made adjustments, came to a conclusion and didn't end up in a perfect situation but was contempt. Just to end a way I never expected


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    "The Nightingale and the Rose" when the bird tried to fix the rose.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I would take a break between stories to get to process them a bit. Not sure but felt like they were somewhere around 30-45 min so to me it was a perfect sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    Its just a perfect choice of stories, narrator and the timelessness of the stories really make them work until the end of time.

    If I had to describe this collection with three words it would be: heartbreaking and heartwarming

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Gloucester, United Kingdom 23/12/2012
    Mr Gloucester, United Kingdom 23/12/2012
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    "Reliving childhood memories"

    As a child I loved reading the short stories of Oscar Wilde and have vivid memories of the golden statue of the happy prince and his little swallow who stays with him and the selfish giant's garden. What a joy therefore to discover these six tales on Audible to relive those memories and play them to my children. Stephen Fry is an excellent reader, and somehow manages to capture both the simplicity and complexity of these tales, that have just as much to offer to me now as an adult as they did as a child. It is great to be able to share these tales now with my children and to see that Wilde's stories impact them just as much as they did me when I was there age. Too good not to share.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Wallington, United Kingdom 16/01/2012
    Joan Wallington, United Kingdom 16/01/2012 Member Since 2010
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    "A Beautiful Combination"

    I have long loved listening to Stephen Fry's narrations and what a treat this is to have him read Oscar Wilde, a part he (Fry) was born to play and did so well. Some people feel Wilde is rather passe but I have long believed him to be one of the greatest writers in the English language, carefully judged phrases and word structure generally, perhaps second only to Shakespeare and well above some modern writers. Oscar Wilde and Stephen Fry, a beautiful combination indeed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Jennifer
    ARDMORE, PA, United States
    17/09/12
    Overall
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    "Unexpected"
    Would you listen to Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories again? Why?

    I'm not sure if I would listen again. I love listening to Stephen Fry, regardless of what he's reading, really. But the tone of this collection of short stories left me in a peculiar mood. I was not very familiar with much of Wilde's work, I have read one or two plays, but never his stories like these. They were fable-like, contained lots of moral lessons...but not in your usual bedtime story or fairytale manner. They were portrayed in a very cynical, pessimistic, sometimes almost defeated sounding way. If the author wrote them intending a commentary on the degradation of society and drowning out of innocent good in the world, lost to pompery and selfishness, he succeeded in sharing his disillusionment.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    They were interesting to me because they made me experience a new emotional reaction, and a memorable one because it defied my expectations. Every one of the stories had incredible imagery, and painted scenes more real and often more heart-wrenching than your average short-story. Though they contained vivid characters, both noble and ridiculous, and good stories, they left me feeling a little unfulfilled in their conclusions because though the plots formed and progressed and ended, for the most part they don't follow a satisfying pattern of problems being solved, protagonists succeeding, antagonists becoming enlightened and changing their ways, and good triumphing over evil.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Really, every story moved me, but the two that have struck me the most and pulled at my heart-strings still, days and days after listening, were the moments of the self-sacrifice of the birds in both "The Happy Prince" and "The Nightingale and The Rose", both for the good of a man/mankind, and both unappreciated by the world.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • ali
    Geraldton, Australia
    09/05/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "curl up for an evening in"
    If you could sum up Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories in three words, what would they be?

    warm, heartfelt, thoughtprovoking


    Have you listened to any of Stephen Fry’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Just as excellent as every else he has done. (yes I am a Fry fan!)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no, this is a treat to dip into


    Any additional comments?

    This was a lovely listen, perfect for a cool winter's night to cuddle up and listen to the mesmerising voice of Stephen Fry. The imagery is beautiful and there is always a sting to make you think. It is like having a favourite uncle read to you.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Natalie
    Martinez, CA, United States
    04/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Literary Perfection"
    What did you love best about Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories?

    The perfect marriage of narrator and story telling.


    What other book might you compare Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories to and why?

    The Bible meets The Wind In The Willows. This collection of stories is quite full of lessons on the beauty of love & vanity cloaked in children's stories.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The Happy Prince - the sacrifice of true love.


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

    2 stories illicit tears.


    Any additional comments?

    If Oscar Wilde were alive he would be Stephen Frye.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher
    San Diego, CA, United States
    21/09/13
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    "An excellent listen"

    It's always special to listen to Stephen Fry read. It's extra special when he reads something that he himself loves and he loves Oscar Wilde.

    This is a collection of very entertaining children stories. I'm not sure if we would consider these 'children stories' today but like Grimm's fairy tales they were at least intended to be for children when they were written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Melissa
    Washington, DC, USA
    22/01/10
    Overall
    "Fantastic for the whole family!"

    These stories are fabulous for trips, sparking lots of family conversations. Stephen Fry is terrific as the haughty miller!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Carlo Hagemann
    the Netherlands
    30/05/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Why did I stop listening after two stories?"
    Any additional comments?

    I really liked the first two stories. The narration is definitely ok. But still, I was not hungry for more than those two first fairy tales. To me, Oscar Wilde will always be the author of 'Dorian Gray', not the man of the short stories.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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