©2008 SamFry Limited (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
"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.
"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'...
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.
"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!
"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.
"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.)
"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.
"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.
"Well Read !"
I've listened to a few audio books by Stephen Fry now, and not only is he entertaining, with this one he brings the stories to life. Especially like the story about the farmer and the wheelbarrow. He portrays the characters very well and sets the scene spot on. I've never read anything by Oscar Wilde at all and did not know what to expect - will certainly considering delving now into some more of his famous works.
A great introduction, and well read.
This collection of Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales range from the charming to the unutterably touching. If you don?t need to hold back a tear on hearing these superbly narrated stories, then your heart must indeed be cold. Wilde?s wonderful use of language will cross all age barriers and the poignancy of each tale will stay with you daylong. I thoroughly recommend them to all.
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