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A Room with a View

Narrated by: Rebecca Hall
Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (136 ratings)

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Summary

In this rich new audio production, acclaimed British American actress Rebecca Hall brings one of E. M. Forster's most admired works to life in this classic tale of human struggle.

A charming young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch, is wooed by both free-spirited George Emerson and wealthy Cecil Vyse while vacationing in Italy. Though attracted to George, Lucy becomes engaged to Cecil despite twice turning down his proposals. On hearing of the news, George confesses his love, leaving Lucy torn between marrying the more socially acceptable Cecil or George, the man she knows would bring her true happiness. Should Lucy choose social acceptance or true love?

It's both the quintessential Edwardian love story and a classic piece of social comedy, in which Forster is concerned with one of his favorite themes: the "undeveloped heart" of the English middle classes, here represented by a group of tourists and expatriates in Florence. Forster's disapproval of the era's restrictive conventions is reflected through his strong observation of character and society.

A Room with a View was ranked 79th on the Modern Library's list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The 1985 film adaptation by James Ivory won three Oscars.

Narrator Biography
Rebecca Hall is an award-winning British-American actress with extensive credits in stage and screen, including leading roles in Christine, Professor Marston & the Wonder Women, Frost/Nixon, and Vicky Christina Barcelona. As the daughter of two theater veterans - the stage director and Royal Shakespeare Company founder Peter Hall and the opera singer Maria Ewing - Rebecca began acting from an early age, and her mastery of the craft is on full display in her nuanced performance of A Room With a View, her debut audiobook narration. 

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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Forgotten How Good This Book Was...

What a wonderful and thought provoking story.

Rebecca Hall does an excellent job of reading this and it’s definitely a book I will come back to.

It’s also made me go back to other books written by the author.

5 people found this helpful

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A wonderful book

I must have read this novel five or six times. Not to mention seeing the young Helena Bonham Carter sashay through the excellent screen adaptation several times. It’s a story I love and decided to listen to it for the first time, reaffirming a view that it gives up new layers of meaning and Bon mots every time. I confess I wasn’t entirely convinced about the narrator - but I genuinely think that I am so familiar with the text that I was expecting to hear the voices I had already made in my imagination. But it was well done, immensely enjoyable and certainly my favourite Forester. If you’ve only seen the movie, get this and peel back the layers.

3 people found this helpful

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A good book let down by a poor reading

This story of the English class system, the attitude of 'society' and results on behaviour and the suppression of feelings is well worth a 'read'. For me, the second half, when the characters are back in England, is better paced than the first and the events in Italy (but that may well be a deliberate device of the author's to highlight the differences). The events however are a very good mechanism for the author to make his points and I enjoyed the book.

What was harder to cope with was the reading performance. The reader injects very little interest into the reading and at times seems to be encountering sentences without a full understanding of them. Her differentiating between the voices of the different characters is slight (particularly between the male characters) and in places disappears altogether. She doesn't give the listener any impression that she enjoyed the book. Perhaps she didn't? It may be that this reading has suffered in my estimation by comparison with Miriam Margolyes's truly outstanding interpretation of Bleak House which I finished not long before but I cannot recommend this version of a very enjoyable book.

1 person found this helpful

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Poor performance

This is a relatively poor reading of an exceptional novel. The reader lacked a connection with the spirit of the book.

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Delightful!

Rebecca Hall is an absolutely marvellous narrator. She makes everything come alive. Joyous book. Hopelessly romantic. In these times, that might be what we all need.

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  • LC
  • 12-07-19

A nice story - nothing special though

A nice story of conflict between our own identity and passions, and what we think we are supposed to be, based on what others want us to be.
Also painted a picture of a type of lifestyle during the period it was set, which was interesting.

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Did not enjoy the reading.

I really enjoy Rebecca Hall's films...she is a really good actress, but this reading irritated me to the extent that I gave up on it quite early in the story. I thought the tone used by the reader was at odds with my expectations....too modern, perhaps?
I was disappointed but I do think Rebecca Hall could be great reading a contemporary novel.

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Beautiful

Beautifully written and told. This Audible version (like the original book and, in my opinion the film too) is a pleasure from beginning to end. Rebecca Hall’s narration is magnificent

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slightly wooden narrator

Came back to this when I ran out of credits and so had to finish it! I found the narrator hard to listen to, but gradually found I was listening to the story not her. It is a beautiful story.

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Lovely story, a little tedious to listen to.

Having only ever seen the film adaptation of this book I thought I would try listening to it. Listening to the sweet gentility of a bygone era is a little cloying. I was really irked though at the class and race divide that was. You think I would know better than to be annoyed being a history scholar.

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  • Robert
  • 19-01-19

A lovely performance, and a wonderful story

Ms Hall provides the best audiobook performance I’ve heard in several years, with nuance and depth and energy and eager enthusiasm. Her male voices are a treat, delicious in the ways they are differentiated, via accent and pacing and affected tics, rather than through some attempted mimicry. Her female voices, similarly, are easily identifiable and depict the age and station of each character, admirably. I loved the full story, which provided insights into the characters I discovered were lacking in the popular film version.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Adam F
  • 18-09-18

Short and Sweet

Forster packs an impressive amount of emotion and character development into his story. It was a refreshing, quick read that I found hard to put down, I’d rank this right up there with other novels of early 20th century that I’ve read. A thought provoking read and a wonderful listen. Rebecca Hall was perfect for the roll, all her characters hit the mark. Highly recommended.

7 people found this helpful

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  • C_Whitley88
  • 10-04-19

Absolutely Brilliant

To disentangle my love for this book with my adoration of the 1985 movie, is nigh on impossible. I don't truly recall which I experienced first, but there is no way for a reread (certainly) to not feature the actors from the film as the same characters in the book in my mind.

Forster, who dealt heavily in writing about the division of classes in society, which is perhaps more starkly demonstrated in Howards End, lays his ideas down with a gentler and more personal hand. Maybe even a less jaded hand.

Miss Lucy Honeychurch, our protagonist, is filled to the brim with flustered versions of supposed-to's...that is, to say...She feels an obligation to the way one is supposed to behave, and be, and do, and live—as well as marry. But as she explores herself within this novel, she gets a firmer grasp on who she is, who she actually wants to be, and what her own ideals really are. Perhaps especially after coming face-to-face with the living embodiment of her ideals and modern thoughts in a father and son duo, the elder and younger Mr. Emersons. Or rather, they are at least two people whose own behavior and philosophies force her to question her own.

As with Howards End, Forster has created a similar little family vignette with no father barring the way and a kooky, rudderless younger brother (growing up without a male role model to constrain him into the typical masculine role of the day). I can't help but think that while there is undoubtedly a lot of Forster in his leading ladies (Miss Honeychurch here and Misses Schlegels in Howards End), I think there is a great deal of something known and familiar to Forster in the two younger brothers—Freddy Honeychurch and Tibby Schlegel. For a critique on early 20th century English society, I found it surprisingly filled with hope, beauty, and romance. There's a late-coming-of-age go at Lucy piecing together her own desires for life, and breaking free from the chains of society.

Audiobook, the Rebecca Hall version, A Room with a View: Rebecca Hall's voice and acting ability were brilliant for this. Her accents, both her own and any affected, as well as her interpretations of the characters, cleanly and neatly cemented this entanglement with the 1985 movie version in my mind. She brought this to life in such a way that felt truest to the tone and delivery in which the book was intended. I'd love to hear more from her.

2 people found this helpful

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  • None
  • 24-08-19

A perfect book

I’ve wanted to read A Room With A View for a long time and enjoyed every word. Perfect in every way. Will read/listen again and again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 11-06-19

Quite Good but a bit dated

I put off this book because I found the movie a bit boring. I liked this book, it was well written, with interesting characters and a nice story, yet it seems a bit dated to me. The overall theme is the emotional repression of the Edwardian English. When this was written (1908) this was a well presented and provocative theme. Now it is a nicely written love story.

The narration was clear, with good pacing and pleasant emotionality.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Arlene Olsen
  • 19-04-19

Love the book, the narration, the writing, the movie....

Who could not love E M Forester and his well written books! It’s such a delight to now listen to them by such a great narrator. Listen to the book, then watch the movie!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Qtsbuster
  • 23-03-19

Absolutely Brilliant!

I have long loved this movie and seen it many times. I jumped at the chance to add it to my Audible collection. The very best thing about this is the reading of it. Rebecca Hall delivered the very best reading of any book I have ever heard. She is absolutely a brilliant and necessary addition to this wonderful story. I cannot say enough how much I enjoyed her performance of this classic!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kathy
  • 11-03-20

BORING! BORING! BORING

Other than being boring and having an obvious ending, the reader’s Italian accent was really bad.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-01-20

A story so nice, I listened twice

Loved this performance by Rebecca Hall. So very well done! And what a great story. After finishing the first listen, I turned around and listened again. It was even better the second time. And it's not such a long book, as far as British classics go. Easy to follow, quick and light but also meaningful and profound.

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  • Karen de Bie
  • 13-01-20

Couldn’t finish

Narrator was good but I couldn’t stand the simple mindedness of the characters. I stopped about about a third of the way through.