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Summary

The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, magnum opus, tells the story of Hester Prynne, who gives birth two years after separation from her husband and is condemned to wear the scarlet letter A on her breast as punishment for her adultery. She resists all attempts of the 17th century Boston clergy to make her reveal the name of her child’s father while she struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity.

Public Domain (P)2011 Cherry Hill Publishing

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars

Abridged. Lacks The Custom-House Introduction

What disappointed you about The Scarlet Letter?

This is abridged. It is-lacking the lengthy "Custom-House" introduction written by the author. In the introduction we are told that the author worked in the Boston Custom-House and there discovered a cloth embroidered with the letter "A". Hawthorne DID work in the custom house, but that he discovered the embroidered "A" cloth is fictitious. The introduction must not be removed because it sets up why the following story is told. IF it is removed, customers must be told that it has been removed!

Secondly, the narration by Ian Lynch is TERRIBLE. His intonations for female characters and children are atrocious. They sound fake, shrill and unpleasant. There is too much dialog to ignore these unpleasant interludes. Also, in his reading of the lines the narrator stops and pauses in the wrong places.

This is a very good story. What is says is valid still today and Hawthorne's prose is perceptive and beautiful. I recommend that you choose a different audiobook!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Savannah
  • 23-06-14

Trust Me-- Try It!

Where does The Scarlet Letter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is the first audible I have listened to, and it is wonderful! The narration was great, and the plot was deep, but not beyond understanding.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Scarlet Letter?

When the two lovers decide to leave the harsh world they face daily, and run away together.

What does Ian Lynch bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I will be honest. This book would be a hard read. It is decently old, and the language can be difficult (although, as an 8th grader, I have read harder, so it isn't impossible). But, listening to it made it so that you could understand what was happening, even if you didn't understand the sentence.

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

No.

Any additional comments?

Be brave, and try it. This is my new favorite book! Even though it is old, it will have you on the edge of your seat one moment, and swept off your feet the next. It is romantic (and, in my opinion, romance is better with old English aka. Pride and Prejudice) and sometimes creepy.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Maman
  • 16-06-14

A joy to listen to

Where does The Scarlet Letter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is among my top three.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved that that the story unfolds so beautifully. Although you know what is going to happen from the beginning it is very compelling and has lots of very lovely moments.

What about Ian Lynch’s performance did you like?

I think the narrator made this perfect. He uses appropriate tone, pronunciation and pacing of delivery for the period in which the novel is based. The different characters- male/female/child whilst easily differentiated are not made into an over the top performance. First class narrator.

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

Yes

Any additional comments?

There is good use of music for chapter/scene breaks.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nancy
  • 22-11-12

Consider a different version

I think I would have enjoyed this audiobook more if I had purchased a different version. I wasn't very impressed with the narrator, whose voice was often inexpressive. The language was so beautiful and eloquent, but the narration seemed very amateurish. I would recommend at least listening to a sample of this version or trying to find a different version all together.

The story was a little bit hard to relate to since it takes place in a time with very different values and ideas about sin and punishment than today.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Bryan
  • 24-09-12

Mediocre reading

The story itself drags on and could easily be condensed into a short story. The reader attempts to vary his pitch for various characters, but comes across grating.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brittney Militello
  • 09-03-17

Fantastic reading!

Superbly read! The smooth voice of the reader, Ian, included voice changes for the characters that were not over done. His narrative style matched the historical time of this story. Just wonderful!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • T. Hinton
  • 16-05-12

Why do such strong women choose such weenies...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, because it is well done. The preformance was very good and the story was excellent. You really appreciate that we do not live in Puritan times and its double standard.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hester She put up with a lot from a lot of very weak men and entire town of small minded people. I hate the end (spoiler alert) that she returns to the town. I feel bad that she lived her life this way when she could have had more. She certainly could have picked both a better husband and a more manly lover. The Reverand is so weak he is pathetic.

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

I have not, but I liked her work.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Why you need to get the heck out of Puritan times.....

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charity
  • 29-10-15

Great Audiobook for Those Who Can't Stand Old English

I was required to read this book in high school but never did. I couldn't stand the way the story was written it was just so boring. So when I was required to read this for a college class, I decided to try and audiobook instead. Needless to say I was able to get to the story and I actually find it quite enjoyable. I was able to listen to it faster than I would've been able to read it. I would definitely recommend this audiobook to anyone who has to read the boring story of The Scarlet Letter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Leslieann
  • 18-08-15

Easy to follow reading of a classic tale; missing the introduction.

I enjoyed this narration -- not overly acted, but clear character distinctions and great pacing. I thought the tenor of the novel rang true. My one disappointment was the omission of the introduction "The Custom House" as this part of the novel established much of the purpose and character of the narrator and makes events and symbols and the voice that all evolve clearer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 24-09-12

Great book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a great book. I recommend it and know all who read will enjoy.

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

It is very enjoyable listening.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Colleen
  • 04-02-13

Hawthorne is long winded

Would you consider the audio edition of The Scarlet Letter to be better than the print version?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Read the cliff notes to this book to fully appreciate the themes that feel like superfluous description

2 of 3 people found this review helpful