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Random Harvest

Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
3.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

Books You Hear is genuinely proud to present Random Harvest by James Hilton. Though this story may be new to the post-WWII generations, it has an impressive history, making it, perhaps, the greatest story you’ve never heard of.

Published in 1941, Random Harvest was contemporary to its first audience, and is painted against the backdrop of the gathering storm in Europe. However, it doesn’t focus on military threats or political wrangling. Instead, it tells the very accessible story of a profoundly good man with normal aspirations who consistently put the needs of others first, and as a result, lived a life he never could have imagined.

In 1942, a feature film was made that significantly altered the narrative (and narrator) of this original story. It was also excellent and was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Ironically, it lost out to a film also written by James Hilton, and with the same lead actress, Greer Garson. However, in later years, it was Random Harvest that both Garson and her co-star, Ronald Colman recognized as the project in their careers that they most enjoyed.

The story is told in five parts, with each representing a significant period in the main character’s life - encompassing war, power, prestige, high finance, show business, and of course, deep and romantic love. Since the film focuses primarily on the love story, there is much that makes the book a new and deeply satisfying experience. And for those who haven’t seen the film yet, experience the book first. You will love the way Hilton educates and envelops you with this beautiful story, and leaves you so much better, and happier, for the journey.

Public Domain (P)2014 Books You Hear

What members say

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book but the reading let it down

This is a wonderful book but the reading lets it down woefully. Americans tyring to sound English is just sad.

I'm on the look out for another audio edition, because the book is one of the all-time-greats.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 01-09-16

Random Harvest

It's a good story but I can't help thinking that it would have been so much better if Jeremy Irons had read it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous book!

Loved the story. Incredibly evocative of the time and perfect descriptions. Absolutely loved it. What spoiled it was the narration. The actors are clearly Americans putting on English upper class accents and there are so many mistakes. Surely there are English speaking actors available?

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An all time classic !

After 75 years this is still a marvellous book - well worth the read - highly recommended !!

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  • Tamara
  • 11-11-18

Much more than the Movie!

Loved this book. It was great to see all the fill in and back story, beyond the classic film. #Nostalgic #Tearjerker #UnlikelyHero #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mran
  • 09-09-18

Pure pleasure

I first read this book as a pre-teen, and so much of it has stayed with me for over forty years...except for the title and the author! Recently, I finally got serious with Google, and was able to finally read it again here on Audible. How delightful to find that it was every bit as wonderful as I remembered, and to enjoy it in a very different way as an adult. If the violence and cruelty in so much of modern media has begun to weary you, this book might provide a respite.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joanne M.
  • 15-06-18

A Pleasant Surprise

My first James Hilton novel that I have read and thoroughly enjoyed.

The book is a beautifully structured story switching between first person and third, to tell the story of a WW1 shell shock victim who loses his memory (twice) and struggles to care about a world full of people who understand even less than he does. The way his life, and losses, are revealed is masterful and the author captures emotion in the most unsentimental yet effective ways. I guarantee the last page twist will make you bite back the tears.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynn Adamson
  • 27-10-17

Read the Book First

If you have not seen the movie, read the book first. The movie has been one of my favorites for years but the book tells the story in a completely different sequence and of course, is more in depth. Although the narration is great, I didn't think I was going to like it until about midway through and then I was hooked.. a great mystery and story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Richie Buck
  • 31-12-16

Great Book by a Great Writer. James Holton makes

James Holton makes you feel like a part of the story. He was a fabulous writer

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Claudia Lyon
  • 23-03-15

Great book!

It was a perfectly wonderful book! Since it was written in a different time..it takes you to another time another world

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dona Parus
  • 04-03-16

Wonderful

Great listening to a great story. Wonderfully done. Locking forward to enjoying more like this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • MRS FRANCES M GREGORIOU
  • 25-11-18

Bad accents

Hi Loved the book, but why did we have to listen to a female with a fake English accent. Are there really no English voice actors available? Otherwise a great book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • sharon
  • 20-08-18

Good Story ...Poor Narration

I thought I would like this book in audio form but The poor narration took away from the story. The Movie was better!!!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-08-18

Wouldn’t listen again

Did not enjoy the story. Maybe a bit old fashioned and slow-moving for my taste. I can’t believe it was a best-seller in its time!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful