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Keep the Aspidistra Flying Audiobook

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

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Publisher's Summary

Gordon Comstock loathes dull, middle-class respectability and worship of money. He gives up a 'good job' in advertising to work part-time in a bookshop, giving him more time to write. But he slides instead into a self-induced poverty that destroys his creativity and his spirit. Only Rosemary, ever-faithful Rosemary, has the strength to challenge his commitment to his chosen way of life. Through the character of Gordon Comstock, Orwell reveals his own disaffection with the society he once himself renounced.

©2011 CSA Word (P)2011 CSA Word

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Timothy
    brooklyn, NY, United States
    25/09/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gordon's Grey World is Colored with Grant"
    Where does Keep the Aspidistra Flying rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At times certain wonderful books, by towering authors and read by notable narrators often end up with a rather dull effect. For 'Keep the Aspidistra Flying', narrated by the immensely talented Richard E. Grant, this is not the case. The atmosphere of Orwell's terse satire is fully developed in this dramatic reading by Grant, who manages to deliver character after character without loosing any of the pacing allowing the social and political underscore of the book to be fully experienced by the listener.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Keep the Aspidistra Flying?

    Of the many painfully satirical moments in the performance to look out for is the exchange between Gordon Comstock and the french waiter at the country pub.- enjoy.


    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • laurel
    NYC
    25/08/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fantastically sarcastic performance"

    What a pleasure to listen to Richard Grant capture every nuance and drop of sarcasm in Orwell's great prose masterpiece, The book feels very modern in sensibility; the narrator is exceptionally brilliant and funny. It was really a delight.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    Farnborough, United Kingdom
    24/05/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great performance. Loathsome character"

    Gordon Comstock may just be the least appealing character in any book I have ever read. Whining, self pitying, grasping (of everything but money) he is almost completely devoid of human sympathy. At one point I nearly abandoned the book because he is such an unsympathetic persona.

    But it is an Orwell. You can't give up on an Orwell. It's the law. And Gordon does finally redeem himself for the most human of all reasons. If you love Orwell you need to work your way through all of his work. If you don't love Orwell you need to work your way through all of his work so that you eventually will. This is certainly no "Animal Farm" and "Coming up for Air" is a friendlier read (next please Audible) but it certainly repays the listening time.

    Richard E Grant's performance is excellent. Just the right amount of self important sneer in his voice and just the right tone of undeserved and unappreciated privilege in his delivery. All round a very good audiobook.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • john in RI
    Providence, RI
    14/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You can't kill an aspidistra"
    What did you love best about Keep the Aspidistra Flying?

    The scene where Gordon finally sells a poem and ends up blowing the money on booze and tarts. You can feel his hangover when he wakes up in jail. Gives me a headache just thinking about it.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Gordon's tenacity, although like everyone he ends up with his own aspidistra.


    What does Richard E. Grant bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    If you have seen any of his movies you know what an amazing actor he is, in fact he starred in the film adaptation of the book. No one could have done a better job than Mr. Grant. Check out Withnail & I. "We've gone on holiday by mistake..."


    If you could take any character from Keep the Aspidistra Flying out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Ravelston because he would pay.


    Any additional comments?

    Orwell said he wrote the book because he needed money. Quite ironic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah R. Jacobs
    16/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I wish Richard E. Grant'd record more audiobooks"

    On the extremely slim chance that he or his agent or someone responsible for casting audiobook narrators is reading this, please cajole Mr. Grant to record more audiobooks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John S
    Los Angeles, CA
    14/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Deeply profound"

    This book depicts the painful struggle of consenting to sell oneself to promote the aims of a corporation or institution. Much of the book is painful to read because our protagonist makes horrible mistakes repeatedly. Gordon needlessly hurts people who are close to him, both because he lacks money, and much more painfully, because he is constantly obsessed with his lack of money and his feelings of inadequacy that derive from his poverty. However, the book is not long, and left me feeling incredibly satisfied when I reached the end. The books ethical/moral implications are hard to pin down. Gordon finally finds stability and some peace by giving in to his hatred of money, and the reader feels very happy with his decision. Yet all this satisfaction we feel is from Gordon renouncing all he believes in, something that is epitomized by his powerful desire for an Aspidistra plant in his window so all the neighbors would see, even though Gordon spent the last 30 years of his life despising Aspidistras.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rochelle
    New Zealand
    27/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Genius"

    This is a perfect work by Orwell. The best novel I have read by him so far. The performance by Richard E Grant could not be better - he is the perfect casting for Gordon Comstock.

    Be aware that this copy has a sound fault in chapter 7. There is about 40 seconds of skipping that make that tony section of the book inaudible.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Tom Allman
    9/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Orwell's Humor?"
    If you could sum up Keep the Aspidistra Flying in three words, what would they be?

    anti-hero un-worships Money


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is easily the funniest of Orwell's books


    What about Richard E. Grant’s performance did you like?

    Well above average, did great voices.


    Any additional comments?

    Required listening for Orwell fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Raphael
    4/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unfairly neglected gem of a master novella!"

    What a finely sarcastic language and thought, what a fight human vs material world vision

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    16/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Richard E. Is Excellent G. Orwell is similarly so."

    Captivating with an exceptional turn of phrase. Humorous, challenging, very good. Very entertaining. Harks back to an interesting epoch in time.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Melbourne, Australia
    2/08/11
    Overall
    "Excellent!"

    As with any audio recording of a book, the choice of narrator is extremely important. I've been waiting for this particular book to come out in audio format for quite some time now (this is my favouritee Orwell novel), and it was worth the wait. The narrator does a brilliant job. This is a thoroughly enjoyable recording.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen Wilson
    7/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard going at times but a satisfying ending"

    The protagonist is not a particularly charming or likeable character. It is hard to see how he has any friends at all. The love interest in the story plays a key role in shaping his character but it is hard to see what she sees in him. I like listening to this story in short bursts as too much can be quite draining. I like the philosophical reasoning and the relationship between money and doing something meaningful with your life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Loughlin
    6/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic narration"

    Richard E. Grant's reading makes a good story great. This is another brilliant book from Orwell. I read it's one of his least favourites. It I really think it's brilliant. A very thoughtful study of the constantly opposed artistic values of "selling out" or remaining a starving artist and staying true to one's artform. Very enjoyable and highly recommended. Kudos once again to Grant for the delivery.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Anne
    22/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent narration - week storyline"

    Would listen to anything that Richard e grant narrates. This was the only reason I finished this book

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Phil Goodwin
    14/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A world away but relevant"

    The account of genteel poverty in 1930s London in one sense seems a world away, yet in another feels strangely relevant. Gordon, high-minded, infuriating but also somehow admirable, rejects the 'money world' and pays the consequences. The ending is part redemptive and part depressing, as the money god gets his way by working on Gordon's better nature.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • stylo
    30/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "George Orwell is a brilliant writer"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rosemary. She was so enormously selfless and patient in a genuine loving way.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The ending.


    Any additional comments?

    George Orwell portrayed Gordon Comstock as the most loathsome, weak-willed, self-pitying, selfish, moaning man I have ever encountered, yet by the end of the story Orwell creates a character that can do 'the right thing' and instantly becomes far more likeable. Brilliant prose.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • ReadingWild
    England
    19/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful rendition..."

    Comstock is every writer and what every writer hates and fears to be...Orwell's book has never been recognised for the comic Classic it is.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    12/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Withnail fans - this is a must listen"
    What did you like most about Keep the Aspidistra Flying?

    I picked this up in an audible sale and I am so glad I did. Firstly this has outstripped 1984 as my favorite Orwell novel. The writing is sharp, gives a great flavour for the period but as is always the case with a true classic - the themes and characters transcend the original era.But great books do not always make great audio books. Richard E Grant's performance is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. The talk of booze soaked poverty and frustrated creativity is pure Withnail and I (or Withnail is pure Orwell, you choose). As a long time fan of that film I was delighted by his reading.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Gordon Comstock, the money obsessed creative snob whose every decision seems to bring him closure to the edge of self destruction. Thoroughly hateful and utterly sympathetic.


    What does Richard E. Grant bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Grant brings every ounce of the drunken narcissistic creative kamikaze passion that made Withnail and I unforgettable to a generation of cinema goers.


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

    Gordon's idiotic series of bad judgement calls when he finally gets paid for a writing assignment. Hearing him plunge into a self destructive frenzy as his loved ones look on and suffer is incredibly sad.


    Any additional comments?

    This is really good, you should give it a try!

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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