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Howards End

Narrated by: Steven Crossley
Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

Non-member price: $34.76

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Publisher's Summary

Considered by many to be E. M. Forster's greatest novel, Howards End is a beautifully subtle tale of two very different families brought together by an unusual event. The Schlegels are intellectuals, devotees of art and literature. The Wilcoxes are practical and materialistic, leading lives of "telegrams and anger". When the elder Mrs. Wilcox dies and her family discovers she has left their country home - Howards End - to one of the Schlegel sisters, a crisis between the two families is precipitated that takes years to resolve.

Written in 1910, Howards End is a symbolic exploration of the social, economic, and intellectual forces at work in England in the years preceding World War I, a time when vast social changes were occurring. In the Schlegels and the Wilcoxes, Forster perfectly embodies the competing idealism and materialism of the upper classes, while the conflict over the ownership of Howards End represents the struggle for possession of the country's future.

Forster refuses to take sides in this conflict. Instead he poses one of the book's central questions: In a changing modern society, what should be the relation between the inner and outer life, between the world of the intellect and the world of business? Can they ever, as Forster urges, "only connect"?

Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor Media

What members say

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  • Wren
  • 05-05-2018

Fantastic Narration in Delightful Story

If you are a true fan of E M Forster or the Merchant Ivory dramatizations of his works, or the most recent Starz mini series, this book is for you. With great subtlety and the pace that pre-1930 novels enjoyed, Forster fleshes his characters' worlds artfully. This is one of those literary works that brings alive so perfectly the period in which it was written in a way that is relatable. The Schlegel family is the new artistic rather radically minded siblings that are at the heart of the story. The Wilcoxes represent the old guard with whom they have chance acquaintance.
Steven Crossley's distinguished performance perfectly relates all points of view with multiple intonations, dialects, and pacing essential to the setting. I listened carefully to samples of other readings and his was by far superior. Even with feminine main characters, his narration supplies full nuance.
Recommended.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • EJH
  • 27-07-2013

Good story. Poor production.

Where does Howards End rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top half.

Any additional comments?

The reader has a tendency to trail off at the end of a sentence. I had to raise the volume on many occasions to understand what he was saying. I thought maybe my earphones were going but I am listening to another book now and it is fine. It is a good novel. I recommend another recording. Audible has several.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • DFK
  • 01-11-2019

Beautiful writing, master narration

I read A Passage to India oh, so many years ago. I don’t remember much other than I enjoyed it a lot. I recently saw the mini-series Howards End and was intrigued enough to get this audiobook. The writing is beautiful, and the story overall lovely with excellent character development. I do have a big quibble with Margaret’s relationship with Henry, how she, such an independent woman could choose to subjugate herself that way, but in some ways sh didn’t. I suppose one can find excuses for her, but she did have enough of an income (not from hard work, mind you) that she didn’t have to marry. But I let the story take over (I knew it from the mini-series, which was quite true to the book, for a TV production), and enjoyed it a lot, and the narration was masterly. Excellent voices, women’s voices, too, were done well. Here and there, his voice dropped off too much at the end of a sentence, but that is a really minor point. The story also has some rather modern ideas, considering that it was written over 100 years ago. Margaret does an excellent job of pointing out the double-standards for men and women that exist still.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 13-07-2019

Definitely worth listening to again... And again!

Big ideas and truths falling into your lap with ease. Loved every moment of it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 18-06-2019

Good but Dated

A view of social tensions in the Edwardian era. There is not a lot of story, and virtually no action, instead there are characterizations illustrating the various ideals permeating Edwardian English upper classes. The prose are very good, but not exceptional. The power of the book is the subtle unfoldings of each point of view with equal judgement upon all. The narrator is not nonjudgmental, but very mildly judgmental of all.

Of course this does not make for a gripping and enjoyable read. It was interesting in its way, but I did not find this a Great Book. I sure it was an important book for its time.

I did not notice issues with the sound quality and I found the narration more than adequate and not annoying.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-05-2019

Problems with volume

Volume is too varied either too loud or too soft; disturbing to what would be otherwise a totally enjoyable audio book.

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  • Reginald Williams
  • 24-12-2018

A Tough, But Stately "Read" With Bad Narrator

Unfortunately, my first Forster book on Audible was a struggle to finish.

Henry Wilcox was my favorite character full of characters that, in my opinion, were not fleshed out enough in personality or given much to do. Henry at least had some nice words.

My favorite part was when Henry proposed to Margaret/Meg. Nicely paced with perfect pitch.

I think as nice as Crossley's voice sounds, his bad performance sunk this book for me. A book written by men with females as the main protagonists requires a male narrator who is excellent in creating different female voices. Crossley is worst than any narrator I have yet to hear on audible. All the female voices sound the same. With so many back and forth conversations between Margaret and Ellen without personal identification of who is speaking, the narrator needs to make voices distinctive since I dont have the book in front of me to know which character is speaking. Consequently, things got confusing thus making this talk-driven story hard to follow thus trying my patience and interest.

I would highly recommend another version of this classic book. I am getting my money back for this one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lee
  • 09-10-2018

I am sure I will be listening to it again!

Have seen two film versions and finally listened to it! It is now one of my favorite novels. I understand so much more than when exposed to the Emma Thompson Anthony Hopkins film version when I was young. Brilliant writer and lively narrator. Also, the newest mini series film version lovely to as the mini series format allows for these compression of the story.

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  • Jane M.
  • 18-07-2018

Masterful Narrator!

The narrator was masterful and most enjoyable to listen to. He conveyed each voice, male or female, perfectly. The story itself is a bit convoluted but I had just watched the HBO series so I was able to follow it and flesh out the story as was my wont. It was great being able to picture each person because of the HBO series. Now I would like to watch movie, too. Very enjoyable with lot of flashes of humor with the human condition with its foibles and insecurities. I recommend it.

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  • Kathryn
  • 09-05-2018

Not One of My Top 10, But a Good Read

I started this book because it was our book club’s choice. At first, I was underwhelmed and it reminded me of high school homework required reading. I was trudging through it. Although the language is not nearly as old or different as Pride and Prejudice, it still felt old. I’m not sure Steven C. wasn’t part of the problem. He definitely has talent, but not for this many female characters. I’d decided not to read it. A book club shouldn’t be torture. Then I watched the mini-series, and started up again. Our whole group watched the movie because no one, except the person that chose it was in love with the story. After watching both of those, I cared a bit more for the characters and decided to finish it. His reading of the first Mrs. Wilcox made her sound completely foolish and I didn’t think of her character that way. He didn’t portray Margaret much better. Then again, I think it was too many female characters for a man to read. The only reason I didn’t choose the female narrator was that one review stated it wasn’t truly unabridged. The story was fine, but didn’t grab me. I did like knowing more about Leonard Bast’s life after the sordid love affair. Neither the mini series or the movie addressed that, except at the very end. It’s worth reading, so I gave 4 stars, but I could only give the performance 3.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-10-2016

Full of humour, unusual characters,sexual tension

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

Yes, i would recommend this audiobook for its excellent narration which brings the characters to life.

What did you like best about this story?

This story is character-led. The basic plot of Lucy Honeychurch trying to come to terms with her emotions and growing sexual awareness, is complicated by the interventions of a host of other very different characters.

Have you listened to any of Steven Crossley’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, but I intend to do so in future.

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

I found much of the dialogue amusing and I felt a sense of contentment with the ending.

Any additional comments?

One of my all-time favourite books.