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Possession

A Romance
Narrated by: Samuel West
Length: 21 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

Non-member price: $39.50

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Booker Prize 1990

Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once a literary detective novel and a triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars investigating the lives of two Victorian poets. 

Following a trail of letters, journals and poems they uncover a web of passion, deceit and tragedy, and their quest becomes a battle against time. 

Cover illustration © Aitch.

©1991 A. S. Byatt (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Possession

I love this book. I read it 20 years ago and it is still as compelling. A fantastic book

4 people found this helpful

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Obsessive

Had I read this book myself I would not have continued. As I listened, however, I was drawn in and could not put it away until I heard the end.

1 person found this helpful

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I found the heavy intellectualism ruined the poetics

I wish it was more poetic and mythical and less intellectual I found it boring and cold nose parts and whisper more emotion in the whole book.

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A linguistic delight

Loved this! Excellent narration and a wonderful tale, part love story, part detective novel, brimming with linguistic exquisitness.



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Fantastic book

Great storyline. funny romantic. My new favorite book, I'm going to reread it again and again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-03-2019

Spellbinding

A book I have always loved . And this production more than does it justice . The reading was pitch perfect .

7 people found this helpful

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  • Sketching on the run
  • 05-10-2019

Stunning

One of the best books I’ve ever read.This book has so many rich layers of narrative .The ending is perfect . Simply stunning.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Falluntilyoufly
  • 19-04-2019

Great book made greater by superb performance

Halfway through and completely in love. I don't want this to end!

Possession is the book in which AS Byatt's writing met its match in her choice of subject, inviting a reader to consider the delicious wordplay in the concept of 'literary novel'. It's the playful, thoughtful and wholly delightful work of a writer at the height of her powers. The language in particular invites you to revel in its fluency across a breathtaking range and depth of style and subject matter; entirely appropriate to the story of the romance between two Victorian writers transformed into a detective story by two latter-day literary scholars.

As for Samuel West's performance, if I could give it more than 5 stars, I would. This is pitch-perfect delivery in every possible way: not only the obvious basics of consistent characterisation, attention paid to inflection, etc, but there's a level of nuance in his performance that brings every last glory of Byatt's prose utterly, ravishingly, alive. The first time it's ever crossed my mind to think of audiobooks as their own separate art form... I loved Possession as a book, but if possible I love it even more as Samuel West's performance of it. I'll definitely be looking for more books performed by him.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica, London
  • 14-04-2019

Couldn’t get into this very easily

I found this a bit of an effort and felt the story could have been a lot shorter. The basic plot is great, but there is so much in it beside the plot and these other things didn’t really add a lot of value for me personally. I wished that so much time wasn’t spent on things other than the plot.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Wood
  • 02-12-2019

Better than I remember

This is a complete treat, wonderful. I have read and re-read the book many times so was delighted to find it as an audiobook. The performance by Samuel West is amazing, he voices the characters brilliantly.

It is a compelling story, beautifully told and even better as an audiobook. I cannot recommend it enough.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Penthesilea
  • 30-09-2019

Samuel West is perfect...

... for narrating/ acting Possession. There are beautiful moments in this book of superlative writing, but I've always felt it goes on a bit. When I read it I skipped pages but I don't skip Samuel West's narration. Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anon
  • 05-08-2019

Brilliant

I read this book when it first came out and thought that it was incredible. Multi- layered, beautifully written and wholly engrossing. I intended to re-read one day but have now listened instead.

Enough time has passed for me to have forgotten much of the detail of the story which made it fresh and just as absorbing the second time around.

Sam West’s reading is superb. One is never in doubt as to which character is speaking and the intelligence of the reading adds another layer of enjoyment.

I can’t recommend this audiobook enough!

1 person found this helpful

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  • T. Greb
  • 21-06-2019

Mostly enjoyed it

A good read, but got repressive and long winded at the end. Most of all I loved the side stories, the poems and retold fairy tales, just for these is worth a read.

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  • Marvellous Maud
  • 02-07-2019

Tedious

I had to give up, despite valiant efforts. This was excruciatingly boring and very difficult to delve into. Me. West read it beautifully but his performance could not compensate for the dreariness of the slow plot. Disappointing in the extreme .

2 people found this helpful

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  • Roly
  • 17-01-2020

I was enveloped by this novel !

This is an intricate and expertly constructed novel with writing that is rich and substantial.

There is a love story, (actually more than one), suspense and mystery with beautiful poetry, woven into the prose and I felt myself enveloped by the novel, as she reconstructs a Victorian age, flashing between the current and the past.

The writing both challenges and respects the reader; a hard copy would be easier to follow and initially I had to put together a list of characters so that I could follow the structure better.

The narration is excellent.