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The Golden Bowl

Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
Length: 25 hrs and 6 mins
3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)
Non-member price: $58.50
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Publisher's Summary

Wealthy Maggie Verver has everything she could ever ask for - except a husband and a title. While in Italy, acquiring art for his museum back in the States, Maggie’s millionaire father, Adam, decides to remedy this and acquire a husband for Maggie. 

Enter Prince Amerigo, of a titled but now poor aristocratic Florentine family. Amerigo is the perfect candidate. Delighted, Maggie then reciprocates by choosing a partner for her widower father: childhood friend Charlotte Stant. The stage is set, and what unfolds is a deep and gripping exploration of fidelity and the politics of love and marriage. 

Published in 1904, The Golden Bowl displays Henry James at his finest: James weaves scene upon scene, set piece upon set piece, into a seamless whole, through a richly dense tapestry of beautiful, flowing prose. Along with The Ambassadors and The Wings of the Dove, it constitutes James’ final and most rewarding phase as a novelist.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio. 

Public Domain (P)2018 Naxos AudioBooks

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Probably would have been better read as a book.

I like Henry James, but this is the first time I've listened as opposed to read one of his novels. Found it too obtuse to follow along in audio format. I needed to be able to slow down and re-read bits every now and then. Also, I usually love Juliet Stevenson as a narrator, but this was a poor match. She has an awful American accent, esp when so many are required for so many characters. One accent might have been passable, but trying to do so many left no hope. And this is coming from someone who is English. Must be really grating for Americans to listen to. When all the protagonists are American, use an American narrator.

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  • susan von schlegell
  • 29-07-2018

The best!

The Golden Bowl is one of Henry James' most complicated and enthralling novels. Juliet Stevenson is without doubt one of the best readers you can find on audible. The combination made me appreciate the subtleties of this work I had missed while reading it on the page.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • night owl
  • 06-03-2019

Too many words

I've been trying to read the classics over the last few years. I've found 19th century writers away over blown. What can be said in a couple of sentences is covered in paragraphs. James is the worst. I wouldn't be surprised if he forgot what he started to say by the end of events and insights. I certainly did. I've enjoyed George Elliott despite her long insights.And of course Jane Austen and Dickens are wonderful. I love Theodore Dreiser. So I do give these older writers credit for a job well done .After A Portrait of a Lady I would not have given James a second chance but since it A Golden Bowl was read by the great and incomparable Juliet Stevenson I gave it a go. Even she can't save ,what is probably a good story, from being a bore. Glad I got that off my chest. I seem to be as long winded as some authors

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  • Viewer
  • 14-09-2018

If you don't love this book, it's your fault

Only the Master can make oceans drift the boat from one coast to the other and back between reflective pauses on the resonant meanings of a single phrase. A masterpiece of polyphonic, polysemic writing...and it penetrates the heart if you lend it the patience to show its grace. A guide to endurance through the darkness beseting all the phases in love's uncertain journey until at last the fruit of patience, the fruit of trust and forgiveness can make a shoddy purchase gleam as gold, make a heart of glass gain color.

Juliet Stephenson is to the audiobook what Shakespeare is to verse...synonymous with acme.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Baggins111
  • 05-11-2018

Highly overrated ...

Don’t bother unless you already know and really love HJ (and have your downloaded guidance notes at the ready?!)

Bland characters talking a lot of self-indulgent nonsense in long flowery prose; why say it in ten words when you can say it in a ten thousand... Well you get the gist? And so it rambled on and on and on...

Juliet Stevenson has a lovely voice for narration, but even she can’t make a silk purse out of this sows ear... but she did send me to sleep! Needless to say, I didn’t finish this book, it’s really not for me, and it’s not going to be liked by lots of other avid readers/audio-listeners either...

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-03-2019

outstanding

Juliet Stevenson read this perfectly. She has a fine understanding of James and maintained her fresh perceptiveness throughout .