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Publisher's Summary

Benedict Cumberbatch reads Ian Kelly’s biography of one of the most beguiling and controversial individuals of any age.

In this fascinating biography of the notorious libertine, Ian Kelly draws on documents by Casanova, his friends, and his lovers (male and female) in order to bring fresh insights to the man’s life and world. The sights and smells of 18th-century Europe are brought keenly to life, as are the colourful incidents of Casanova’s life.

As a young cleric, he embarked upon a scandalous affair with a married woman, fleeing eventually to Constantinople. He created a stir at the French court of King Louis XV, began intrigues in London that led him to a soaking in the Thames, and sought to meet Catherine the Great at a ball in St Petersburg.

His own memoirs ensured his lasting fame and changed the way we think and write about ourselves and about sex.

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, The Imitation Game, Star Trek Into Darkness) is the reader of this abridged edition, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

©2015 BBC Worldwide (P)2015 BBC Worldwide

What listeners say about Benedict Cumberbatch Reads Ian Kelly's Casanova

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

sublime

Cumberbatch could be reading a menu and it would be beautifully entertaining. His voice makes this so great!

20 people found this helpful

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Benedict's voice does not disappoint!

Don't kid yourself. You got this audiobook to hear Benedict Cumberbatch roll his R's and talk about naughty things. He won't let you down. Go ahead and give a listen.

35 people found this helpful

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The Man, The Women, The Legend--Well Done!

Any additional comments?

I just returned from Venice where I visited Casanova's prison cell, so I was eager to hear a brief version of his life in English. This book did the trick--outlined his main conquests in great detail and Cumberbatch's reading was definitely a highlight!

9 people found this helpful

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Benedict was perfect!

Benedict did such an amazing job! All of those French and Italian names and places and he didn't even flinch. He read them as though he saw those names every day and read them with finesse.

Casanova was never a figure in history who I was ever curious about. Being a feminist myself, that typical male, love-them, leave - them attitude, no matter how many lovers he'd convinced to share his bed, was just never a topic I sought-after. I was surprised, however, that Casanova did experience heart break and love. I hoped for more depth and feelings, but this was a good read.

5 people found this helpful

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Can Mr. Cumberbatch...

Can Mr. Cumberbatch just narrate all my audio books? Ya know just let him narrate everything, I've got a shower bottle that needs narrating!

Story overall were very good my only wish, it was longer.

4 people found this helpful

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Great little history lesson.

Great little history lesson. But let's be honest, you bought this to listen to Benedict Cumberbatch read it. He does not disappoint. He literally reads a biscuit recipe and it gave me hot flashes.

3 people found this helpful

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Cumberbatch and Casonova Both Talented.

Casanova was an interesting guy and Cumberbatch reading/acting is Cumberbatch reading/acting, It is just over an hour, so there are some details I wish I could get more info on, The autobiography is filling in the blanks, if you want them, but this gets in a lot in and gives a fleshed out picture of Casanova, from boyhood to the end of his weird life. I learned a lot. It had not occurred to me, but of course, the inquisition came after him. Anyway, for a pretty full picture of the guys adventurous, interesting life, this was a good listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautifully Narrated

I could listen to Benedict read anything for hours and cherish every second of it.

5 people found this helpful

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Interesting

The book was interesting. I did not know that it was a small bio about a man from France.

1 person found this helpful

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Casanova

Benedict Cumberbatch's voice is like butter. I could listen to that man read the phone book. He truly brought the story of this Casanova story to life. A truly brilliant performance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • EGM
  • 03-23-17

Entertaining, short biography of a flat character

Cumberbatch proves an engaging, nuanced reader. The text itself is well condensed and full of interesting multicultural references, making it quite enjoyable. However, even though this short text supposedly highlights the most interesting chapters in Casanova's life, I found his anecdotes and exploits rather trite. All in all, an very good audiobook about a surprisingly overrated figure.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Neil Jones
  • 11-11-21

Great Stuff but an Incredibly Abridged Version

I have read the book and bought it numerous times as presents - it's superb, as is Benedict Cumberbatch's reading of the content here - however this version is a whistlestop abridged version crammed into one chapter. A nice taster for more though.

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  • R.E. Viewer, München
  • 12-20-20

Great book superbly read by Benedict Cumberbatch

A very interesting story, crafted by Ian Kelly.
I enjoyed every minutes of it.