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Effi Briest  By  cover art

Effi Briest

By: Theodor Fontane
Narrated by: Lucy Scott
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Publisher's Summary

Often compared to Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina, Theodor Fontane's Effi Briest tells the poignant story of a passionate and spontaneous young woman who becomes trapped in a dull and restrictive upper-class existence. 

Married at the tender age of 17 to Geert von Innstetten, an ambitious nobleman and civil servant nearly 20 years her senior, unworldly Effi is whisked away to the quiet town of Kessin, on the Baltic coast of Prussia, where she is left to raise a daughter alone while her husband travels for work. Effi's loneliness drives her into the arms of Major Crampas, a cunning womanizer who tempts her into adultery and lets her live out her passions. The affair is soon ended, and almost forgotten, until fate and negligence resurrect it, with devastating results.

Public Domain (P)2020 Naxos Audiobooks

What listeners say about Effi Briest

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great perspective on a bygone era

A tragic tale, largely created by the society in which the characters lived the inviolable rules of the times.

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  • i e matthews
  • 09-29-22

Poignant

Superbly written and narrated., I was totally absorbed by this story of infidelity and it’s consequences.

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  • MichaelDee
  • 06-05-22

Effi, the tragedy of a fallen woman

Very moving story wonderfully narrated by Lucy Scott about Effi Briest, a bright and somewhat naïve young girl still in her early teens who, one day is romping around with her childhood friends in the garden of her family home and barely weeks later finds herself married off to an aristocratic patrician 20 years her senior, once a suitor to her own mother. Separated from her beloved parents at such a tender age, she has difficulty adjusting to her new life, especially now that she has to share an eerie country estate with her compassionate but unloving husband who happens to be out of town on a regular basis. Faced with the tedium of long days with only her servants and trusted dog as companions, she ends up committing an error which she will later regret. The narrator infuses Effi Briest with the correct mix of emotions and innocent vivacity making it difficult for the reader not to feel sympathy for the main protagonist's plight. So far I have not found a narrator in German who is able to do the story justice the same way as Lucy Scott has. I do intend the read the story in German, but maybe without the accompaniment of the audiobook. Personally, I find the story requires the voice of a female narrator.

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  • hfffoman
  • 01-15-21

A valiant attempt at a classic

Knowing this to be one of the most celebrated German novels of the 19th Century, I listened to it enthusiastically and, having been vaguely disappointed, immediately listened a second time to form a deeper view. On the second reading, I noticed many clever little twists which I had missed the first time, but I still felt that it is a valiant, but not quite successful, attempt at matching the quality of the English classics. Please don't think I am being chauvinistic. I greatly admire German culture and music, and they have certainly produced plenty of great writers (if I may make a suggestion, do consider reading Buddenbrookes), but this is like a second third rate Jane Austen. 3 stars for the novel, 5 for the performance