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Laura  By  cover art

Laura

By: Vera Caspary
Narrated by: Christian Rummel,Eileen Stevens,Oliver Wyman,L. J. Ganser
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Publisher's Summary

Laura Hunt was the ideal modern woman: beautiful, elegant, highly ambitious, and utterly mysterious. No man could resist her charms, not even the hardboiled NYPD detective sent to find out who turned her into a faceless corpse. As this tough cop probes the mystery of Laura's death, he becomes obsessed with her strange power.

Laura won lasting renown as an Academy Award-nominated 1944 film, the greatest noir romance of all time. Vera Caspary's equally haunting novel is remarkable for its stylish, hardboiled writing, its electrifying plot twists, and its darkly complex characters - including a woman who stands as the ultimate femme fatale.

©1942, 1943 Vera Caspary (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

Top 100 Mysteries of All Time (Mystery Writers of America)
100 Must-Read Thrillers (International Thriller Writers)

What listeners say about Laura

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

I like this a lot.

I have always loved the 1940's movie of Laura with Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews and several years ago it prompted me to read the original novel, which is a bit dated but still quite a good read. This is a very creditable audio version. The novel is told from several different points of view and it works well with the multiple readers. My only small criticisms are that Laura's voice is a bit more girlish than the one I hear in my head when I read the novel and Shelby didn't have any trace of a Southern accent. But Waldo Lydecker and Mark McPherson are perfect. I recommend this. I'm already on my second listen.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written

This story is long. As with most murder mysteries, it is a temptation to want to race through and get to the conclusion. Be patient and wallow in the character descriptions and insights that are outstanding.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful Classic Mystery!

I love the movie, but the book is so much better! A deep psychological crime novel, and, despite its age, neither its plot nor its language is outdated. Terrific read.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Ultimate who-done-it

Would you listen to Laura again? Why?

Yes. The characters are all classic. This is what mystery drama shoud be.

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The performance was excellent. The range of characters portrayed make this reader an actors actor. Bravo!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Don't reveal the ending

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great view of the 1940s/1950s

I was pretty much raised on this novel..my mom loved it and being born in 1943, the time when I was born, I may be the only toddler who was read "Laura" before bedtime!

I saw the movie in my early teens when a 15th year anniversary showing was held at Graumans Chinese Theatre ( the original name) where the movie premiered in Hollywood. As a college student, I first read the novel and was charmed by the view into my parents life in their early 20s. Page boy hairdos, nylons with eases up the back, everyone smoking, heavy eyebrow makeup on all the woman and men wore hats everywhere. And the language..it's so eloquent (Hiya babe) (Whaddar you, copper or a private dick?) and so on.

It's wonderful to read-and even more wonderful to listen to the Audible recording.

OK it's time for the 20 somethings, gen X-ers etc to take a quick view into their grandparents or great grands generation..there is more than "Singing in the Rain" and other musicals. The book-its grand!

Recommended for all!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not just the great film

This is the story well known from the movies--though there are subtle differences. I love the idea of different narrators for the different sections of the story, and overall the narrators did great work. I would question why Shelby Carpenter has no accent when that actor narrates his part and a mildly Southern one in Mark's last section, but despite these small inconsistencies, this was an excellent listening experience.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the movie, enjoyed the book even more

If you could sum up Laura in three words, what would they be?

Beautiful, trusting, intelligent

Which scene was your favorite?

Dinner scene between Mark and Waldo.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes it was. However, I used it as an incentive to take my morning walk while listening. For that reason, I keprt my listen to about an hour each day.

Any additional comments?

I purchased the book because I always enjoyed the movie and thought I would just relive that experience. It was, however, much more with twists and turns not in the movie.It kept my interest, even though I knew the basic story plot.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Imagine Wilkie Collins, Hardboiled

Ok, he’d have to have been born around the year he died. And lived through the First World War and the collapse of Victorian/Edwardian assumptions. And the modernist experiments that sprang from that disaster. Nevertheless, imagine the man T. S. Eliot credited with inventing the modern English detective novel going one step further; imagine him applying his own literary trick to a hardboiled detective story, and telling it through the differing perspectives of its major protagonists.

The technique achieved for Vera Caspary much the same effects it did for Collins. We see characters in the round, as if they were statues in a gallery. And as each becomes more vividly three dimensional, the truth dawns on us as gradually as it does on the detective. If you can forget the movie—and your disappointment that Eileen Stevens doesn’t sound like Gene Tierney—you’ll enjoy this one immensely.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

So much richer than the movie!

The movie version has long been one of my favorite movies of all time, a gorgeous film noir. But the book and the narration add so much to the story. I loved the performance, the voices were just what one would hope from a 1940's film noir book. This will be a go-to relisten, I'm sure!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Sadly Dated

This is a rare case of the movie being much better than the book (Sideways is another). The writing is sadly dated -- stilted, artificial dialogue, annoyingly precious and two-dimensional characters. The narrators, all good readers, do their best with the material, but they couldn't save it. I actually couldn't finish this book.

1 person found this helpful