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Publisher's Summary

Edna Pontellier is married, twenty-eight, and at the cross road of her life. She is passionate and artistic, but has no one who understands her deep yearnings. She jumps at the chance to spend a summer away from her husband and the heat of New Orleans at a small costal retreat.

Here she is enveloped in a small circle of friends where she can begin to throw off the strictures and moires of the 1890s bourgeoisie. Stepwise Edna renounces her obligations, takes a lover, and is propelled in a course that frees, consumes, and eventually destroys her.

In what was to be her last novel, Kate Chopin shocked the readers of her day, by showing a woman fulfilled by throwing off the ties of marriage and children.

(P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Critic Reviews

"Interesting and timely...Chopin's oracular feminism and prophetic psychology almost outweigh her estimable literary talents." (Newsweek)

What listeners say about The Awakening

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing Story with So-So Narration

It really struck me that for a book published in 1899, the story is still so fresh and resonates with emotion that is easily understood by the modern reader (or listener). The author excelled at both capturing elusive internal feelings and descriptions of the Louisiana coast and New Orleans of days gone by. It is a real page-turner, and although I had read it years ago, I couldn't wait to hear the story play out. The narration, however, leaves A LOT to be desired. The narrator affects a truly awful southern drawl when characters are speaking which can be extremely distracting. She also mispronounces most French place names and given names repeatedly as well as numerous english words.
Listen and love it for the story, and try to ignore the bad narration.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Love Chopin and Frasier

I absolutely love Kate Chopin--everything she writes is thought provoking and intense, full of double-voice discourse. Personally, I don't think anyone can understand Edna Pontellier unless she is at least 25 and has been married. The book speaks to me each and every time I read/listen to it--in fact, as I become older, I read and react to the book differently (Bakhtin's chronotope). The Awakening is one of my all-time favorite books.

If you are into traditional romances, like Harlequin, you would likely not like this book.

Shelly Frasier is fantastic. Her laid-back rhythm and cadence really evokes the New Orlean vibe and feeling.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Awakening (unabridged)

Exquistely narrated by Shelley Frasier, who captures the accents, cadence, and tone of the New Orleans Creoles with near perfection. Her timbre and languid pacing vividly recreates the atmosphere and sense of culture of that unique corner of the South called New Orleans.

The book, itself a classic, is almost painterly in its use of language and is abundantly reviewed elsewhere including an excellent annotated version of Cliff Notes! Suffice it to say this review is about the narration; listening to this version is worth every minute of time spent tethered to your computer, ipod or parked car (I did all three)!

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Horribly Boring and Depressing. I don’t get all the hype.

Based on the reviews claiming this as a literary masterpiece, I kept listening and hoping the story would get better. But instead it just kept droning on in a depressing monotone,until it finally just ended-as pointlessly as the whole story. Left me unsatisfied and wondering why I’d wasted my time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A book for men And women awakening....

I am personally undergoing "an awakening" in other aspects of life besides dealing with the opposite sex. This book is interesting for both sexes enduring a predicament of choices life presents that may have unpleasant consequences, and possibly impossible to make.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Classic

This will always be one of my favorite stories. Also the narration isnt bad as some of the other reviews claim, however I don't know French so I am unbothered by the pronunciations of French words and whether they're correct or incorrect.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The Take Away?

A reviewer said: truer than the Bible. Really!
I am not sure what I was really suppose to get out of this novel. Maybe, I must listen to it again, but I have too many books to read; therefore, very doubtful that I will reread this one.

"Truer for the Bible"; I guess that is the problem. And, I deplore drama.

Chris

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

horrible audio

A slight buzzing could be heard in the background. I couldn't continue this story. The narrator's voice was fine.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book

I was worried based on other reviews that this book would be depressing & disturbing, but I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed hearing what life at the turn of the century was like in New Orleans & I could definitely relate to this woman's experience. Seems culture has tried to force women in to a box for a very long time.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Timeless

At once classic and modern. Truer than the Bible. A journey from an invisible cage to freedom and ultimately to the real limits of her time. Great narrator.