• The Custom of the Country

  • By: Edith Wharton
  • Narrated by: Lorna Raver
  • Length: 16 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (118 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From New York to Europe, the apartments of the nouveau riche to ancient French estates, Edith Wharton tells the story of Undine Spragg, a girl from a Midwestern town with unquenchable social aspirations. Though Undine is narcissistic, pampered, and incredibly selfish, she is a beguiling heroine whose marital initiation into New York high society from its trade-wealthy fringes is only the beginning of her relentless ambitions.

Wharton weaves an elaborate plot that renders a detailed depiction of upper-class social behavior in the early 20th century. By using a character with inexorable greed in a novel of manners, she demonstrates some of the customs of a modern age and posits a surprising explanation for divorce and the social role of women, which still resonates for the modern audience today.

Public Domain (P)2011 Tantor

What listeners say about The Custom of the Country

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

Audio on voice vacillates, inaudible at times

This particular narration, by Lorna Raver, is engaging in her voicing of the characters, but there is a huge technical problem with the audio fluctuating from too loud to almost inaudible. As the narrator raises and lowers her tone, she also alternates her volume, so that I have to turn up the volume on my device to hear her at all, and then within a few seconds, when she is portraying another character, I'm blasted in both ears. This has happened using headphones, my phone speakers, and on my car stereo. I've lost lines and had to backtrack and play them again, and been blasted numerous times. I'm going to ask for a refund for this reading.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Perfection

Would you consider the audio edition of The Custom of the Country to be better than the print version?

This narrator has extraordinary skill at cadence and differentiation between the large cast of characters. It was absolutely cinematic.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Custom of the Country?

Both the beginning and end are startling and are moments where the events in the tale seem to open into a wider critique that touches the here and now.

What about Lorna Raver???s performance did you like?

She beautifully performs all of the genders, ages and classes written without ever letting you notice that she is doing it. He pronunciation is flawless in French and English.

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

In a world where too much is never enough, Undine Spragg is the hungriest of the hungry.

Any additional comments?

The book is enthralling. I had never read it, recently read a piece in the New Yorker about it, and had hoped it would be interesting. It was difficult to remove my i-pod, frankly.

10 people found this helpful

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Absolute nightmare with headphones

The narrator screams, whispers, and seemingly turned away from her mic half the time she recorded this. You will be adjusting volume the whole time

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worthwhile

Loved it and the performance was excellent. Nice look at the historical aspect of the story.

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Worth a read

Liked the story. Particularly the nuances & differences of early 1900s America & Europe. While it was not nearly as sophisticated as her other book "Age of innocence" It was a good read nonetheless . I enjoyed it. The performance was a B. But story was an A

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What a Spoiled Brat

I listened for four chapters to this whiny spoiled little semi-rich girl and never did catch a plot -other than she wanted a richer-than-her husband, and didn’t quite know how to weasel her way in to high society to get one. Don’t waste your time… The narrator did a nice job but other than that boring, dry, and a waste of time

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  • mancbella
  • 02-13-17

Stunning

Edith Wharton's best novel in my opinion. Undine Spragg is an incredible invention. Infuriating at times but worth it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-21-21

star review

a great writer and good story loved it can't wait for the film very good

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  • AJ1906
  • 11-08-17

Fabulous!

Very good. Edith Wharton at her best. A great listen for a long journey. Excellent.