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The Scarlet Letter  By  cover art

The Scarlet Letter

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Narrated by: Flo Gibson
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Publisher's Summary

This powerful story of passion, adultery, honor, and repression caused a tremendous controversy in 1850 when it was published, because of its provocative subject matter. Set in Puritan New England, the novel begins with Hester Prynne, a young woman with an illegitimate baby daughter, leaving prison to face her scornful townsfolk. Forced to wear a scarlet letter "A" to remind people of her adultery, Hester obstinately holds her head high and refuses to reveal the father of her child. In the process she cuts herself off from society - and her lover. Why won't Hester reveal her secret? The answer has much to do with guilt, passion, and repentance - timeless themes within a splendid story that has remained a literary classic for over a century.

Public Domain (P)2003 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"A masterpiece." (Henry James)

What listeners say about The Scarlet Letter

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    131
  • 4 Stars
    99
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    29
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    121
  • 4 Stars
    84
  • 3 Stars
    38
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    21
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    126
  • 4 Stars
    80
  • 3 Stars
    42
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    21

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Unbearable quality recording

This is by far the worst audible program I have purchased. It is a wonderful story; however, this production is utterly unintelligible. I listened to the sample before purchasing the title and thought it was tolerable. It was nearly impossible to understand the narrator much of the time due to the horrible quality. I have purchased other books such as this (originally recorded in 1 and upgraded to 2) and have been able to understand them fine.

The story is wonderful, but utterly not worth trying to wade through this awful recording. At the time I purchased it this was the only unabridged version. I urge you to skip this one and try the other.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Unintelligible

This book is so ridiculously hard to understand in my car that I couldn't listen to it.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Still resonates!

Even after a span of 160 years this story by Mr. Hawthorne still captures the essence of human nature with a humor and whit not often displayed in these much later days.

2 people found this helpful

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

The reading of the Scarlet Letter

The story was read thoroughly. The change in the readers voice to signify the different characters was a bit of a distraction.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Chapters

The book was narrated very well but the chapters were a bit off and hard to follow.

1 person found this helpful

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

Loved story

However since the original story was written in 1850 it was difficult to understand at times.

1 person found this helpful

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

I loved this book!

I loved the line that talks about “repudiating the phantom of human merit.” So true, and the themes in this book really resonated with me. The recording was pretty good too!

1 person found this helpful

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

Horrible all around

What disappointed you about The Scarlet Letter?

First the narrator is no good, then the chapters on the book don't match up with the chapters on the recording so you if you set the app to stop at the end of a chapter it stops in the middle of the books chapter. Also the first hour and a half was the author talking about the custom house instead of telling the story, the custom house stuff added nothing to the story and was just a huge was of time.

Has The Scarlet Letter turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes, but mainly just the author.

What didn’t you like about Flo Gibson’s performance?

Her voices all sound the same, and she seems to just drone on and on.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom.

Any additional comments?

Please at least get a new recording of the book with a better narrator and end the chapters with the actual book chapters.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Horrible audio quality and narrator

This audio recording is difficult to follow and understand due to the nature of the narrator speaking in a strange tone. There is no flow to the sentences so it’s hard for me to know what she is talking about. I feel like she doesn’t even know what she’s talking about and she’s just reading it mindlessly. I would recommend an alternative recording of this book.

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

Infuriating

I wanted to listen to the recording as I read the book, however it was difficult to follow along as the “chapters” listed in the recording do not follow the chapters in the book. For example: to listen to chapter 3 in the book, you have to go to the middle of the recording to chapter 10 to follow along. Get it together audible, it’s not that hard. Also, the narrator does not have the voice to narrate. Very flat and boring. Luckily this version is free.