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Publisher's Summary

When attractive, impulsive English widow Lilia takes a holiday in Italy, she causes a scandal by marrying Gino, a dashing and highly unsuitable Italian 12 years her junior. Her prim, snobbish in-laws make no attempt to hide their disapproval, and when Lilia's decision eventually brings disaster, her English relatives embark on an expedition to face the uncouth foreigner. But when they are confronted by the beauty of Italy and the charm and vitality of the disreputable Gino, they are forced to examine their own narrow lives. Their reactions are emotional, violent, and unexpected.

©2009 AudioGO (P)2015 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about Where Angels Fear to Tread

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

"Pacifism does not equal apathy"

This tragic story examines the age old question of should we try and tamper with fate, or should we just enjoy the ride?

I am an observer, so I mostly don't engage or incentivize anything unless absolutely necessary. And I relish in the fact that the less that I do or say, the less likely I am to make a mistake.

But idleness is not without fault. The act of not choosing is a choice in itself, and for that, it can be the wrong decision.

This story gives a perfect example of just how wrong things can go if you do not act on your beliefs and let others dictate what is to happen.

If you are anything like me, and struggle to find the correct time or place to speak up in fear of confrontation or of making a fool of yourself, then I recommend you listen to this book.

5 people found this helpful

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The Reader is the worst

I had to give up. Even slowing the audio down did nothing to lessen the misery of listening to Edward Petherbridge mangle the story. One minute I was straining to hear what he said, the next minute his voice regained normal volume (after I’d just adjusted the volume in an attempt to hear him)—after a couple of chapters Edward and I parted ways. I’ll read the rest of the book myself.

4 people found this helpful

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Thankfully, Life and social more’s have changed!

If you decide to read this, consider that it’s totally a period piece, with the social caste systems of the era firmly in place. Obviously, EM Forster was an accomplished author and observer of his time. AND, I am so glad that, though caste still exists in all societies, even those we consider progressive, we don’t live as stiffly and intransigently as then! I found Where Angels...difficult to listen to and to care to get through, though I did persevere. Because of this, i definitely wouldn’t read another Forster book, nor, would I choose another similar author. Life truly is short and, I like to fill my reading hours with as little frustration or irritation in subjects or stories as possible. Yikes!

2 people found this helpful

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A Beautiful Tragedy

I wasn't sure I would like this story as I don't generally care for tragedies, but the beauty won me over. The beauty of the prose, the beauty of the imagery, the beauty of the tragedy.

I understand the complaint of inconsistent volume, but I think it lent itself well to the story, and I think it was intentional.

2 people found this helpful

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Classic Must Read

Th reader absolutely brings this story to life. A true tragedy that stays with you for it's so beautifully written.

2 people found this helpful

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Not my favorite my EM Forster

Great reading, well performed. Well written, just not my favorite story. Room With A View is just so good.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sh
  • 08-08-21

deeply drawn characters in a classic tragedy

Begins as a kind of manners story, but I stayed with it to dive deeply with these special characters. Excellent narration. The kind of story with a long finish that lingers. A classic of course.

1 person found this helpful

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a dry-witted banger of Edwardian fiction

the narrator is nearly a parody of the hoity-toity squishy British accent but serves the dry humor of the story quite well. enjoyed the whole thing got through it very quickly. E.M. Forester is becoming one of my favorite authors.

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c.f. - A mediocre Austen with a bad ending.

Having received this as a free Audible book, I decided to give Forster a second chance. I realized in this book that they make me think of short, mediocre Jane Austen stories which end badly. This one was less constant drivel in the first half than was Room With a View, but never got much better than the better half of the latter. Its redemption for this reader was 1) Italy and 2) brevity.

Furthermore, the narrator started each sentence strongly, then faded into a whisper. It was impossible to hear the ends of sentences and sometimes he would whisper whole sentences to indicate they were only thinking, or said in a whisper. Tesrrible in an audiobook. I'm glad that 1) It took place in Italy, 2) It was free, and 2) It was short.

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Boring narrator

I have to admit that I did not get past the first chapter. I was going on a long drive and was sick of listening to NPR. I quickly realized that the narrator was so boring that I ran the risk of falling asleep on the highway.

A female younger narrator would be better. This narrator has the charm of a chemistry professor explaining how rocket fuel burns. (Please excuse me if you are reading this and are a rocket scientist.)

This free version is not worth it!

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  • yellox84
  • 06-19-22

Wonderfully narrated

I found the story a bit uneven but Petherbridge has the perfect tone for EM Forster, which made it a pleasure to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anon
  • 09-21-21

EM Forster genius

I love his beautifully observed satire and the affection he has for his characters. This book is perfectly performed and I preferred it to the version read by Stephen Fry. Stephen Fry is brilliant but lacks depth of understanding when portraying women. The story is of an English family undone by their own prejudices and arrogances.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-24-22

unexpected pleasure

this was so well read and such a sad and modern story I couldn't stop listening. with great sneaky jokes and a cast of complicated and interesting characters, twists and surprises I couln't understand why it hadn't been made into a film - but apparently it has. now I need to decide whether to watch it or keep it in my imagination.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-12-22

Narrator hard to hear when speaking softly

Forster's first published novel is not as good as his later works. But the principal culprit is the narrator whose desire to vary the volume makes too many passages too hard to hear.