The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Audiobook Review

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, narrated by Robertson Dean
Published in audio by Tantor Audio


From the Scribner paperback edition:

The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

Thoughts on the story:

Dude, it is Gatsby, y’all. One of my favorites.

Thoughts on the audio production:

Robertson Dean was the first ever narrator that I just absolutely loved when he provided the voice for Ethan Canin’s America America. Somehow, though, I haven’t listened to a single other audio he has narrated in the intervening 3 years since I developed my audio crush on him. When I saw that he had narrated one of my favorite classics, The Great Gatsby, I jumped to listen. Robertson Dean is just as wonderful as I remember, he has a wonderful and sonorous voice and great delivery. That being said, by the end of the book I found him a slightly ill-fitting choice, primarily because the book is told from Nick’s point-of-view and Dean simply sounds a bit too mature for this young Midwestern man. Despite this slight disconnect, though, this is still a strong production that is well-narrated, although perhaps not perfectly cast.


I love The Great Gatsby and I love Robertson Dean, but they didn’t quite mesh as well as I had hoped. Still, this was an enjoyable listen.

Buy this book from:
Powells: Audio*
Indiebound: Audio*

I’m launching a brand-new meme every Friday! I encourage you to review any audiobooks you review on Fridays and include the link here. If you have reviewed an audiobook earlier in the week, please feel free to link that review as well. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.

Source: Publisher.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Published by Signet Classics, an imprint of Penguin

Recently Nicole and I read The Scarlet Pimpernel for a classics rip episode of What’s Old is New. Now, this isn’t the first time that I had read – or blogged about, for that matter – The Scarlet Pimpernel. Almost three and a half years ago, I read Baroness Orczy’s book alongside Lauren Willig’s flower spy series (as an aside, how is that I have blog posts that are almost 3.5 years old?!?) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Still, even though it was a relatively recent read, I was afraid that The Scarlet Pimpernel might not hold up, since I’ve probably read 600 books since then.

What I found was that I loved The Scarlet Pimpernel just as much as I did three years ago. As a classic action adventure novel it is an inordinate amount of fun. There are the requisite misunderstandings and thwarted love affairs, dashing heroes rescuing people from certain death, and a villain readers will love to hate.

Of course, nobody is going to be super surprised that I enjoyed The Scarlet Pimpernel since I loved it three years ago and suggested it for this classics rip episode. Nicole was a skeptic, though, and only really agreed to read it at all because I told her it was very short. If you want to know if she liked it too, though, you’ll have to listen to the episode.

By the way, in this episode we also announced a contest for the first person who can recommend to us a Dickens book we actually both like. If you have suggestions, please add them to the comments on the episode.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Personal copy.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – Book Review

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Okay, who is that neglected to tell me I should read this book years and years ago? Whoever you are, you are TOTALLY fired.

“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” is the story of Francie Nolan and her family in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Nolans don’t have much money, scrimping and saving to even get by, but they do have determination. Francie’s mother, Katie, is determined to do what it takes to keep her family together and keep them from feeling too much deprivation. Francie is determined to get as much education as possible and frequently loses herself in the world of books.

I remember this being one of the books in the Readers Digest Condensed Books series we had when I was growing up. I know that abridgments are mildly evil, but the books were beautiful and I loved to pick them up. I know I read many of the works out of those books, but I always avoided “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” because I thought the title sounded totally boring.

I really, really wish I hadn’t prejudged this book, but I’m also really, really thankful to Heather for picking this for our Classic Reads Book Club. I loved it. L.O.V.E.D. it. First of all, Betty Smith’s writing is gorgeous and completely evocative of time and place. Besides that, Francie is a girl after my own heart, working her way alphabetically through her local library, getting so excited about schooling.

If you have reached adulthood without reading “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, ” please do yourself a favor and read it as soon as possible. I think it might join “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck in the group of books that I reread regularly.

Buy this book from:
A local independent bookstore via Indiebound.*

This review was done with a book I purchased myself.
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

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