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Download A Life of Johnson Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Life of Johnson Audiobook, by James Boswell
3.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 53.97 out of 5 3.97 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Boswell Narrator: Billy Hartman Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2000 ISBN:
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Boswell's biography of his friend and hero Samuel Johnson is an acknowledged classic, full of humorous anecdote and rich characterization. Johnson's complex humanity (his depression, fear of death, intellectual brilliance and rough humor) is set within a vivid picture of 18th century London peopled by personalities of the time such as Sir Joshua Reynolds, John Wilkes, Oliver Goldsmith, and David Garrick. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Abby | 2/6/2014

    " The edition I read was abridged. I found it sometimes interesting, sometimes not. It succeeds in conveying Johnson's significance in English cultural history as well as his less appealing qualities, of which there were many. An important book to read if you have an interest in the history of English lit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie H | 2/6/2014

    " I found it kind of hard to read merely because the way things were written during this time. Interesting subject though! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 2/2/2014

    " This is an incredibly warm portrait of friendship and the character of Samuel Johnson in "The Life" is one of the most vivid in literature. Johnsonians complain that Boswell's work has clouded Johnon's reputation but it was worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Faye | 1/28/2014

    " It would have been so much better if Boswell had kept himself out of it and had stuck to writing about JOHNSON. It really got on my nerves after a while. For once, I think I support the abridgement of a classic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellie | 1/26/2014

    " Actually, I dip in and out of this one (over 30 years!) and I find it delightful & very funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rozzer | 1/21/2014

    " Eclipse first, the rest nowhere. Yes, people, this is it. The BEST biography ever written anywhere in any language. You may not previously have made the acquaintance of Jamie or the good Doctor, but after having read this incredible work they will be your friends for life. It's true. Eighteenth Century London is long ago and, for most of us, far away. Few of us have ever known men to wear knee-pants and tricorne hats as these did, or even seen the huge, thirty-yard dress productions that the ladies then wore. But you've met Boswell and Johnson before, though not in the guise of real persons. This is the intimate, real history of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, of Pickwick and Sam Weller, of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. But though historical rather than fictional, Jamie and the Doctor are just as irrepressibly individual, as impossible to imitate, as any of the famous fictional pairs whom you may have read about and loved. Nor will their conversations (assiduously and immediately written down by Boswell after the fact) have anything in common with any others of which you've read or in which you've participated. Johnson was a strange genius. Boswell was an endearingly individual common man. One has to assume that the foundation of the entire work was Boswell's "father fixation" on Johnson, Boswell's real father (the 8th Laird of Auchinleck) being cold, distant and unsatisfactory to Boswell. Without Boswell's having become entranced with Johnson we wouldn't have this wonderful work. But you have to read it to appreciate it. No summary or comment can in any way do it justice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sybil | 1/16/2014

    " Long; very long. Samuel Johnson, himself, complained about the difficulty of reading two-hundred year old fiction. My take aways: Dr. Johnson was a sharp conversationalist, who mixed with the literary glitterati of his day and had his own version of an 18th century "Entourage". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Holt | 1/15/2014

    " The Life of Samuel Johnson (Penguin Classics) by James Boswell (1979) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Whitney | 1/5/2014

    " Excerpts read for 18th Century British Roots of Modern Disciplines. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 TheCustomer | 12/19/2013

    " A fascinating account of the battle of wits played out two hundred and fifty years ago, 8 Mile set in a Georgian coffee house. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 12/6/2013

    " I had to control myself not to make a thorough study of Johnson after reading this account of his life. He was a true character. I especially loved the group of men he hung out with. Boswell was a good friend to write a book that immortalized the bigger than life Johnson. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 9/4/2013

    " It's a great one. Will re-read again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kalyn | 8/30/2013

    " Cumbersome, perhaps, but better to get the wheat and the chaff then have to wonder what was left out. Boswell is a little over-zealous, but one has to admire his devotion and tenacity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 5/17/2013

    " I'm giving this five stars even though it's an abridgment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randolph Carter | 12/24/2012

    " Greatest biography written bar none. Captures the nature of the man better than anything since. I wouldn't call it the best model for writing a biography, but it still is the finest one ever written. Never surpassed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joel Patton | 6/8/2012

    " It makes me think of reality TV ("Let's go to the Hebrides. . . ."), but infinitely more erudite, of course. Moral: Johnson was kind of an asshole, but is fun to read about. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Conor Robin Madigan | 5/7/2012

    " read it just for Johnson's death: a stunning area of the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kiof | 2/10/2012

    " The ultimate non-fiction book. Just plain great. For me, this is beach-reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug | 9/18/2011

    " Very witty and entertaining at parts, but also very dense. Along with 100 Years of Solitude, it's a book where I spent so much effort climbing the mountain that I couldn't enjoy the view. Will have to reread it to really grasp it and appreciate it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John Waterworth | 5/25/2011

    " I finished this book, finally, at the third attempt. In total, that means it took me about 40 years. It's interesting to hear about the times and the people, but Johnson himself is disappointingly tedious - which tends to make the book less entertaining than expected. But I got there in the end! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken Ludwig | 5/24/2011

    " This, along with Pride and Prejudice, Tom Jones and a few prime Wodehouse novels, is my favorite book of all time and I'm always re-reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 5/6/2011

    " I love this book. It is one of the ultimate fantasies of life and literature...two friends and companions, one the persona,the other a patient amnuensis, who devotes himself to capturing that personality in the amber of a transparent prose. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kiof | 4/27/2011

    " The ultimate non-fiction book. Just plain great. For me, this is beach-reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 3/31/2011

    " I had to control myself not to make a thorough study of Johnson after reading this account of his life. He was a true character. I especially loved the group of men he hung out with. Boswell was a good friend to write a book that immortalized the bigger than life Johnson. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick | 1/17/2011

    " Not as funny as I expected. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 1/11/2011

    " It's a great one. Will re-read again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellie | 1/3/2011

    " Actually, I dip in and out of this one (over 30 years!) and I find it delightful & very funny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug | 12/30/2010

    " Very witty and entertaining at parts, but also very dense. Along with 100 Years of Solitude, it's a book where I spent so much effort climbing the mountain that I couldn't enjoy the view. Will have to reread it to really grasp it and appreciate it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gaius Tullius | 5/22/2010

    " While I love much about the 18th century, particularly the education of gentlemen that made for a facile fluency with Latin and often Greek, I am simply not as enraptured with Samuel Johnson as was Boswell. Oh well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 3/27/2010

    " It gets better and better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 2/15/2010

    " I'm giving this five stars even though it's an abridgment. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kate | 1/27/2010

    " Kind of hard to get through. I didn't like the writing style and found it kind of boring. It's HUGE and takes forever to read because the print is tiny. He's an interesting guy but this could have been shorter. "

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About the Author
Author James Boswell

James Boswell (1740–1795), Scottish man of letters, was born in Edinburgh and studied civil law at Glasgow, but his true ambition was literary fame and the company of great men. In spring 1760 he ran away to London, where he first met Samuel Johnson. He eventually met Voltaire, Rousseau, and Paoli, the hero of Corsica, whom he Boswellized in Account of Corsica, which was an immediate success. In 1773 he was elected to Johnson’s famous literary club. After Johnson’s death and the publication of The Journal of the Tour of the Hebrides, another great success, he began his acknowledged masterpiece, The Life of Samuel Johnson.