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Extended Audio Sample The Custom of the Country, by Edith Wharton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,432 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edith Wharton Narrator: Barbara Carus Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature, Edith Wharton stands among the finest writers of early twentieth-century America. In The Custom of the Country, Wharton’s scathing social commentary is on full display through the beautiful and manipulative Undine Spragg. When Undine convinces her nouveau riche parents to move to New York, she quickly injects herself into high society. But even a well-to-do husband isn’t enough for Undine, whose overwhelming lust for wealth proves to be her undoing.n

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Edith Wharton’s finest achievement.”

    Elizabeth Hardwick

  • An Entertainment Weekly Pick for 12 Books to Ease Your Downton Abbey Withdrawl

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Brendan | 2/20/2014

    " Edith Wharton excels at writing a compelling book about a hugely unlikeable character who is determined not to experience any inner change or personal growth. Wharton picks away at the grasping consumerism of her peers with such precision that it was a relief to realize people were irredeemably selfish in the early twentieth century, and this isn't a new phenomenon. Her thesis that the "custom of the country," where men don't allow women into their business/inner lives, thus preventing happiness for either sex, certainly sparked a lot of thought and one-sided conversations where I recounted the plot for anyone who would listen. I don't know who I would recommend this book to, since Undine Spragg is a pretty hateful (albeit sympathetic?) person. But for those who can handle Wharton's pitch-black take on life, dig in! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kirstie Warr | 2/20/2014

    " This book was an interesting read. As a classic, it offers a different view of the world. It is the story of Undine Spragg, a upper middle class girl who will stop at nothing to climb the social ladder. Her escapades in the social world of eighteenth century New York attack the institution of marriage. Undine uses marriage and divorce as a tool for her success. The character of Undine is so absolutely nauseating, I loved to hate her. Reading it was so interesting because the characterization was so amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tamara Williamson | 2/11/2014

    " I loved this book, even though the main character is a total witch. But watching her manipulate her way to the top is fascinating. Kind of like the movie "All About Eve." I wrote my undergrad thesis on this and another Edith Wharton novel and I analyzed how Edith Wharton felt about/portrayed marriage. Needless to say, in this novel, Wharton is a complete skeptic about marriage. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Patty | 2/10/2014

    " Just another great book. Read it!!! Although I can't say I like Undine, you won't forget her. I know many call this Wharton's best, but I rank this below House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence. "

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