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Download The Good Soldier Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Good Soldier Audiobook, by Ford Madox Ford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,093 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ford Madox Ford Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2012 ISBN: 9781470803759
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The Good Soldier is a story about the complex social and sexual relationships between two couples—one English, one American—and the growing awareness of American narrator John Dowell of the intrigues and passions behind their orderly Edwardian façade. It is Dowell’s attitude—his puzzlement, uncertainty, and the seemingly haphazard manner of his narration—that makes the book so powerful and mysterious. In Ford’s brilliantly woven tale, nothing is quite what it seems.

Despite its catalog of death, insanity, and despair, this novel has many comic moments and has inspired the work of several distinguished writers, including Graham Greene. Originally published in 1915, The Good Soldier is considered by many to be Ford Madox Ford’s masterpiece.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One of the finest novels of our century.”

    Graham Greene

  • The Good Soldier, often regarded as his best work, reflects Ford’s ambivalent fascination with the phenomenon of the English gentleman. The conclusion is anticipated in the well-known opening line: ‘This is the saddest story I have ever heard.’”

    New York Times

  • “This is the most intriguing, shocking, and original book I have ever read…The Good Soldier is the only book I have ever read and wanted to read again immediately.”

    Times (London)

  • “Almost a perfect novel.”

    Guardian (Manchester)

  • “Beautifully written, a wonderful novel.”

    Western Daily Press (Bristol)

  • A Wall Street Journal Pick for 5 Best Novels of Despair

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ExtremeBibliophile | 2/16/2014

    " I read this book in college and I thought it was absolutely the most hilarious farcical novel I'd yet read! I don't know why this isn't made required reading (if such a thing even exists anymore!) in high schools and colleges. Ford has a tremendous gift here for portraying the lives of bored rich people and their intersecting lives. Edith Wharton gets all the glory for her writings about the upper classes and their foibles, but Ford exceeds her in dry wit and setting the atmosphere around the main couples. I highly highly recommend this book and think Ford is unjustifiably overlooked and underrated as an author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Landau | 2/12/2014

    " Took a bit for me to get my sea legs, then it was rough, blindsided by waves, and ultimately made it to shore. Will likely take another dip. Oh, wait, I'm talking about a vacation to the beach... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 2/9/2014

    " almost gothic in its melodrama, though not maudlin (for the most part). enjoyed the discontinuous storytelling, the obtuse narrator, but the subject was too grown-up and upper-crusty for my taste. marvelous, quick-witted prose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margot Jennifer | 1/30/2014

    " Really good book but terribly sad story. No one wins. Marriages fail. People betray themselves and others. Some just sit and let it all happen. Sad. Sad. Sad. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bonnie | 1/15/2014

    " Impressionist novel. Very modernist in that more-question-marks-and-exclamation-points-than-periods kind of way. Story is a bit sad, of course. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine Chang | 1/13/2014

    " I read this book virtually in one sitting - the writing was easy to read, and although I didn't necessarily identify with the narrator, I was drawn into the story. Despite its opening line, ("This is the saddest story I have ever heard"), it doesn't really become too sentimental. At best, it is a novel that makes you think about appearances - how we judge others by their presentation to us, and how we interpret their actions in light of our own human experiences with hte world. At worst, the narrator, and none of the other characters in the novel, for that matter, are very likeable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ariana Mitchell | 1/12/2014

    " Can we trust our narrator? Which leads one to ask can we even trust ourselves when it comes to us judging our own humanity? I love this book not for how it is written but for how it lets one into how we can hide behind false perceptions and let them lead us to believe whatever we wish despite people showing us the true visage of themselves. I don't want to be a spoiler so I will say this book is a interesting read when it comes to understanding humanity and how we all sit back and look at ourselves sometimes to later realize the level of denial we can live in. Its a slow start but once you get to the three/four chapter things begin to take off... the book is written like you are having a conversation with a relative who tends to be full of crap always leaving out important details...well in my opinion anyways.. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa | 1/11/2014

    " I had to study this book for a litt. exam, and absolutely hated it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 F Clark | 1/4/2014

    " I loved the Parade's End tetralogy, but was rather disappointed in this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 1/2/2014

    " This one was required reading in my literature class [all those years ago in junior college], and I remember I was surprised how much I got into this book. I'll have to get myself a new copy and re-read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ebennettclark | 8/12/2013

    " Wasn't particularly drawn to any of the characters so it was hard to have pity or sympathy for any of them. Can't say it was the saddest story to me, but I still think the exploration of human pyschological motivation/desire/selfishness was done brilliantly. People are complicated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pete Sharon | 5/19/2013

    " Gripping story; fascinating. Levels upon levels, mirrors within mirrors. Can't stop thinking about this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh | 4/26/2013

    " Possibly the best use of unreliable narration I've ever read. Very assured, very controlled, and very smart. Maybe not the saddest story you'll ever hear, but one of the most skillful. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Keith Rowland | 3/10/2013

    " If you like this sort of stuff fine but just not my cup of tea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Timmy | 9/5/2012

    " Brilliantly done, this little gem. Masterful. The heaviness of superficiality never softens. Offhand, I cannot think of a more biting story, utterly debilitating in its social reflections. I have set forth a proclamation to read it at Prince William's wedding. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mariya | 4/3/2012

    " "The Good Soldier" is what "Revolutionary Road" written by Waugh would read like. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 4/2/2012

    " You know, I know I will have to defend this one at the reading group, but I enjoyed it. I can't say I understood it or even liked it, but I interacted with it more than i have done with a novel in a while. the unreliable narrator was kind of fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 3/7/2012

    " At another time in my life I might have liked this more. The writing is excellent and the psychology might have interested me if I could have cared about the lives of the characters. "

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About the Author
Author Ford Madox Ford

Ford Madox Ford (1873–1939) was a novelist, poet, literary critic, editor, and one of the founding fathers of English Modernism. He published over seventy books in his lifetime, perhaps most famously The Good Soldier. His books often centered on the conflict between traditional British values and those of the modern industrial society.

About the Narrator

Ralph Cosham (1936–2014), a.k.a. Geoffrey Howard, was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles, and several of his narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. He won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for Best Mystery Narration for his reading of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.