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Download The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Ford Madox Ford
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,079 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ford Madox Ford Narrator: John Michaels Publisher: Audio Books by Mike Vendetti Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN:
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The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion has been called the perfect novel, and one of the 15 or 20 best novels produced in English in our [20th] century. Ford contrasts perception verses reality masterfully as he portrays two perfect couples through the narrative of the cuckold American husband, Dowell, a classic unreliable narrator.

The Ashburnhams, a perfect upper middle class English couple, haven't spoken to each other in private for years. Teddy Ashburnham, the Perfect Soldier, and seducer of Florence, eases the frustration of a sexless marriage through a series of affairs, which the wife, Leonora, overlooks until his dalliance with Florence, whom she can't stand. Dowell assumes the position of nursemaid to Florence, who convinced him on their wedding night that her heart is too weak for sexual excitement.

Two wealthy couples, one English and one American, meet at a spa in Germany and spend several years in comfortable friendship until it is revealed that the American wife and the English husband are carrying on an affair that the English wife knows about but the American husband does not. After the deaths of the adulterers, more and more is uncovered about both the conduct and emotional meaning of the affair.

The story, narrated by the American husband, is in some sense a detective story, but he is no investigator. The facts come to him unwillingly, since he would prefer not to know. The suspense depends not on what happened, but on the narrator's interpretation of the powerful emotions manifested in very small gestures and remarks.

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Listener Opinions

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

    " read for college Sunset on the British Empire course "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny.p | 1/28/2014

    " A boring story brillantly written. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kirsten | 1/24/2014

    " Melodramatic sexist and anti-Catholic dreck. Disorganized in what I suppose was an "experimental" way back in the day. Why was this ever on my to-read list?? Total waste of time. All characters are horrible people. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Elise | 1/18/2014

    " I really disliked this novel... The most unreliable narrator ever. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marshaferz | 1/18/2014

    " I was impressed by this book, but didn't like it. The craft is obvious - it's difficult to write a book where such a passive character is telling the tale, and one where everything is so circuitous. It's almost like a mystery novel - you find out details early on that don't fit in until later. But the characters are so unpleasant and the story so lackadaisical and convoluted that I had difficulty getting into the story, and didn't enjoy it much. Great discussion at book club, however. "

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

    " Oh everything is so high drama among the rich and twisted beyond belief. Actually, they're an exceedingly boring lot with very little to entertain them (other than adultry) and very little introspection. I found them peckish and irritating. Not a one of them pulled at me, made me want to care about the, yet, I was still compelled to read.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miranda Carbaugh | 1/9/2014

    " It took me awhile to understand everything that the writer inferred, but once I did I thought the book was wonderfully ironic. I have not read many novels with an inaccurate narrarator, but overally I really enjoyed reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frederick | 1/7/2014

    " The critics I've read say this is told by "an unreliable narrator." I disagree. All narrators of novels, especially those who speak in the first person, leave some things out or wait for particularly interesting moments to reveal them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan Newbegin | 12/11/2013

    " In which everyone ends up dead or miserable. And it's maybe a little bitterly funny. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 12/5/2013

    " Boring. Way too much talking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gwen | 11/17/2013

    " I really didn't enjoy this book at all. I found it had a very realistic, yet depressing view of human nature. I understand why it is an important book, in both its structure and literary approach, but I was very glad to be done with it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pete Sharon | 8/2/2013

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

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracey Sinclair | 7/2/2013

    " I loved this: subtle, moving and affecting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James Thompson | 5/6/2013

    " An often overlooked magnificent book. Has been voted one of the 100 books of all time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 5/5/2013

    " One of my favorite books of all time. One of the most effective uses of the unreliable narrator--I first read this with our book club over 20 years ago--definitely time to re-read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hillary Woolley | 12/23/2012

    " Really loved reading this, especially how well Ford pulls off the unreliable narrator in so few pages. I already feel like I need to read it again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Landau | 12/23/2012

    " 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... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 6/21/2012

    " It's a classic book with a very unique writing style. It's hard to follow the meandering narrative at times and probably worth a second reading to delve into the character development by the author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Neal | 12/14/2011

    " Beautifully written, but I really didn't like spending this much time with all those "good people". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 11/25/2011

    " Check out who edited this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alfredo | 5/21/2011

    " A perfect French novel written in English: an acute study of marriage, infidelity, loneliness, deceit, desire, catholic vs protestant ethos... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielroffle | 5/14/2011

    " Madness and relationships as seen through the filter of an unreliable narrator. This book gets overhyped a bit, but it's a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karenbike | 4/17/2011

    " Another story about two dysfunctional couples pre-WWI who have lots of money and only need to carry on love affairs. But, that said, this is a wonderful study of one man trying to to understand, and describe, another man and the impact "The Good Soldier" had on other lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tony | 4/13/2011

    " Would've been nice had it come anywhere close to living up to that first sentence (Ford definitely made it tough on himself with that one). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ke | 4/9/2011

    " This seems to be homoerotic. I think he doesn't treat women that well. There is nice images, but ideologically he seems like the narrator of On the Road. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Andrew | 3/27/2011

    " Why would someone read this and think, "This was worth my time"? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 3/27/2011

    " Some really pretty sentences. A depressing and well-written novel. "

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About the Author
Author Ford Madox FordFord Madox Ford was born Ford Hermann Hueffer in England in 1873. In 1919 He changed his name to Ford Madox Ford in honor of his grandfather, the pre-Raphaelite painter, Ford Madox Brown, whose biography he had written. Ford was well known for both his fiction and his criticism. He founded two influential journals, The English Review in 1908 and The Transatlantic Review in 1924, in which he championed many of the leading modernist writers of the day. His most famous novels include the tetralogy Parade’s End and The Good Soldier, which are still ranked among the greatest works of the twentieth century. Ford died in 1939, at age sixty-five, in France.