Download The Last Gentleman Audiobook

The Last Gentleman Audiobook, by Walker Percy Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Walker Percy Narrator: Wolfram Kandinsky Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 1994 ISBN: 9781624607103
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,073 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Williston Bibb Barrett is a rather unusual and inquisitive young Southerner with a special gift for cultivating the possibilities of life. He suffers from occasional bouts of amnesia and disconcerting attacks of déjà vu. He clings to certain old-fashioned notions of behavior, and yet he finds himself constantly impelled to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations. And he lives with the secret suspicion that the great world catastrophe that everyone fears will happen has already happened.

The novel follows Will Barrett’s adventures as he becomes involved in the complex troubles, loves, and fortunes of a Southern family, the Vaughts, that is living in the shadow of their youngest son’s illness. With settings ranging from New York to Alabama, Louisiana to New Mexico, this is an ambitious, funny, compulsively readable novel about the dilemmas of modern man.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Splendid…A beautifully textured novel…A distinguished work of art.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Breaks your heart in the midst of laughter.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Nothing I can say about this novel will convey the sense of constant delight that it provides, a rich essence that is always right…It is art—and more vivid and alive and meaningful than our own living…tender-funny and full of references to things we were certain no one else had ever noticed.”

    Houston Post

  • “Brilliant…It shimmers with the chaste and civilized ornaments of irony, understatement, and compassion.”


  • “Lovely and brilliant…A highly whimsical kind of picaresque tale that puts one in mind of both Faulkner and Canneau.”

    Joyce Carol Oates, Nation

  • “Kandinsky’s narration employs a steady and sardonic voicing, appropriate to the prose.”


  • “Kandinsky’s presentation…brings the words sharply in focus…His characterizations are engaging and distinct. Unhurriedly and conscientiously, Kandinsky gives depth to this amusing, yet difficult, search for fulfillment in the baffling world.”


Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo | 2/20/2014

    " Walker Percy creates the insider's sense of what it is like to be a Southerner, but more importantly, what it means to be a sensitive soul destined to be an observer only, if he cannot find the means to disconnect from the observer position and move into one in which he lives his life. Themes present in The Moviegoer are explored and enhanced here. The Last Gentleman is funny, poignant, and hopeful, even though the characters don't always inspire our sympathy. I read this slowly, savoring the dreamy language and ideas which often pulled me up short because I had thought them myself. Deja vu, indeed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/16/2014

    " "New York is full of people from small towns who are quite content to live obscure lives in some out-of-the-way corner of the city. Here there is no one to keep track." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 2/8/2014

    " I'm sure there's stuff going on in WP's books that I don't get but I love them anyway. This was my first and I've read all of them twice except for the last two. Will shows up again years later in "The Second Coming". Will is pretty much confused and "fugued" out by life. Favorite part: Will is traveling across Mississippi and comes to Oxford while the James Meredith integrating was taking place. As he's crossing the town at night with rioter's fires blazing in the streets he's confronted by a running wild-faced young man who screams at him "He's here!" and runs off. Date read is approximate for the second read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stewart | 2/2/2014

    " I hadn't read Percy in several years and had almost forgotten what a good stylist he is. The story - a Southerner adrift in New York who gets caught up in the complicated lives of a dying contemporary and his eccentric family - takes a while to get going, then drags a bit when they get back down South. But it regains its momentum about two-thirds of the way through. There's a little too much philosophizing, and traces of the unintelligible Faulkner, but Percy never loses control of the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 1/28/2014

    " One of my all-time favorite books. I am such a huge Walker Percy fan, and this is one of his best. "

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

    " Walker Percy "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathrina | 1/21/2014

    " Read the whole thing for the reward of the last 20 pages --a true and honest depiction of the moments just prior to death after a prolonged illness. What will you do with your life? What will you do with your death? There's a lot to think on here: memory, identity, recognizing who we are and our place in the world, home and not-home. Challenging, but worthwhile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 1/19/2014

    " Walker Percy always amazes me with his ability to channel a Faulknerian voice of the South into the late twentieth century. He always manages to present a cast of characters that are ultimately loveable in their on-the-edge-and-sometimes-off the mark of traditional sanity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Molly | 1/19/2014

    " I confess, I just got tired of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marla | 1/12/2014

    " Not exactly sure when I went through my Walker Percy phase, but I know it was in the 80s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 1/2/2014

    " Another book I don't remember at all (read 43 years ago). But liked all Percy books, so am giving it 3 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 bo | 12/12/2013

    " I love Walker Percy, but this is my favorite. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marion | 4/10/2013

    " This book, based in small part on Dostoevsky's The Idiot, is, is, is everything. The final pages will make you tremble or cry, or just appreciate how we kiss and kick around despair. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joyce | 1/5/2013

    " Not exactly a page turner, but brilliant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 11/10/2012

    " I think this was the first of WP's books I read. I read it again years later and will probably do it one more time. Percy's books are one-of-a-kind and precious(in a good way). Date read is for the first read and approximate. "

About the Author

Walker Percy (1916–1990) went to medical school and interned at Bellevue, intending to be a psychiatrist. After a bout with tuberculosis, he married and converted to Catholicism. He became a writer and his first novel, The Moviegoer, won the National Book Award and has never been out of print. He lived with his wife in Covington, Louisiana, where they operated a bookstore until his death.

About the Narrator

Wolfram Kandinsky (1940–1993) was a popular audiobook narrator whose career spanned the earliest days of commercial audiobooks. He was a familiar voice of the classics for millions of audiobook fans, and his résumé encorporated the greats of American literature, from Mark Twain to Saul Bellow.