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The Man of Property Audiobook, by John Galsworthy Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: John Galsworthy Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Forsyte Saga Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538463567
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (7,529 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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John Galsworthy’s epic Forsyte Saga follows the fortunes of the venerable Forsyte family, a moneyed clan whose passions are ever at war with its values. Galsworthy won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932 “for his distinguished art of narration, which takes its highest form in the Forsyte Saga.”

The Man of Property, the first novel in the trilogy, introduces us to Soames Forsyte, a solicitor and prominent figure in his family. Accustomed to getting whatever he wants, he sets his sights with absolute determination on the beautiful Irene, in spite of her pennilessness and her indifference to him. Irene, a lover of art and beauty, eventually accepts his marriage proposal over a life of degraded poverty, but she swears to Soames that she will never be his property. When all his money fails to make up for the absence of love and Irene falls for a young architect, Soames resolves to force the obedience he could not buy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A social satire of epic proportions and one that does not suffer by comparison with Thackeray’s Vanity Fair…the whole comedy of manners, convincing both in its fidelity to life and as a work of art.”

    New York Times

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jossalyn | 2/9/2014

    " read because I loved the Masterpiece Theater adaptation "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 2/9/2014

    " It took a long time for me to get into this book, but, once I did, I read it constantly. "

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

    " I was meaning to read this book for a very long time, at least 10 years. Finally, I'm done. A great book. Really appealed to me for a number of reasons. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea Carrijo | 1/26/2014

    " It was like reading a last century soap opera, but much better written. i loved it. i am debating now on renting the masterpiece theater TV series in order to see all the Forsytes in person... LOL! I had fun reading it, i think you will too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joni | 1/26/2014

    " wonderful, memorable characters. an excellent exploration in novel form on class, privilege, hypocrisy and societal morais. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simon | 1/24/2014

    " As an English child of the sixties there were a number of sides to choose: Beatles or Stones? Mods or Rockers? Irene or Soames? Everyone in our street had a view. Feminists backed Irene, traditionalists (bigots) were for Soames. Men backed Soames, women, Irene. Men who had watched the BBc were for Irene because Nyree Dawn Porter reached heights of grace and beauty that slowed the blood, then quickened it. I was only 10 and didn't really know what they were talking about. I've just read the book and now at least I know why they were talking. Its a superb story and these two are probably the pick of a crop of memorable and acutely observed characters. The Forsytes are out of fashion. The recent TV adaptation failed to get anyone talking, and Galsworthy is often considered the wrong English writer to have won the Nobel prize. OK he wasn't a modernist; his style was very much going out of fashion, but he was bloody good at what he did. Its taken me a long time to get round to reading volume one. The rest will follow soon. Oh, and I can't decide. I'm a little in love with Irene, but Soames...what a character! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hyland | 1/13/2014

    " Just finished watching the 2002 BBC five disc filming of the first volume, a totally intoxicating series. The book is compulsively readable, which is embarrassing, since D.H. Lawrence and a lot of others find the book impossibly sentimental. But it's the kind of book one would very much like to have written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Koblos | 1/8/2014

    " One of the great classics... didn't impress me that much. Yet another story of the tragic downfall of a family, though it was more the unlucky relationship of two people, and how that tore a family apart that was probably all to willing to go against each other. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 1/5/2014

    " Not for me, maybe later but there just wasn't any saga in the first 6 out if 11 discs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ANGELA | 1/3/2014

    " Love it!!! Another family saga! Interesting characters!!! So delish w detail!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 1/2/2014

    " The family saga that started the genre of family sagas, this is a must read for lovers of British literature and lovers of the well-crafted novel. Galsworthy writes of early 20th century London with such rich detail that you can almost hear the horses hooves on the pavement outside. The characters are deftly drawn as the author explores the questions of property, the deterioration of a family, and how the actions of the past impact the next generation. The three novels and two short stories are something of a time commitment (it is a saga, after all) but it is time well spent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lilya Shey | 1/1/2014

    " This book is a bit difficult to get into, but once you do, you'll find it was worth the wait. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 12/25/2013

    " I guess I read this many years ago, but I don't remember--I did just listen to an audio version, and it was totally great. Looking forward to the rest of the books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deanne | 12/20/2013

    " My feelings about Soames and Irene are mixed, I began this book feeling sympathy for Soames. Gradually I've found myself switching allegiance to Irene, wonder how I'll feel at the end of the third book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 12/18/2013

    " A nice soap opera with (imo) rather tedious social commentary about "property" and criticism of Victorian values. I guess that's what makes this literature. The soap opera part is great, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/11/2013

    " So far much more engaging and amusing than Powell...only 6 or 8 more to go... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 11/23/2013

    " Wow! Loved it. All 692 pages. Better than RHOBH, RHOA, RHONJ & RHONY COMBINED. Took some time, but loved reading it and felt transported to a time, not so long ago, when women were viewed as 'property' and had no rights at all. Fascinating to reflect on how far we come. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth Brown | 11/18/2013

    " Very satisfying with a lot of timeless themes. This was better than the second triology form Galsworthy, which sustained the personal stories but couldn't maintain the same commentary on society. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 10/2/2013

    " Wonderful book. Follows the Forsyths through WWI, starting in the Victorian Age. A good case study of Victorian thought and way of life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 7/27/2013

    " Loved the mini-series for TV and now am trying to read this Galsworthy Behemoth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bernadette Duponchel | 7/8/2013

    " 900 pages..., yet I have read this book 3 times!. Once you start you cannot put it down!. It is such a facinating study of victorian area families and society as a whole. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arabella | 6/25/2013

    " Very much enjoyed this, particularly the perspective of how family skeletons have power to affect future generations. Also interesting views of the rapid changes to society and individuals in the last half of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 3/17/2013

    " I loved it! Like a wonderful turn of the century soap opera, but with history and wisdom and humor and wonderful characters and great social commentary. Glad I never saw the movie or TV versions, but I might want to now. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melanie | 2/5/2013

    " I don't mind a slow book as long as the plot eventually develops and the characters are well developed. I feel like I still don't know or understand the main characters, especially Irene. The plot wandered too much without any point to the tangents. For me this was a boring book which I rarely say. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darryl | 9/25/2012

    " This book was pretty interesting and definitely well-written. It really sucks you into the characters. The story isn't what you would call compelling (sort of soap opera-esque), but somehow it's very engaging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eskae | 8/30/2012

    " Amazingly interesting characters, the ups and downs of the storyline make it hard to put down. I highly recommend reading this series in order. You become very attached to the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andelyne | 5/21/2012

    " There was one chapter in the book that was amazing and made it all worth while for me. I have only finished the first book of the three. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurele | 5/16/2012

    " I so enjoy Galsworthy's wry, dry, elegant prose! This is the first book of the Forsyte Saga trilogy. I plan to complete the trilogy and then read the six other books about the Forsytes this year. plus the short Interludes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 5/4/2012

    " I found the book a quick read, with a fascinating story. The characters represent many facets of the human condition. Looking forward to reading the rest of the saga. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caroline | 5/1/2012

    " I tried. I really tried. But in the end I couldn't handle the combination of Victorian pathos and the smug, self-assured judgment of Jazz Age commentary on that pathos. For my money, Edith Wharton's "The Age of Innocence" explores the same questions, but much more compactly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claudia Douris | 3/6/2012

    " Written in 1914 this is the saga of the moneyed Forsytes, a family whose values are constantly at war with its passions. If you are up for a long long read give it a try....despite its 900 pages it is a rather quick read... Only downfall, nobody is really happy in the novel! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 1/17/2012

    " 2.5 stars A good story, but the TV adaptation from 1967 was stupendous - it's no wonder Soames vs Irene became a national obsession. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natalie | 12/30/2011

    " Didn't make it through this. I never got fully engaged. But I can heartily recommend the BBC mini series. It was very compelling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lara | 7/13/2011

    " This is one that I've picked up and put down so many times over the past few months. It's moving rather slowly and I'm having a hard time sticking with it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 4/2/2011

    " I don't know why, maybe I wasn't in the right mood, but I didn't enjoy this as much as I should have. Great story, dramatic family... but I just couldn't dig my teeth into the way I usually do. I will probably give the next in the series a chance... in a while. Or I may just watch the BBC version. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 3/10/2011

    " I found the book a quick read, with a fascinating story. The characters represent many facets of the human condition. Looking forward to reading the rest of the saga. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurele | 12/30/2009

    " I so enjoy Galsworthy's wry, dry, elegant prose! This is the first book of the Forsyte Saga trilogy. I plan to complete the trilogy and then read the six other books about the Forsytes this year. plus the short Interludes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darryl | 1/21/2009

    " This book was pretty interesting and definitely well-written. It really sucks you into the characters. The story isn't what you would call compelling (sort of soap opera-esque), but somehow it's very engaging. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 9/7/2008

    " So far much more engaging and amusing than Powell...only 6 or 8 more to go... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 3/29/2008

    " It was like reading a last century soap opera, but much better written. i loved it. i am debating now on renting the masterpiece theater TV series in order to see all the Forsytes in person... LOL! I had fun reading it, i think you will too. "

About the Author

Author John Galsworthy

John Galsworthy (1867–1933), English novelist and playwright, went to Oxford to study law but turned to literature after he met Joseph Conrad on a voyage. The Man of Property (1906), the first of the Forsyte Chronicles, established his reputation. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1932.

About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.