Download The Monk Audiobook

The Monk Audiobook, by Matthew Lewis Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Matthew Lewis Narrator: Jefferson Mays Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9781490657639
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Few could sustain the glance of his eye, at once fiery and penetrating.

Savaged by critics for its supposed profanity and obscenity and bought in large numbers by readers eager to see whether it lived up to its lurid reputation, The Monk became a success due to scandal when it was published in 1796—not least because its author was a member of parliament and only twenty years old. It recounts the diabolical decline of Ambrosio, a Capuchin superior, who succumbs first to temptations offered by a young girl who has entered his monastery disguised as a boy, and continues his descent with increasingly depraved acts of sorcery, murder, incest, and torture. Combining sensationalism with acute psychological insight, this masterpiece of Gothic fiction is a powerful exploration of how violent and erotic impulses can break through the barriers of social and moral restraint.

This edition is based on the first edition of 1796, which appeared before Lewis’ revisions to avoid charges of blasphemy. In his introduction, Christopher MacLachlan discusses the novel’s place within the Gothic genre and its themes of sexual desire and the abuse of power.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What distinguishes The Monk from a whole raft of lesser imitations is the quality of the storytelling…There’s always a danger of bathos in narratives where horror is piled on horror…Lewis avoids that pitfall by judicious use of humor. He also writes with great visual immediacy. Lewis has a remarkable understanding of human psychology. The Monk is a stunning read.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “This is the highly popular and equally highly vilified Gothic novel, written in 1794. Gruesome, voluptuous, and occasionally tongue-in-cheek, The Monk is a masterpiece of its genre.”

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

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About the Author

Matthew Lewis (1775–1818) was an English novelist and dramatist, often referred to as “Monk” Lewis because of the success of his 1796 Gothic novel, The Monk. He is also known for the play The Castle Spectre as well as his many translations of other texts. Lewis attended Christ Church, Oxford, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1794 and a master’s in 1797.

About the Narrator

Jefferson Mays, an Earphones Awards-winning narrator, is also an award-winning theater and film actor. In 2004 he won a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Obie Award, and a Theatre World Award for his solo Broadway performance in I Am My Own Wife, a Pulitzer Prize–winning play by Doug Wright. He holds a BA from Yale College and an MFA from University of California–San Diego.