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Download The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold, by Evelyn Waugh Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (387 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Evelyn Waugh Narrator: Simon Prebble Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Gilbert Pinfold is a reclusive Catholic novelist suffering from acute inertia. In an attempt to defeat insomnia, he has been imbibing an unappetizing cocktail of bromide, chloral, and creme de menthe. He books a passage on the SS Caliban and, as it cruises towards Ceylon, rapidly slips into madness.

Almost as soon as the gangplank lifts, Pinfold hears sounds coming out of the ceiling of his cabin: wild jazz bands, barking dogs, and loud revival meetings. He is convinced that an erratic public-address system is letting him hear everything that goes on aboard ship … until he hears voices instead of just sounds. And not just any voices. These voices are talking, in the most frighteningly intimate way, about him!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Waugh’s ‘portrait of the artist in middle age’...is a genuine gothic horror, a gargoyle to terrify anyone who has ever contemplated a literary career...The acid bath so often prepared for others has now found its way into his own tub...Waugh draws an intimate picture of a distinguished author at bay.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The very model of the modern paranoid novel.”

    New York Times

  • “Unblinking candor informs Waugh’s dark, comic vision.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “The hallucinogenic visions that novelist Gilbert Pinfold experiences are an ideal canvas for a skilled performer like Simon Prebble…Pinfold hears a vast range of sounds emanating from the ceiling of his cabin, including frighteningly belligerent and abusive dialogues that Prebble adroitly delivers…Waugh’s descriptive powers and dry wit glow in this dark, and sometimes funny, self-portrait.”


Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Sara | 1/31/2014

    " I really disliked this book. I read to the end because it was pretty short and I wanted to find out how the situation was resolved, but it was just weird and not entertaining at all. The writing is fine, but the story is just not interesting and I can't see why people like it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Maggie | 1/29/2014

    " light reading. captivating in an old-fashioned way. well written, of course; it's eveyln waugh at his most relaxing and i like traveling by ship anyway. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Micha | 1/27/2014

    " This is a very different sort of book from Waugh's others. The most familiar elements are the unrelenting bits of racism and his usual mode of satire. The fact that it's based on real aspects of his life makes it somewhat terrifying, but the execution was great. How he knew and didn't know they were just voices, how he kept rationalizing things and how contradictions weren't a big issue. The back of my book contained a few short stories which I didn't have time to read, but which I intend to get to. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Lydia | 1/25/2014

    " Anyone who has ever intelligently and cleverly hallucinated - and yes, such a thing is possible - will doubly appreciate this story. It is remarkable what crumbs of truth concerning social norms and condemnations emanate through the subconscious under the influence of alcohol, drugs, fever, and mental issues. "

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