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Download The Rise of Silas Lapham Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Rise of Silas Lapham, by William Dean Howells Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,450 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Dean Howells Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Howells’ best-known work and a subtle classic of its time, The Rise of Silas Lapham is an elegant tale of Boston society and manners.

After garnering a fortune in the paint business, Silas Lapham moves his family from their Vermont farm to the city of Boston in order to improve his social position. The consequences of this endeavor are both humorous and tragic as the greedy Silas brings his company to the brink of bankruptcy.

The novel focuses on important themes in the American literary tradition—the efficacy of self-help and determination, the ambiguous benefits of social and economic progress, and the continual contradiction between urban and pastoral values—and provides a paradigm of American culture in the Gilded Age.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mr. Howells has made a patient study of Boston people, and shows himself a delicate satirist…[An] able and thoroughly enjoyable novel.”

    New York Times, 1885

  • “A novel which no one can neglect who cares to understand American character…[Howells] has at last attained the mastery of narrative which we see in The Rise of Silas Lapham.”

    Saturday Review (London), 1885

  • Silas Lapham is the most enjoyable of Howell’s Books to read and study.”

    Kermit Vanderbilt

  • “[The Rise of Silas Lapham] is a book to read with a great deal of pleasure and to be laid down, after being read, with much disappointment.”

    Washington Post

  • “Grover Gardner is one of America’s most popular and versatile audiobook narrators and winner of an Audio Publishers Association Audie Award.  In this interesting period piece, he does an excellent job voicing the characters with believable and natural Boston and New England accents.  Gardner reads with just the right dramatic touch without overdoing it, keeping the listener’s attention from beginning to end.”

    Soundcommentary.com (starred review)

  • SoundCommentary.com’s The Best of the Best, 2013

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by James | 2/14/2014

    " A good start to my American Realism and Naturalism class. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Neil | 2/14/2014

    " Studied this at University. Found it a bit plodding, to be honest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nicole | 2/13/2014

    " I am so completely in love with this book that I can't believe that I made it this far in my life having never read it. My students are enjoying it as well, which tickles me to pieces here. I want to just immerse myself in Howells now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Zach | 2/12/2014

    " I was forced to read this as an undergrad. I'm glad she made me---Howells is a rare critic who could actually produce good fiction. Not great. Good. "

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