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Extended Audio Sample The Scarlet Letter Audiobook, by Nathaniel Hawthorne Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (270,552 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne Narrator: Robert Bethune Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2014 ISBN: 9781629233697
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In 1642, a pregnant Hester Prynne is found guilty of adultery, shunned by her neighbors, and forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her dress. Meanwhile, Hester’s husband—long thought to be lost at sea—has returned to Boston under the assumed name “Roger Chillingworth” and plots to uncover her lover’s identity. After her daughter Pearl is born, Hester is frequently visited by both Reverend Dimmesdale and Chillingworth, but always refuses to name her lover. As the years wear on and Pearl grows older, Hester’s defiance—and her lover’s silence—weighs heavily on the lives of all parties involved.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Grace Baumiller | 2/18/2014

    " I did not particurally enjoy this book. It was very diffucult to read and understand. However, The plot was interesting. It was well written, but it was quite boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ted Elattrache | 2/18/2014

    " This book is a classic for a reason. It has a great theme and message to the book. It was very well written but a little hard to understand because of the way that Nathanian Hawthorne writes. I was fascinated with the character Hester. The was she controlled her anger and embarrassment was amazing. Being put through the hardship of the publicity of her crime i can not even fathom. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Roderick | 2/10/2014

    " I just couldn't get into this book...I don't know what it was, and I can't quite put my finger on it. While the plot was good the writing was something I couldn't get a feel for and I felt bored and tired every time I began reading. If it wasn't something that had been required for class I would have thrown it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Seth Hanson | 1/31/2014

    " As with most 'classics', reading this book felt like a long, strenuous jog rather than a pleasure stroll around your neighborhood duck pond. But I suppose that's a good thing... giving the ole brain a workout and what not. I did like it for for the most part and I do feel I have a much better understanding of what it was like to be a Puritan living in one of the puritannical settlements of colonial America. In fact, if you're interested in that period of history than I'd say this is a definite 'must read'. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethany Griffith | 1/27/2014

    " A bit of a tough book to read, I was able to get through it by reading slowly and rereading pages. Since I read this book in school settings, it wasn't as enjoyable. I have a feeling that if I were to reread the book it would truly be a fairly good book. It is a good story, just complex and wordy. I'm not discouraging you from reading it, in fact I highly recommend it. Nathaniel Hawthorne writes many good stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rainey | 1/20/2014

    " Read this classic twice in high school. I enjoyed the writing style, but did not enjoy the moralizing of religious terrorism. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Samara | 1/18/2014

    " Not one of the better classics I've read. It's poignant and well written, just not engrossing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana | 1/16/2014

    " Men and women are NOT equal! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynda Schultz | 1/16/2014

    " I reread this classic and enjoyed it. Interesting to consider the time it was written and how contemporary the issues and attitudes are. The language is a bit cumbersome but I'm glad I revisited it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hadeel | 1/15/2014

    " It was wierd book, but I liked it. There are things, especially regarding that tortured idiot DImmesdale and the secret cunning of Roger CHillingworth relationship that was amusing, but overall it was alright... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather Scott | 1/12/2014

    " While I love curling up with a classic I don't generally devour them the same way I do with contemporarily written novels. The Scarlet Letter is one of a few exceptions. I am a complete sucker for dark, theatrical and tragic 19th century literature (Hello Jude the Obscure and Wuthering Heights) and this one definitely lived up to my expectations. I don't know how I managed to avoid this in high school, but I am glad I did. Not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I never would have appreciated the story or the writing as a teenager. I love Hawthorne's styl;, it's beautiful, eloquent, lyrical and descriptive. One of the things I personally enjoy about reading classics is digging into a text and having something to look for or think about--and Hawthorne gives his reader plenty of opportunities to dig deep. I also genuinely loved Hester's character. I thought she possessed an inner strength and dignity that is incredibly admirable to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 1/1/2014

    " The ending to this book really annoyed me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Colleen | 12/10/2013

    " One of those things you have to read, I never read, felt like I should read, but now that I read...feh. Really would live to know how a modern high school English teacher convinces a class of bored kids that this novel has any resonance in their lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellie Jean | 12/3/2013

    " not a fan of the long intro but I enjoyed the rest. and I think I'm the only one who feels bad for the deformed asshole husband. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hannah Crossett | 11/25/2013

    " I am not a fan of this book, but we had to read it for high school and I learned from this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lola | 11/2/2013

    " Good book cool premise, but weird writing style and a little too contrived. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Naina Sakruti | 10/8/2013

    " I feel like I would have liked this book better if I didn't read it for Honors Lit class. And analyzed every damn thing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teresa | 8/30/2013

    " A book that shows the great strength of one woman against the unfair opinions of the populace and the bias of that socity of men verus women. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elise Richardson | 8/20/2013

    " Required reading, I wasn't impressed, but I think it was just difficult to read. For the time, I'm sure it was ground-breaking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Penn Amaya | 6/19/2013

    " Yes I read this in high school and just found it again. Just a few weeks ago. Always a classic. "

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

    " Like all classics, there are always parts that drag. I read this in 11th grade and wanted to read it again. I liked it better when I read it the second time. I appreciate the imagery much better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashlen | 4/5/2013

    " Ehh. Kind of a strange book. It wasn't terrible but I got to the point where I couldn't read it anymore and went to youtube to listen to the audiobook. It dragged on and on. Interesting story line and all but I wish it would've gotten to the point faster. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Samara | 2/24/2013

    " Not one of the better classics I've read. It's poignant and well written, just not engrossing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lucie | 12/24/2012

    " Did not really enjoy this "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Madison | 12/1/2012

    " Loved this. I did an indepth look in my AP Lang class which opened resolved a lot of confusion. Once you conquer the symbolism, you're good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sandra Durand | 10/17/2012

    " I didn't like reading this book. Too degrading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacque | 4/26/2012

    " A lot of people told me this book was depressing but I found it to be interesting and while maybe not uplifting still inspirational. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Siara Richards | 12/27/2011

    " I didn't really like this book. In a way I did though, the story line for it was good. I just really don't like how it ended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki Valenta | 11/20/2011

    " I read this book in high school and hated it. I read it again about 20 years later and thoroughly enjoyed it. This book is wasted on high school kids. You don't really understand the complexity of someone who doesn't fit into society's norms until you're much older. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margaret Berger | 10/7/2011

    " I nabbed this book at a "Four Classics for Ten Bucks" sale. Admittedly, the writing was hard to follow in spots however the story is heartbreakingly sad and beautiful. I've passed my copy around enough that the pages are dog eared and the cover is torn. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 miriam | 8/9/2011

    " I've tried to read this book so many times, but it just doesn't catch me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elana Lanzetta | 8/7/2011

    " Interesting to think about the true nature of right and wrong, good and evil....enjoyed "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristy | 5/22/2011

    " I enjoyed this substantially more when I read it again after I was required to read it in high school. Hawthorne makes liberal use of the comma - just ignore them and it flows much better. ;) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/22/2011

    " You know, surprisingly I liked this book when I read it in high school. For all the rap I heard about it, I thought I wouldn't like it. But I felt that the characters were real. And wasn't there a twist-up in the end? I don't remember . ..it's been so long! =) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dav8d777 | 5/21/2011

    "
    Read for school. Painful as all hell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nisha | 5/21/2011

    " I've always enjoyed this book because I find something new to focus on every time I read it. This time around was the contemplation of Chillingworth's moral decline. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie.bloomfield | 5/18/2011

    " As most people, I had to read this for a high school English class. This book is a classic and I actually enjoyed reading it and found the messages is conveyed interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maddie | 5/16/2011

    " Read for Abrams junior year AP English...really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Geneal | 5/13/2011

    " I appreciate this book more as an adult reader than I did in high school. It is intriguing for many reasons. The hypocrisy of piety rings through the pages. That scarlet "A" is such a unique symbol. Always a good read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becca | 5/11/2011

    " I read this book in high school and could not put it down. I learned so much about the colonial/puritan period from reading it. I am looking forward to rereading as an older adult and finding out how much my perspective has changed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Huma | 5/11/2011

    " I hated this book. So much. :| I hate Hawthorne in general. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chole | 5/10/2011

    " It was written very long ago and to understand the writing took a little while. But good book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 F. | 5/8/2011

    " This was really well done. Hester Pryn comes out of this the winner. The reverand acted like a weiner for the longest time. The husband was a cruel bastard. That's what I remember about this work. I read this in High School. "

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About the Author
Author Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864) was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and made his ambition to be a writer while still a teenager. He graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine, where the poet Longfellow was also a student, and spent several years traveling in New England and writing short stories before his best known novel, The Scarlet Letter, was published in 1850. His writing was not at first financially rewarding, and he worked as measurer and surveyor in the Boston and Salem Custom Houses. In 1853 he was sent to Liverpool as American consul and then lived in Italy before returning to the United States in 1860, where he died in his sleep four years later.

About the Narrator

Robert Bethune brings many years of acting, directing, coaching, and teaching in live theater to his work in audiobooks. He is also a writer, translator, musician, photographer and filmmaker, operating from his studio in southeastern Michigan. When he can be pried out of the studio, he and his wife enjoy getting out into the woods and fields with their dogs.