Extended Audio Sample

Download The Scarlet Letter Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Scarlet Letter Audiobook, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (270,738 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne Narrator: Bob Sessions Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN:
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Penguin Classics presents Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, adapted for listening and available as a digital audiobook as part of the Penguin English Library series. Read by the actor Bob Sessions.

Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers - stern and wild ones - and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.

Fiercely romantic and hugely influential, The Scarlet Letter is the tale of Hester Prynne, imprisoned, publicly shamed, and forced to wear a scarlet for committing adultery and bearing an illegitimate child, Pearl. In their small Puritan village, Hester and her daughter struggle to survive. In this searing study of the tension between private and public existence, Hester Prynne's inner strength and quiet dignity secure her place as one of the first great heroines of American fiction.

Part of a collection of vintage recordings taken from the Penguin Archives, the Penguin English Library series offers affordable, collectable, quality productions that are perfect for on-the-go listening.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jordan L. Harakal | 2/10/2014

    " The Scarlet Letter wasn't my favorite book to read. I liked the story and the characters but I found Hawthorne's writing kind of annoying. He used a lot of words to explain one little thing. The type of proper English he used was hard to get used to. Honestly, I never got used to it and wasn't very comfortable with his style of writing throughout the whole book. Like I said earlier, I liked the storyline and the characters, and the main idea of the book, however, it was difficult to get through. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Toby Petek | 2/9/2014

    " I really did not like this book. It was very hard to read and that made it extremely boring. I would not recommend this book to anyone. It may be a classic to some people, but I really did not like it. Unless you have to, I would say, don't read it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Pat M. Manyak | 2/7/2014

    " While some may find this book interesting, it definitely wasn't for me. The style,dialogue and overall conventions of Hawthorne's writing made the book agonizingly slow. Though it had some interesting points, most of the book was continuous monologue interrupted by 1600s styled dialogue. The plot in itself was too simple with not many developments. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle Risa | 1/31/2014

    " so this was my second attempt to read and comprehend this novel. still difficult to understand. the story is great but the language is really advanced. requires lots of motivation and focus. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 May | 1/29/2014

    " I think I would have liked this book better if the language was different, as in a more modern language. I loved the story, but reading it was very difficult for me to get through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paige | 1/11/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. I'm a big fan of Hawthorne. He describes human sentiment and character well in this book. Nice to read a book from the past where slow progress and fully descriptive language was used. Refreshing. Gives you time to ponder deeply about what is going on. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brandon Arribas | 1/8/2014

    " I thought the setting and the themes of the novel were pretty interesting but I didn't really like Nathaniel Hawthorne's style of writing. The book had a good plot but I believe that it didn't go well together with everything. Nathaniel Hawthorne was overly dramatic in some matters and the novel switched from disturbing to overly dramatic at certain times. The book tended to be a bit disturbing in my eyes because there was always a problem that Chillingworth had to get revenge on Dimmesdale and Hester. The thing that I did like though was the detail that Nathaniel Hawthorne added to descriptevely describe the actions and emotions of the characters. This changed how the plot carried out. I would have to rate this book a 2 out of 5 because even though it had a good story line and had descriptive detail to carried out in the plot, I really didn't like Hawthorne's style of writing and I thought that the plot was overly dramatic. I also am not a true fan of romantics and the book tened to be a bit sinister for my liking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 12/28/2013

    " It's a classic what else is there to say. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sophie-louise Truelove | 12/21/2013

    " Well written, with some thought-provoking sentences, but ultimately a long-winded book about religion, good and evil. Also, I found Nathaniel Hawthorne's male chauvinism highly unpalatable. The best part of his novel is the character, Pearl, the otherworldly child of Hester Prynne. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patty | 11/21/2013

    " Current Book Club read for NOV "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaitlyn Vitale | 11/2/2013

    " Difficult language but quite a good story! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roy Huff | 11/2/2013

    " Another excellent classic. The moral of the story still holds true today. This is another school yard book. Not really my genre, but it has no noticeable flaws. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Whitney | 8/24/2013

    " It was high time for me to read this classic. I was underwhelmed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jaclyn | 8/13/2013

    " School makes me dislike all of the books we read. It just makes me feel like we go to in depth about what everything means that what is going on in the book isn't really looked at anymore. I only really like to take things in at face value, not try to figure out what else it could mean... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katelin | 7/25/2013

    " This book is pretty good once you get past the stuff about the Customs House. That is really tough reading. I liked it more after I read it than while I was reading it though. Worthwhile book to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elazar | 6/24/2013

    " I'm so glad that I didn't have to read this book when I was young. I would have most likely hated it. In contrast, reading it at a mature age was such a pleasure. I absolutely love Hawthorne's writing style and savored every word. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Magda | 2/12/2013

    " It was better than I thought it would be. The language is laborious. It's a good story. Too bad I kept picturing Demi Moore has Hester Prynne. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lewis Jones | 8/6/2012

    " Just read for the first time. Great classic "

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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

Bob Sessions is an actor who has appeared on several television shows, including The Tomorrow People, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, Ruth Rendell Mysteries, and Rumpole of the Bailey. He has also worked extensively as a voice actor and audiobook narrator.