There may never have been a novel written about love and loss with more irony of poetry than Ethan Frome. Written almost exclusively in flashback, Ethan Frome has continued to draw attention and accolades since its publication in 1911 by famed writer Edith Wharton. When we are introduced to the novel's protagonist, we discover that he is married yet inconveniently in love with his wife's cousin, who is spending time with the family to help care for Ethan's sick wife.
As the novel progresses, Ethan humbly and quietly keeps his affections to himself, in spite of mutual feelings from his wife's cousin. After hatching a plan to elope with Mattie (the love interest) and abandoning his wife, Ethan realizes that he cannot financially accomplish his goals. With their backs to the wall, and Mattie's impending displacement on the horizon, the two lovers decide to crash a sled into a tree and enjoy their final moments embracing one another. Upon awakening, Ethan finds that he is able-bodied and alive, but the object of his desire, Mattie, is merely alive. The novel leaves us with three characters beside a fire, living together for the rest of their days, only one of which has the ability to walk.
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BUY A DIFFERENT AUDIO-EDITION OR READ IT YOURSELF
A BETTER, MUCH BETTER READER
I would recommend "Ethan Frome" to everyone--but NOT this audio-version of it. It is awful.
Anybody more capable. Unfortunately, Mr. McCallion, who otherwise has a nice accent, has a terrible reading voice. The reader, when simulating/acting someone's part (esp. Frome's himself), forgets to switch back to narrator's voice and therefore the dialogues often overflow into the narrations resulting in an ugly and confusing effect. McCallion overdoes his imitations too. I started listening to this audiobook from the beginning three times! Each time I reached a saturation point (about 20 minutes into it) and could not listen any farther. Naturally, this opinion has nothing to do with the phenomenal talent of Wharton as a writer--I think she was a genius and one of my favorite of the great American classics.So, do read the book, by all means, it is beautiful: but either try a different reader (a woman, preferably) or read the hard copy.
None. Edith Wharton made no mistakes. David McCallion on the other hand....
The publisher of this edition took the liberty of opening the book with a summary of the plot! (Incredible!) If you have not previously read the book, be ready to jump out of your skin because the listening experience begins with a spoiler of unsurpassed proportions.
- Mitzi Hol