The Chateau

  • by William Maxwell
  • Narrated by Karl Miller
  • 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is 1948 and a young American couple arrive in France for a holiday. It is their chance to immerse themselves in the culture and language, and they arrive full of anticipation and enthusiasm. But the countryside and people are war-battered and their reception at the Chateau Beaumesnil, where they begin their stay, is not all the open-hearted Americans could wish for. Every encounter leaves them with more questions. Why are they not welcomed as citizens of the nation that liberated Europe? What are the secrets in the family?


What the Critics Say

"I can think of few novels… that have such romantic authority as The Chateau, fewer still so adult in vitality, so alight with humour." (Elizabeth Bowen)
"No one else… can capture as Maxwell does a sense of life in the balance, of a moment appreciated…. The beauty of some sentences is like a stab of light." (Chicago Tribune)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent choice!

Without rehashing the plot, it's an exposition of how an young American couple becomes involved with an extended French family (and other guests) at the chateau, with those relationships largely carried over to their subsequent time in Paris. Loose ends are dealt with via an epilogue format I found ... odd, but it worked, for the most part. The characters are all well differentiated, none of them stock. Overall, a good snapshot of a place and time.

Karl Miller does a great job as narrator, especially with the principal voice of Harold, who could've come off as dopey, or priggish, at times with the wrong reader.

I found this one a great use of a credit.
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- John S.

Uninteresting story told in the most perfect way

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. The book is beautifully written.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Make the story somewhat more interesting.

Which scene was your favorite?

The train ride to Paris.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?


Any additional comments?


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- Mordechai Markus Blum

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-22-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios