The Custom of the Country

  • by Edith Wharton
  • Narrated by Grace Conlin
  • 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of Edith Wharton's most acclaimed works, The Custom of the Country is a blistering indictment of materialism, power, and misplaced values. Its heroine, Undine Spragg, is one of the most ruthless characters in all of literature, as selfishly unscrupulous as she is fiercely beautiful. As she climbs the class ladder through a series of marriages and affairs, she shows little concern for who she has to step on. Her rise to the top of New York's elite society provides a poignant and scathing commentary on the unquenchable ambitions of America's nouveau riche.

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What the Critics Say

"Of all Edith Wharton's novels, The Custom of the Country is my absolute favorite....Grace Collin's reading of Blackstone's unabridged version is splendid, her voice fruity, elegant and utterly ruthless." (Forbes)
Named a Staff Pick, Selected by the Staff at the Mid-Manhattan Branch of the New York Public Library, November, 2007

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Narrator kills the book

Perhaps it was because I had just listened to an amazing rendition of The House of Mirth by Anna Fields, but I could not get through more than 10-15 minutes of this book before I had to shut it off. This book is literally read, not interpreted in any way, thus making it extremely difficult to follow conversation, not to mention narration of setting or insights into characters' motivations. Find a reading by someone else. That's what I plan to do. And from now on, I am listening to the sample of a book if I don't recognize the narrator!
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- D. L. Lederman "leahiniowa"

an ordeal

The work is regarded an American classic and given the time of publication (1913) one still has to congratulate the author on her boldness to write about such an extraordinarily unsympathetic female protagonist.
Naturally social patterns have greatly changed since the book was written but Undine's unmorality is still palpable though in a different context. Undine get's older but there is not the slightest moral or intellectual development, that is grueling.
Still the book is well set and written though devoid of any (modern day) twists in the plot; the pace is on the slower side.
The narration is well done, the narration managed to keep track with the numerous characters.
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- Andrea

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-07-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.