The Custom of the Country

  • by Edith Wharton
  • Narrated by Barbara Caruso
  • 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature, Edith Wharton stands among the finest writers of early 20th-century America. In The Custom of the Country, Wharton’s scathing social commentary is on full display through the beautiful and manipulative Undine Spragg. When Undine convinces her nouveau riche parents to move to New York, she quickly injects herself into high society. But even a well-to-do husband isn’t enough for Undine, whose overwhelming lust for wealth proves to be her undoing.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Cannot recommend a better narrator!

Edith Wharton's novel is deliciously enjoyable, especially if you delight in watching detestable characters crush one another and see people behave more brutishly and vulgarly than you could have expected. By "people" I primarily mean the wonderfully named Undine Spragg, a social climber who bulldozes as many people as she can to attain an ever escaping, ever elusive goal of social grandeur and wealth. Wharton's satiric, witty, whip-smart writing fairly sparkles here, and the entire novel has lighter touch, perhaps because about half of it is in the mind of a buffoon, rather than the plodding Archer of Age of Innocence, for example.

But I really want to write about Barbara Caruso here, who should narrate EVERYTHING. She reads with warmth, humor, wit, and imparts an incredible understanding of each of the characters. I wonder about the difficulty of being a reader—she has to play every role, and she does so splendidly. Conflicted characters like Undine, whom one would normally expect to hate, are given depth and conviction. Brava.

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- Esther

slow starter but picks up

Where does The Custom of the Country rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

it's right up there with the best but didn't quite satisfy as much as eliot's mill on the floss.

What did you like best about this story?

the character undine never ceased to surprise but she got almost everything she wanted

Did Barbara Caruso do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

kept an amused smile on my face and i came close to tears with the story of the unwanted child

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- murray

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-23-2012
  • Publisher: Recorded Books