The Enormous Room

  • by E. E. Cummings
  • Narrated by Ken Kliban
  • 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Enormous Room is a 1922 autobiographical novel by the poet and novelist E. E. Cummings about his temporary imprisonment in France during World War I.
Drawing on his experiences in France as a volunteer ambulance-driver, Cummings recounts the series of mistakes that led to his arrest and imprisonment for treason. This edition restores much of the original manuscript.


Audible Editor Reviews

Narrator Ken Kliban gives a definitive performance of e. e. Cummings' autobiographical novel about his temporary imprisonment in France during World War I for supporting his friend's anti-war statements. Kliban perfectly captures Cummings' mixture of intellectualism and wit as he describes the people he meets and the absurd situations he finds himself in during his four-month incarceration. The other characters are also vividly embellished with accents and mannerisms that make them stand out, and listeners will feel as though they know these people from real life.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

e.e.cummings life in WWI prison camp

I chose this book to read as part of my reading about world war one. Edward Estlin Cummings is a well known poet and artist of the 20th Century. This book "The Enormous Room" was published in 1922. Cummings enlisted in 1917 to serve in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corp along with some of his friends. The book tells about his and William Slater Brown's arrest by the French Military on suspicion of espionage and undesirable activities. The charges came about from a letter Brown wrote home. Apparently there was a problem with an over zealous censor translating from English to French. They were held in several jails then held 31/2 months in a concentration camp at Depot de Triage in La Ferte-Mace Orne, Normandy. They were never charged, or had a trial, just put into prison. I found it interesting that Cummings did not get angry or upset. He looked on the episode as an adventure and was fascinated to meet so many different types of people from so many countries. He tried to learn different languages and as much about the people as possible. They were all confined it a giant room most were like him held without trial or charges. He said some were guilty most were not. He finally was released when his father went to President Wilson to seek his help. After he was released and returned to the U.S. in January 1918 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in the 12th Division. After the war he lived in France for a few years and fell in love with Paris, he never let the experience make him bitter about France or it's people. The book is up beat and Cummings since of humor comes through with his description and names he gives various people. I shall have to read some of his poetry, I only have vague memories of them from school. If you are interested in history this book would interest you. Ken Kliban did a great job narrating the book with all the French words.
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- Jean "I am an avid eclectic reader."

Save your money. Pass on this story.

Would you try another book from E. E. Cummings and/or Ken Kliban?


What could E. E. Cummings have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This story lacked any drama. Like watching paint dry.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ken Kliban?

Narrator did an OK job. He didn't have much to work.

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- Neo

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-31-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios