The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

  • by Henry Fielding
  • Narrated by Kenneth Danzinger
  • 35 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A foundling of mysterious parentage, Tom Jones is brought up by the benevolent and wealthy Squire Allworthy as his own son. Tom falls in love with the beautiful and unattainable Sophia Western, a neighbor’s daughter, whose marriage has already been arranged. When Tom’s sexual misadventures around the countryside get him banished, he sets out to make his fortune and find his true identity.
Against the vivid background of 18th-century London, Tom encounters passion, corruption, danger, and intrigue before finally claiming his fortune, legitimacy, and true love. Fielding’s bawdy, colorful, high-spirited novel paints human vices and virtues with unprecedented honesty and good humor, making Tom Jones as fresh and entertaining today as it was 200 years ago.

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What the Critics Say

“Tom Jones…has been admired by many readers as the most meticulously crafted book of its type. With neoclassic objectivity, humor, and fine psychological delicacy, Fielding dissects the motives of his characters to reveal universal truths about human nature.” (Masterpieces of World Literature)
“Two hundred years have not dimmed Fielding’s realism. His humor is closer to our own than that of any writer before the present century." (Kingsley Amis)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well read, many accents, older recording

I know I must have missed a great many of the satirical jokes in Tom Jones, but I laughed out loud at enough of them to know that the more things change, the more things stay the same. Certainly, the diction and social mores at times make comprehension a challenge, but any confusing parts can easily be ignored and later clarified with a little further listening. This is also helpful if you find parts a little slow (a few parts of the first volume felt a bit slow to me); keep moving forward and there is plenty to enjoy.

I wasn't sure how I felt about reader Kenneth Danzinger at first, but he quickly grew on me. His various accents made it easy to follow who was speaking and were at often greatly amusing. If you enjoy classic literature and/or British literature, I would guess you'll enjoy this. I picked it after reviewing a list of "100 Novels Everyone Should Read" (Telegraph; Tom Jones was #28).

My only complaint is that the recording itself is not the best. The slightly lesser quality led me to listen to it quite loud at times, but overall, I've listened to much worse quality (and the sample is accurate to what I'm referring to, so if you don't notice it, so much the better).

I was sad it was over, so that is always the sign of a good listen!
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- Elizabeth

Kenneth Danzinger brings this classic to life

I've listened to around 200 audiobooks so far, and the performance of many narrators has been excellent, but none have stood out like Kenneth Danzinger does in this reading of Tom Jones. This material could be deadly dull in the wrong hands-one shudders to think of what Frederick Davidson/David Case would have done to the 18th century prose. Danzinger, by his firm command of the language, brings Fielding's humor to the fore. At least two episodes were laugh-out-loud funny, and many, many more made my commute a thing of joy. I put off reading or listening to this for a long time, afraid that it would be another Don Quixote, full of irrelevant topical references strung together by a dull satire. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Fielding covers a lot of territory in his novel, and is not too particular about how he introduces a topic he wants to cover, but it's always an animated, even illuminated, conversation, read to us by a first-rate performer.
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- Jamie Bruno

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-22-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.