Romeo and Juliet: A Novel

  • by David Hewson
  • Narrated by Richard Armitage
  • 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Exclusively written for Audible, only available in audio
"I think Romeo and Juliet is the greatest, most tragic love story ever told. What David Hewson did with this script is so exciting to me. I really love the fact that he followed avenues that Shakespeare suggested but didn't necessarily detail in depth. If you want to immerse yourself in a warm bath of Garganega and the heat of Verona and hear a brilliant story about a young woman who is challenging the restraints of her time, listen to this audiobook, which has romance, poetry, politics, and humor to spare." (Narrator Richard Armitage)
It's a story you think you know: the age-old tale of "star-cross'd lovers"; two families at war; a romance, so pure and absolute, fated for a tragic end. It's a story so thoroughly embedded in our culture, and so frequently retold. Yet, nothing captures the spark, the possibility, and the surprise of Shakespeare's work quite like this....
In Romeo and Juliet: A Novel, author David Hewson reworks and expands on the classic story so that it becomes something richer, something new and entirely its own. Much more than a simple love story, it is a brilliant examination of young versus old, hope against despair, and, for Juliet, the search for individual identity at a time when women were regarded as little more than chattel.
An original production commissioned by Audible, Romeo and Juliet: A Novel marks the second pairing of David Hewson and actor Richard Armitage, whose previous partnership resulted in Audible's 2014 Audiobook of the Year, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel. Hewson's talent for writing for audio is undeniable, and he finds his perfect vocal foil in Armitage, an actor of immense range and absorbing intensity. Together, they bring you a familiar story told in a surprising way - with an ending you might not expect.
Bonus: Audiobook includes an afterword written and narrated by David Hewson.

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What the Critics Say

"Consummate actor Richard Armitage narrates this dynamic reimagining of Romeo and Juliet. It's an ideal construct for those reluctant to pursue Shakespeare. In addition to using contemporary slang, the author gives the followers of the Montague and Capulet families street cred: They wear red or blue feathers in their hats. Armitage makes even secondary characters unique, with Romeo's and Juliet's fathers sounding like the bitter old men they are. The standout is Juliet's nurse, who provides comic relief. Chapter transitions are faultless, and descriptions of people and places are stellar. Juliet's social conscience, specifically her desire to teach the peasants to read, adds further depth. Hewson boldly alters the story's conclusion. In an author's note, Hewson explains that Shakespeare was inspired by an Italian play similar to Romeo and Juliet. Hewson adds that to him the story is about the contrast between older and younger generations as they react to change." (AudioFile Magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Ambrosia for the ears.

David Hewson takes a popular story most widely known through Shakespeare, and creates a stand alone masterpiece full of refreshing and exquisite details that ensnares imagination and gives new perspective to a classic tale. The extremely gifted voice of Richard Armitage brings each character to life with unique and delightful intonation...ambrosia for the ears. A perfect gift for anyone.
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- Amy Leonard "I'm a firm believer in lifelong learning."

Such a disappointment !

If you love Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, avoid this re-telling of the story. All the romance has been stripped away, Romeo seems to be an awkward, moony an immature tonnages, while Juliet is a budding feminist. Yikes ! As noted in other reviews, the beauty of Shakespeare's prose is lost in an attempt to update the language, although at random moments a character will revert to a Shakespearean phrase. Even Richard Armitage can't redeem this. Only his beautiful and dramatic narration made it worth listening to.
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- Ruth Bain "RueRue"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-06-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios