The Amateur Emigrant

  • by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Narrated by Donal Donnelly
  • 4 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The great author Robert Louis Stevenson received a fateful telegram from his friend Fanny Osbourne in 1879, urging him to leave Edinburgh and join her in San Francisco. The penniless young writer packed his bags and boarded a ship for a long, difficult voyage across the Atlantic, taking detailed notes of the appalling conditions and struggles of his fellow emigrants. When Stevenson arrived in the United States, he immediately boarded a railroad to California, observing the vast country during his transcontinental journey. A marvelously well-written travelogue, The Amateur Emigrant is one of the best accounts of the increasingly popular 19th-century adventure of Europeans sailing to the New World and discovering America.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Famed Scottish adventure writer Robert Louis Stevenson is given great treatment by Donal Donnelly, whose light Irish brogue carries the listener over the waves and hordes that populate The Amateur Emigrant, Stevenson’s account of his 1879-1880 journey from Glasgow to California to meet his future wife. Stevenson, a son of privilege, uses his travel as an opportunity to study how the lower classes fared on a long trip across the ocean and beyond.
Written during an epoch of mass migration - especially from Europe to America - Stevenson’s is a firsthand account by a fine writer of the difficulties suffered by those less fortunate than himself. This memoir belongs to the same category as other social and adventure odysseys like Democracy in America and Life on the Mississippi.

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What the Critics Say

"It is the best book he ever wrote - a marvelous piece of writing, lakelike in its lucidity and depth, a genuine original." (Jonathan Raban, author of Old Glory)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What a rip-off

This might be a good book - but the quality of the recording makes it very difficult to tell. It sounds as if was recorded by Thomas Edison on to a very early wax cylinder, lost in a dusty cupboard for over 100 years, then rediscovered and transferred from an audio file to digital using two tin cans linked by tight string. Why Audible thinks this is suitable quality for commercial resale is anybody's guess. Certainly I'm not sticking around long enough to find out - I'm out of here as soon as I can get free of my subscription.
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- Griff

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Recorded Books