The Scarlet Letter

  • by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Narrated by Flo Gibson
  • 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This powerful story of passion, adultery, honor, and repression caused a tremendous controversy in 1850 when it was published, because of its provocative subject matter. Set in Puritan New England, the novel begins with Hester Prynne, a young woman with an illegitimate baby daughter, leaving prison to face her scornful townsfolk. Forced to wear a scarlet letter "A" to remind people of her adultery, Hester obstinately holds her head high and refuses to reveal the father of her child. In the process she cuts herself off from society - and her lover. Why won't Hester reveal her secret? The answer has much to do with guilt, passion, and repentance - timeless themes within a splendid story that has remained a literary classic for over a century.


Audible Editor Reviews

Flo Gibson, the grande dame of audiobook performance, lends her renowned voice to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s masterful treatise on sin, knowledge, and consequence. Gibson, known for her fluid diction and deep, soothing timbre, is regarded by many as the most versatile voice in audiobook history. Here Gibson whisks listeners away to a 17th-century New England Puritan village. Gibson plays Hester Prynne - the ignoble adulteress shunned by her community - and her secret lover, the sickly Reverend Dimmesdale, besot by guilt from his carnal transgression. Prynne is forsaken by her former husband, a jealous doctor, and left alone to raise her mischievous child, the impish Pearl. As Prynne and Dimmesdale reckon with knowledge of their sin, the puritanical villagers’ rigid morality is called into question.


What the Critics Say

"A masterpiece." (Henry James)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Unbearable quality recording

This is by far the worst audible program I have purchased. It is a wonderful story; however, this production is utterly unintelligible. I listened to the sample before purchasing the title and thought it was tolerable. It was nearly impossible to understand the narrator much of the time due to the horrible quality. I have purchased other books such as this (originally recorded in 1 and upgraded to 2) and have been able to understand them fine.

The story is wonderful, but utterly not worth trying to wade through this awful recording. At the time I purchased it this was the only unabridged version. I urge you to skip this one and try the other.
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- Sue Q


This book is so ridiculously hard to understand in my car that I couldn't listen to it.
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- Karen

Book Details

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