• The Song of Bernadette

  • By: Franz Werfel
  • Narrated by: Johanna Ward
  • Length: 18 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 02-24-03
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.4 (105 ratings)

Regular price: $31.47

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Publisher's Summary

Considered one of the greatest novels of simple and triumphant religious faith to be published in the 20th century, how the The Song of Bernadette came to be written is an inspirational - even miraculous - story in its own right. In June 1940, famed Austrian author Franz Werfel and his beautiful wife, Alma Mahler, were on a desperate flight across France, seeking to escape certain death at the hands of the Nazi invaders. Franz had written many articles and given many radio speeches denouncing their tyranny. Repeatedly thwarted in their attempts to cross the French border into neutral Spain, they found temporary refuge in the small town of Lourdes, home of the famous shrine where the virtuous Bernadette received visions of the Virgin Mary and where millions came in faith to seek a miracle. During his time in Lourdes, Werfel became fascinated with Bernadette's story, and then, as his faith grew, he began to visit the sacred grotto every day, taking the waters and swearing an oath that, should he and his wife be granted escape from the Nazis, he would write the story of Bernadette for all the world to savor. Franz's prayers were answered. In a harrowing ascent over the Pyrenees mountains, he and Alma fled to Spain and then on to America. Once there Franz kept his promise. He wrote The Song of Bernadette, his masterpiece, a beautiful fusion of faith and craft.
©1942 by Viking Penguin, Inc. (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By John on 10-26-03


Having seen the movie version many times and having read the actual book, it is now a privilege to listen to Johanna Ward's marvelous reading of "The Song of Bernadette" by Franz Werfel. She really makes the story come alive. The book itself is a wondrous telling of the story of Bernadette and "the Lady," and to hear it so masterfully read is one more way to experience its power, its beauty, its ability to touch the heart. Well done!

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23 of 24 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By ann on 08-08-07


How fitting that The Lady chose such a scholarly author to present to the world the great beauty and dignity of the lofty soul of an almost illiterate peasant girl. If one such as he, (Franz Werfel), and a non-Catholic to boot, could paint such a convincing picture, how could the Lady's message to the world not get through to all?

I will read this wonderfully inspiring book many, many times.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By bb-london on 10-27-16

Worth the read no matter your religion

A touching narrative masterfully crafted by Werfel. My Catholic grandfather suggested reading it - but it is a tale of the 19th century whose existential questions and moral truths ring true as much today in the 21st century as in Werfel's time after the 2nd World War. The author enjoys every word and every character... and it passes on to the reader.

I also loved listening to it rather than lugging around such a big book... I actually managed to complete reading it because of this.

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5 out of 5 stars
By AMS on 09-08-15

Wonderful book

It is a great story and Bernadette's character is well drawn.
It is hilarious in parts, which makes it all the more authentic to those of us who know Lourdes and its story very well.
It is not completely faithful to the documented accounts from the time of the apparitions, but Franz Werfel wrote it in gratitude to the people of Lourdes for helping him hide and escape from the Nazis. This is a novel and the author can be forgiven imperfect research.

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