The White Monkey : A Modern Comedy

  • by John Galsworthy
  • Narrated by David Case
  • Series: A Modern Comedy
  • 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The White Monkey is the fourth of the nine novels in The Forsyte Chronicles and marks the opening of the second trilogy in the series, called A Modern Comedy. In this new chapter, Fleur and Michael Mont begin to question their marriage when their good friend, author Wilfred Desert, can no longer contain his passion for Fleur. Fleur finds herself torn between her love for Michael and passion for Wilfred.
Meanwhile, Soames Forsyte, as a director of the Providential Premium Reassurance Society, must root out the rumored indiscretions of a manager's dubious dealings with the Germans. The whole while, he is haunted by a painting of a white monkey with rinds of crushed fruit flung about it - and with eyes searching for something more.
John Galsworthy received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1932.

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What the Critics Say

"A social satire of epic proportions and one that does not suffer by comparison with Thackeray's Vanity Fair...the whole comedy of manners, convincing both in its fidelity to life and as a work of art." (New York Times)
"[Galsworthy] has carried the history of his time through three generations, and his success in mastering so excellently his enormously difficult material, both in its scope and in its depth, remains an extremely memorable feat in English literature." (Anders Osterling, Nobel Prize presentation speech, 1932)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

keep going

If you've read and enjoyed the Forsyte Saga and wonder if it's worth continuing on with the next three (or even the next six) books - IT IS! You can't abandon Soames now - you must see how he (and English society) develop.

I went though all nine volumes last spring while stuck in bed, recovering from an illness. Although I found the first four books the strongest, all were above average listens to me. They (and David Case/F. Davidson's narration) were balm to my mind and helped me better understand the social history of the time covered. I hope to find time to listen to all again some day.
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- connie

The Younger Set--Not Quite as Interesting

The White Monkey is the fourth novel in Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga. Soames is still with us, but he's getting on, and the story is moving more into the lives of Fleur and her husband, Michael Mont. Their marriage is threatened by a good friend's passion for Fleur, and Soames's financial stability is threatened by a bad decision made by the manager of the brokerage board upon which he sits. Galsworthy has brought in several lower class characters who are potentially more interesting than the extended Forsyte clan. Bickert, a clerk at Michael's publishing firm, is caught stealing books; he is selling them to provide for his young wife, Victorine, who is recovering from a serious bout of pneumonia. Their struggle to get by after his firing is more engaging than the Fleur's whining (although at several points I just wanted to whack Tony, who couldn't seem to get past his own pride to see how much his wife loved him). A second young clerk, Butterfield, is followed less closely; he is the one who broke to Soames evidence of the corruption of Mr. Elderson, the brokerage manager. Like Tony, he, too, is fired, but ironically, it's for his honesty.

While I enjoyed this novel, I don't find the younger set and their 'modern problems' to be as interesting as the old guard. Nevertheless, I will continue with the series. David Case is a fine reader for this social class.
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- Cariola

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-09-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.