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Editor reviews

Barbara Caruso's rendering is wonderful. She skillfully combines the voices of a fairly large cast. Just as splendidly, she presents the text in an old-fashioned style, tone and pronunciation befitting the setting of the story. The four sisters, though each unique, must be a challenge even for several voices, but Caruso's solo voice always enthralls. The performance is worthwhile no matter what previous experience with Little Women the listener has.

Summary

Most people know this book from the Academy Award-winning motion picture starring Winona Ryder. Now, introduce them to the sparkling American classic behind the movie: a charming portrait of the joys and hardships of the four sisters in Civil War New England. Separated by the war from their beloved parents, these "little women" struggle to find their place in the world.
Public Domain (P)2005 Recorded Books

Critic reviews

"Barbara Caruso's rendering is wonderful. She skillfully combines the voices of a fairly large cast....The performance is worthwhile no matter what previous experience with Little Women the listener has." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Little Women

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brian United Kingdom

A thoroughly enjoyable book. Many characters are all bought to life by the excellent narrative of Barbara Caruso's who does a wicked interpretation of Aunt Marshe's Parrot.The book is full of the old world charm and graces of America in the 1860's. My favourite character in the book is the tom boy sister.
Pleased that I bought the book and comes well recommended

6 people found this helpful

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Heart-warming classic

Where does Little Women rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is definitely in my top 40 but that is only because I have listened to so many.

What did you like best about this story?

This is such a lovely, gentle story it just takes you by the hand and says 'I am going to tell you a story about four little women and by the end you will have laughed and cried but you will love it all the way.'

What does Barbara Caruso bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

For an English teenage boy to be transported so completely into the household of five American women, Miss Caruso must be very talented.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

You experience each of the girls' trials and tribulations alongside them. Be it Jo or Amy, Meg or Beth your heart cannot help but feel for these girls.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely story, well read

I know a lot of people regard Little Women as sickly sweet, but I haven't read it since I was quite a young child and I now realise it was an abridged version that lacked a lot. I bought this when it was 25% off, thinking it would be an alright listen for the money and was really pleasantly surprised; it's an engaging story and it's very well read, yes it's sweet and very wholesome, but not so saccharine that it detracts from what is a classic story. The religious side can seem a little heavy handed, but it is a product of the time and, after all, they are the daughters of a clergy-man. I guess it was written for a teenage audience, originally, but girls (and some boys) of 10+ could enjoy it, in fact it's ideal for little women of all ages!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

I love this book and when I saw it I just had to get it on audible. It is very well read and is lovely to listen to over and over again. The whole book is so well presented and the characters are all very well developed. So I have rated this book five stars.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Sweet

This was one of my mother?s favourite books. She used to quote from it: ?birds in their little nests agree?; ?don?t let the sun go down upon your anger?; ?into every life a little rain must fall?, etc. I think she saw the March family as an ideal, and wished that we were more like them. We weren?t (thank heaven).

I read it when I was about 12 and remember being singularly unimpressed. Then I saw it here on Audible and wondered if it might be one of those children?s classics, like Treasure Island, that I would appreciate more as an adult. Well, my mature thoughts are that it?s a sweet book, heartwarming and uplifting ? I just wish it had a little bit more edge. While the sisters encounter disappointment, disagreement and even tragedy, there seems to be nothing that can?t be resolved with a few wise words from Marmee. Even Jo, who is supposed to be the hot-tempered rebel, never does anything really Bad.

Now, as then, I can?t quite come to terms with the family?s ?poverty? when they live in what is obviously quite a substantial house with a nice garden, eat lots of delicious food, and employ a housekeeper!

It?s nicely read, and if you want something inoffensive and unchallenging, I would thoroughly recommend it.

3 people found this helpful

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Chapters are marked wrong

The book is great but this recording is terrible. All the chapters are marked incorrectly so if you’re reading the actual book and only listen sometimes it’s impossible to know where you’re at! I wish I could ask for a refund!

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loved it

I'm 37 and I have never read the book or seen any films of Little Women.
it's an incredible story and one of the best books I have ever heard.
the language did make me chuckle a few times, modern meanings can change the sentiment of the literary vernacular of the 1800s!!
I throughly enjoyed this book and would definitely now call it a favourite.

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thoroughly enjoyed 😉

excellent don't like the way the chapters are divided and at times there seemed to be a quite echo at the back that's my only complaint but the narration was superb

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Lovely story, wonderfully read

Beautiful story that goes straight to the heart. The narrator is great, I really enjoyed listening!

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lil women

loved it. Well read. Nice to hear an old story come to life. Thank you.

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  • Dr. Daniel Chapman
  • 07-09-14

Head's Up #3!

Why pay $5.95 for this "Audio Book Du Jour" when the kindle edition is $0.00 (Caution...there are multiple Kindle editions - make sure you select the right one) and after you "purchase" that book the Audible audiobook is $2.99. ***After purchasing the free Kindle book you actually have a choice of 4 different versions of the Audiobook at the $2.99 price. Narrated by Barbara Caruso, Flo Gibson, Lorelei King or Laural Merlington. Obviously this is not a review but I didn't know where else to post.

70 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel
  • 21-07-06

Glad I waited for this release!

What a wonderful reading by Barbara Caruso! She brings this book to life. I almost bought the other unabridged version, but I held out for another one to be released--and I'm glad I did! This reading is so much better. If you love Little Women, don't hesitate to buy this.

60 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicole
  • 05-12-09

Timeless Listen

I first listened to this book, read by this narrator, at age thirteen, and I was thrilled to find it again. The book itself can only be called comfortable, and Caruso's warm, gentle but expressive voice seems meant to read it. She speaks by turns as the motherly Mrs. March, the rough and wild tomboy Jo, gentle Meg, prim Amy, shy, quiet Beth, or even such characters as Laurie, pensive and mischievous by turns, and his gruff but kindly grandfather, and never fails to sound natural. I have been disappointed with other renderings of the story, such as the recent film, simply because they were not as well acted as this one. I always feel as if I'm listening to it being read by the author herself. Maybe it's classified as a book for children and teens; maybe it was written over a century ago. But the story of the four sisters can never be outdated or outgrown.

58 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nina
  • 22-08-07

definitely worth a listen

I agree w the first reviewer - the narrator is absolute perfection for this particular story. In listening, I realized that my beloved childhood book was most certainly abridged, for this one does go on a bit :-)

And it reflects some odd notions of the time. Of course, the puritan work ethic reigns supreme, but also the place of women, class distinctions (even tho the March's were poor; evidently the Irish were poorer). A LOT of sentimentality, so if you didn't like this as a child, you're not going to like it as an adult.

But if you keep the time frame and point of view of the author in mind, it's really a delightful listen.

43 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Evans
  • 25-02-13

Timeless nuggets of wisdom

What did you love best about Little Women?

I have to admit that I read this at the request of my wife who was covering it with our home schooled children. I was not excited about it as I prefer more "sensational" writings as the character "Joe" puts it. However, I found that it was indeed splendid! I particularly enjoyed the characters, who were vivid and real, and grew through the experiences and trials of life that face us all.

What did you like best about this story?

I thoroughly enjoyed the story and especially the embedded pearls of wisdom and truth judiciously placed throughout. Even though the cultural norms are far different than our own, I found the stories easily understandable and very enjoyable.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This was certainly a book that I did not want to "put down"!

Any additional comments?

I wish I had read it earlier!

26 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GK
  • 04-04-14

Louisa May Alcott's Classic

If you could sum up Little Women in three words, what would they be?

I adored this book when I first read it over 40 years ago. It's timeless, funny and warm without being too saccharine or sentimental. The ending is drawn out a bit long, but doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the story. I'm a picky reader/listener and Barbara Caruso did a top drawer job narrating. She reads with enthusiasm and gives honor to Louisa May Alcott.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • C.
  • 14-04-11

such a wonderful story!!!

I loved listening to this. It had been years since I first read the story and i was so pleasantly surprised to re-experience it. the narrator was fantastic.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Brenda
  • 24-02-09

Little Women

Great book. I read it when I was a kid but had forgotten how good it is.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeff & Kristi S.
  • 27-03-17

Aspiring Motherhood

As a mother to both one girl and one boy, this book rightly found its way into my heart. What more could a mother pray for than that her children walk in Truth, humbly serving their family and neighbors with contentment - whatever their social standing?

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Noora
  • 18-07-14

I know it's old, but I still can't stomach it

"Morale" shoved down your throat. Women who need men for their fulfillment, and to "fix" their lives. Personality traits treated as terrible faults to be corrected. Women considered "independent" because they're allowed to make a little bit of money, but still most careers are closed to them. And of course women must both marry and have children, or they'll become cranky and miserable when they grow old.

Yes, I know it was written in 1868 and "things were different back then", but it is still presented as a novel to be read for entertainment rather than a document of how crazy the values were back then.

I would never, ever let children read this. They might take the "lessons" to heart and become misogynistic little monsters who believe they are progressive and support women's independence.

Taken as a document of how people and values were 150 years ago, it's fairly interesting and very well written. Narrator does a good job.

7 people found this helpful