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The Aspern Papers cover art

The Aspern Papers

By: Henry James
Narrated by: Jonathan Epstein
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Summary

The Aspern Papers, one of Henry James best-known shorter works, is based on a story he heard about a collector of Shelley's manuscripts who attempted to acquire valuable letters from a mysterious old woman living in Florence. Set in beautiful Venice, James' elegant tale of suspense and romance takes the reader down the canals and inner chambers of a bygone era.
(P)2006 BMA Studios

Critic reviews

"James did nothing like an Englishman - or an American. He was a great fact in himself, a new world, a terra incognita that he would devote all his days to mapping for the rest of us....James was the master of the novel in English in a way that no one had ever been before; or has ever been since." (Gore Vidal)

What listeners say about The Aspern Papers

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Not much happened

What would have made The Aspern Papers better?

For something to happen

What will your next listen be?

Probably Flashman, makes you laugh and a lot happens

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

????

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Yawn

Any additional comments?

Maybe this book is not for me. If you like looking at blank canvasses go for it!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ron L. Caldwell
  • Ron L. Caldwell
  • 07-11-08

One of the great novellas

Excellent reading of a James masterpiece. FYI: If you're interested in more about the setting, listen to John Berendt's "City of Falling Angels." He spends time in the Venetian palazzo where James wrote the "The Aspern Papers."

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lois
  • 03-05-08

A Little Gem

Here is Henry James with a little jewel of a story set in Venice. The narrator reads as if he were of the period and the story is told perfectly, with that touch of bemused irony. I enjoyed the audio immensely. Well done.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patricia Marino
  • 09-11-09

Nice reading

The reader of this book has a slightly slow and drawling style that, in my opinion, perfectly fits the story. Beautifully done.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kerlian
  • 05-02-10

wonderful narration

This is my first foray into James novel and I am glad I have this
audiobook to read along. As the story is told from first person narrative, it suits perfectly in audiobook form, and the accompanying music pieces are good too

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anthony Giles
  • 21-01-15

Perfect Narration

Any additional comments?

The book is a classic, obviously, but the tone and style of this narration is just perfect.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Marianne
  • 11-10-15

Brilliant entry level Henry James

Would you listen to The Aspern Papers again? Why?

Yes, it is an almost perfect short story.

What did you like best about this story?

The writing is wonderful and the suspense holds until the end

What about Jonathan Epstein’s performance did you like?

He is a terrific reader and should be asked to read more classics. He is intelligent and sensitive

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

When Miss Bordereau catches the narrator searching for her papers

Any additional comments?

an excellent version

1 person found this helpful

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  • J. O. Gamauf
  • 25-08-22

Good slow reading/listening

I CLEAN, SEW, WORK ON RECIPES, EVEN HOLD MY LITTLE TERRIER, AND LISTEN TO GOOD AUDIO BOOKS. THIS BOOK WAS SLOW AND CALMING,IF YOU LIKE THAT AS I DO.

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Profile Image for R.
  • R.
  • 26-05-16

A perfect story. IMHO, Mr James finest short story

Any additional comments?

What an exquisite tale. No one writes as evocatively, as vividly, with such stunning insight, and with such gorgeous prose as Henry James. A wonderful narration as well. A most enjoyable listen.