The Way of All Flesh

Samuel Butler

Frederick Davidson (Narrator)

02-01-01

15hrs 23min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Classics

As low as $0.00
Play Audio Sample

02-01-01

15hrs 23min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Classics

Description

“One of the summits of human achievement.” George Bernard Shaw

One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century

This brilliant satirical novel traces the life and loves of Ernest Pontifex, a young man who survives the baleful influence of a hateful, hypocritical father, a doting mother, and a debauched wife to emerge as a decent, happy human being. A fascinating character study, it is also a stinging satire of the Victorian gentry's pomposity, sentimentality, pseudo-respectability, and refined cruelty—one still capable of delivering deathblows to the same traits in our present world. Since its original publication in 1903, The Way of All Flesh has enjoyed continuous popularity. Every new generation finds in this novel a reaffirmation of youth's admirable will for freedom of personal expression and its rightful struggle against the tyranny of harsh parents.

Praise

“One of the summits of human achievement.” George Bernard Shaw

“If the house caught on fire, the Victorian novel I would rescue from the flames would be not Vanity Fair or Bleak House but Samuel Butler’s The Way of All Flesh. It is read, I believe, mostly by the young, bent on making out a case against their elders, but Butler was fifty when he stopped working on it, and no reader much under that age is likely to appreciate the full beauty of its horrors, which are not the horrors of the Gothic novel but of family life.”  New Yorker

“One thinks of it lying in Samuel Butler's desk for thirty years, waiting to blow up the Victorian family and with it the whole great pillared and balustraded edifice of the Victorian novel.” V.S. Pritchett 

“[Butler] uses ordinary conversational English idiom, managing to seem perfectly at ease in it, and continually showing how rich in expressive turns and formulations and apt and vivid words it really is…This is the perfection of what one loosely thinks of as the ‘plain’ style and which of course is not ‘plain’ at all, but fashioned with hard labor and the most sensitive and resourceful skill. In writing Butler attained that ‘grace after the flesh’ for which Ernest pined in vain.” P. N. Furbank 

Details
More Information
Language English
Release Day Jan 31, 2001
Release Date February 1, 2001
Release Date Machine 980985600
Imprint Blackstone Publishing
Provider Blackstone Publishing
Categories Classics, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Classics, Literary Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Classics, Evergreen Classics, Evergreen Classics, Literature & Fiction
Author Bio
Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler (1835–1902) was born at Langar rectory, near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, and was educated at Shrewsbury and St. John’s College, Cambridge. Forever quarreling with his clergyman father, he gave up the idea of taking orders and became instead a sheep farmer in New Zealand. He returned to Britain in 1864 and thereafter lived in London until his death. For a time he studied painting, and his painting of Mr. Heatherley’s Holiday is in the Tate Gallery. He loved music, especially Handel’s, and composed two oratorios, gavottes, minuets, fugues, and a cantata. In his later years he turned to Shakespearean scholarship and published translations of Iliad and Odyssey. He is best known, however, for his autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh, published posthumously in 1903.

Narrator Bio
Frederick Davidson

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.

Overview

One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century

This brilliant satirical novel traces the life and loves of Ernest Pontifex, a young man who survives the baleful influence of a hateful, hypocritical father, a doting mother, and a debauched wife to emerge as a decent, happy human being. A fascinating character study, it is also a stinging satire of the Victorian gentry's pomposity, sentimentality, pseudo-respectability, and refined cruelty—one still capable of delivering deathblows to the same traits in our present world. Since its original publication in 1903, The Way of All Flesh has enjoyed continuous popularity. Every new generation finds in this novel a reaffirmation of youth's admirable will for freedom of personal expression and its rightful struggle against the tyranny of harsh parents.

Reviews

Write Your Own Review
Only registered users can write reviews. Please Sign in or create an account