The Custom of the Country

By Edith Wharton
Read by Grace Conlin

14.48 Hours 05/01/1995 unabridged
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One of Edith Wharton’s most acclaimed works, The Custom of the Country is a blistering indictment of materialism, power, and misplaced values. Its heroine, Undine Spragg, is one of the most ruthless characters in all of literature, as selfishly unscrupulous as she is fiercely beautiful. When her family acquires a small fortune, they leave America’s heartland and head east. As Undine climbs the social ladder through a series of marriages and affairs, she shows little concern for who she has to step on to get anything and everything she desires. Her rise to the top of New York’s elite society—before moving on to conquer Paris as well—provides a poignant and scathing commentary on the unquenchable ambitions of America’s nouveau riche.

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Summary

Summary

An Entertainment Weekly Pick for 12 Books to Ease Your Downton Abbey Withdrawl

New York Public Library Staff Pick in November 2007

One of Edith Wharton’s most acclaimed works, The Custom of the Country is a blistering indictment of materialism, power, and misplaced values. Its heroine, Undine Spragg, is one of the most ruthless characters in all of literature, as selfishly unscrupulous as she is fiercely beautiful. When her family acquires a small fortune, they leave America’s heartland and head east. As Undine climbs the social ladder through a series of marriages and affairs, she shows little concern for who she has to step on to get anything and everything she desires. Her rise to the top of New York’s elite society—before moving on to conquer Paris as well—provides a poignant and scathing commentary on the unquenchable ambitions of America’s nouveau riche.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The Custom of the Country is one of the most enjoyable great novels ever written. Not all enjoyable novels are great, and not all great novels are enjoyable. This is, supremely, both.” Guardian (London)
“Of all Edith Wharton novels, The Custom of the Country is my absolute favorite…Grace Conlin’s reading of Blackstone’s unabridged version is splendid, her voice fruity, elegant, and utterly ruthless.”  Forbes
“Brilliantly written.” Saturday Review (London)
“A splendid and memorable piece of work.” Bookman
“Edith Wharton’s finest achievement.” Elizabeth Hardwick

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) was born in New York and is best known for her stories of life among the upper-class society into which she was born. She was educated privately at home and in Europe. In 1894 she began writing fiction, and her novel The House of Mirth established her as a leading writer. Her novels The Age of Innocence and Old New York were each awarded the Pulitzer Prize. She was the first woman to receive that honor. In 1929 she was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 14.48
Audience: Adult
Language: English