The Golden Age


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.9 stars; 7 reviews)

The Golden Age is a collection of reminiscences of childhood, written by Kenneth Grahame and originally published in book form in 1895, in London by The Bodley Head, and in Chicago by Stone & Kimball. (The Prologue and six of the stories had previously appeared in the National Observer, the journal then edited by William Ernest Henley.) Widely praised upon its first appearance—Algernon Charles Swinburne, writing in the Daily Chronicle, called it “one of the few books which are well-nigh too praiseworthy for praise”—the book has come to be regarded as a classic in its genre.

Typical of his culture and his era, Grahame casts his reminiscences in imagery and metaphor rooted in the culture of Ancient Greece; to the children whose impressions are recorded in the book, the adults in their lives are “Olympians,” while the chapter titled “The Argonauts” refers to Perseus, Apollo, Psyche, and similar figures of Greek mythology. Grahame’s reminiscences, in The Golden Age and in the later Dream Days (1898), were notable for their conception “of a world where children are locked in perpetual warfare with the adult ‘Olympians’ who have wholly forgotten how it feels to be young”—a theme later explored by J. M. Barrie and other authors. (Summary by Wikipedia)

(3 hr 57 min)

Chapters

Prologue: The Olympians 7:33 Read by Erin Hastings
A Holiday 13:46 Read by Erin Hastings
A White-Washed Uncle 7:38 Read by Sarah Kerrison
Alarums and Excursions 12:27 Read by Kara Shallenberg
The Finding of the Princess 14:36 Read by Kara Shallenberg
Sawdust and Sin 13:35 Read by Catharine Eastman
"Young Adam Cupid" 12:49 Read by Esther
The Burglars 14:11 Read by Kristin Hughes
A Harvesting 17:08 Read by Catharine Eastman
Snowbound 9:58 Read by vanrose
What They Talked About 7:24 Read by Kara Shallenberg
The Argonauts 19:23 Read by Mark F. Smith
The Roman Road 19:39 Read by Peter Eastman
The Secret Drawer 12:59 Read by Kara Shallenberg
"Exit Tyrannus" 9:01 Read by Muhammad Mussnoon
The Blue Room 17:37 Read by Muhammad Mussnoon
A Falling Out 12:02 Read by Muhammad Mussnoon
"Lusisti Satis" 15:16 Read by Kara Shallenberg

Reviews

Childhood remembrances- realistic and even alarming

(4 stars)

An interesting take on nostalgia for one's childhood. Perhaps written by one who has been disappointed in adult life? Or one just deeply disappointed in adults? Not your average warm, rosy, hearth-fire heaven of childhood is found within, but that grittier childhood that is remembered all the more, but spoken about much less- the one in which adults range from useless to quite stupid, without ever quite achieving relevance. Yes, there are green fields and sunny days and dragons to slay and adventures to invent and perform. But for the adults who cannot join in- whose imagination and playfulness and wonder are all dead things- the children do not feel a gentle regret, but an active and withering contempt at sign of such barrenness. There are a rare few moments that show that not all adults are hopeless cripples. There are a sensible few who understand that hidden treasures and pirate's coves are more interesting and important than boring talk about politics and weather. But these souls float quickly into the story, and as quickly out of it, showing that even these kindred souls cannot be trusted or relied upon. They have been corrupted by adulthood, and seemingly cannot resist their dreadful fate.

Nostalgic and Hilarious

(5 stars)

This collection of short stories is extremely nostalgic and very funny. I enjoyed it quite a lot. I am going to start listening to the sequel, Dream Days, right away.