The Old Wives' Tale


Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)

(4.8 stars; 93 reviews)

The Old Wives' Tale is a novel by Arnold Bennett, first published in 1908. It deals with the lives of two very different sisters, Constance and Sophia Baines, following their stories from their youth, working in their mother's draper's shop, into old age. It is generally regarded as one of Bennett's finest works. It covers a period of about 70 years from roughly 1840 to 1905, and is set in Burslem and Paris. (Summary by Andy)

(23 hr 18 min)

Chapters

Preface 11:37 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 1 Mrs. Baines Ch 1 The Square 49:37 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 1 Ch 2 The Tooth 25:19 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk1 Ch 3 A Battle Pt 1 41:02 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk1 Ch 3 A Battle Pt 2 38:40 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 1 Ch 4 Elephant 41:57 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 1 Ch 5 The Traveller 45:11 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 1 Ch 6 Escapade 42:49 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 1 Ch 7 A Defeat 34:00 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 2 Constance Ch 1 Revolution 44:35 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk2 Ch 2 Christmas and the Future 39:31 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 2 Ch 3 Cyril 47:01 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 2 Ch 4 Crime 43:07 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 2 Ch 5 Another Crime Pt 1 36:29 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 2 Ch 5 Another Crime Pt 2 43:00 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 2 Ch 6 The Widow 28:11 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 2 Ch 7 Bricks and Mortar 32:04 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 2 Ch 8 The Proudest Mother 25:57 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 3 Sophia Ch 1 The Elopement 29:43 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 3 Ch 2 Supper 37:11 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 3 Ch 3 An Ambition Satisfied 44:47 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 3 Ch 4 A Crisis for Gerald 46:29 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 3 Ch 5 Fever Pt 1 57:30 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 3 Ch 5 Fever Pt 2 27:08 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 3 Ch 6 The Siege 1:03:41 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 3 Ch 7 Success 44:15 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
BBk 4 What Life is Ch 1 Frensham's Pt 1 33:52 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 4 Ch 1 Frensham's Pt 2 43:00 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 4 Ch 2 The Meeting 1:02:37 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 4 Ch 3 Towards Hotel Life Pt 1 48:47 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 4 Ch 3 Towards Hotel Life Pt 2 47:31 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 4 Ch 4 End of Sophia Pt 1 38:01 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 4 Ch 4 End of Sophia Pt 2 42:40 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)
Bk 4 Ch 5 End of Constance 1:01:14 Read by Andy Minter (1934-2017)

Reviews

A Masterpiece

(5 stars)

Brilliant, funny, poignant. People should read this book to understand that no one escapes the passage of time and old age, unless, of course, there is the tragedy of early death. The book was beautifully read. Thank you so much Andy Minter. You should be knighted

An impressive recording

(5 stars)

First published in 1908, The Old Wives' Tale affirms the integrity of ordinary lives as it tells the story of the Baines sisters--shy, retiring Constance and defiant, romantic Sophia--over the course of nearly half a century. Bennett traces the sisters' lives from childhood in their father's drapery shop in provincial Bursley, England, during the mid-Victorian era, through their married lives, to the modern industrial age, when they are reunited as old women. The setting moves from the Five Towns of Staffordshire to exotic and cosmopolitan Paris, while the action moves from the subdued domestic routine of the Baines household to the siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. Many thanks to Mr Minter's excellent recording. A real pleasure to listen to!

amazing book

(5 stars)

amazing book an amazing narrator Andy Minter r is a fantastic narrator and it is very sad that he has left this world but I am very grateful to him for all of the narrating that he did. This book is amazing because it covers two young girls lives all the way from their youth until their deaths so so good

A hidden jewel

(5 stars)

I came across this book by chance and loved it! A fascinating story with a terrific, dry sense of humor. Thought- provoking and somewhat bittersweet. The reader is very talented and only adds to the work. Quite enjoyable.

Fascinating story, beautifully read

(5 stars)

This book follows the lives of three women, a mother and her two daughters, and is written in several parts recounting each of their lives covering parts of each from different perspectives. There is no grand story, but rather and unfolding of each life with its momentous and trivial events. I was enthralled listening to it and found the story fascinating. Andy Minter is an fabulous narrator. The book is beautifully narrated (as always).

MAKES ONE THINK

(4.5 stars)

A very incisive novel, wherein he author expertly examines the lives of Constance and Sophia througgh thoughts. This mmakes the reader examine his life a bit more closely. The message of the book seems to be that life is dreary, intetspetsed occasionally with a fleeting happiness. Nevertheless, this work is well deserving of accolades. It might not have been quite as enjoyable if read by anyone other than Andy Minter.

wive's incedible

(5 stars)

Bennett managed to include almost every important event in my life. I'm an old american lady. This is evidence that English and American are quite alike. I enjoyed this book more than I enjoyed the last movie I watched. Very well read, in fact the best I can remember. Thank you Andy.

Very well read

(4 stars)

Andy does an excellent job of reading this book. The book itself I found a bit hard to get through, but I kept coming back to it and taking it in small bits, it was a thoughtful reflection on the lives of these women (and their mother).