The Scarlet Letter

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(3.7 stars; 221 reviews)

The story begins in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts, then a Puritan settlement. A young woman, Hester Prynne, is led from the town prison with her infant daughter, Pearl, in her arms and the scarlet letter “A” on her breast. The scarlet letter "A" represents the act of adultery that she has committed; it is to be a symbol of her sin for all to see. She will not reveal her lover’s identity, however, and the scarlet letter, along with her public shaming, is her punishment for her sin and her secrecy. (Summary adapted from Wikipedia)

(9 hr 10 min)


Introductory: The Custom-House, Part 1 51:22 Read by hefyd
Introductory: The Custom-House, Part 2 46:47 Read by hefyd
The Prison-Door 3:13 Read by librarianite
The Market-Place 20:30 Read by librarianite
The Recognition 21:26 Read by Ana Simão
The Interview 16:55 Read by Ana Simão
Hester at her Needle 21:16 Read by Rebecca P.
Pearl 22:31 Read by Dianne
The Governor's Hall 16:13 Read by Dianne
The Elf-Child and the Minister 18:33 Read by George Pilling
The Leech 22:08 Read by George Pilling
The Leech and his Patient 23:08 Read by hefyd
The Interior of a Heart 17:33 Read by hefyd
The Minister's Vigil 25:53 Read by hefyd
Another View of Hester 20:13 Read by hefyd
Hester and the Physician 15:08 Read by hefyd
Hester and Pearl 15:30 Read by hefyd
A Forest Walk 14:18 Read by Laurie Anne Walden
The Pastor and his Parishioner 26:41 Read by Christina Boyles
A Flood of Sunshine 14:03 Read by rachelellen
The Child at the Brook-Side 16:29 Read by JemmaBlythe
The Minister in a Maze 21:08 Read by Alex Patterson
The New England Holiday 19:01 Read by Laurie Anne Walden
The Procession 29:14 Read by Christina Boyles
The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter 16:42 Read by Christie Nowak
Conclusion 14:44 Read by JemmaBlythe


(0.5 stars)

This is why there should only be one reader allowed per book, even if there is five didn't recordings of the same book. Then the reader can choose his or her favorite reader for that story. Arg.

horrible reading

(0.5 stars)

ugh. what a huge letdown. the first reader was wonderful but it is a crushing disappointment to listen to the second reader butcher the English language and distracting to hear the third reader's heavy accent. I had to buy it to hear it

Come on Librivox!

(1 stars)

Pull your socks up and replace the inadequate (and often just sheer ridiculous) readings. We know its a free servuce but thee's no need to allow for the verbal bludgeoning of the world"s literary masterpieces. Remove badly performed work and provide us with ,at t he very least, that which is coherent and not an affront to the ear!

great book, lousy reading

(1 stars)

This is an amazing book, and deserves better treatment. Some readers were great, but some were totally incomprehensible. please.... one reader to a story.

The Scarlet Letter

(3 stars)

Well, I had to read this book for school and even though I didn't enjoy it that much it taught me something. So for that, and that alone, it gets 3 stars and it get to be recommended.

(1 stars)

this is not the platform for practicing your 2nd language. honestly I think it's an insult to the author. I'm certain these legendary authors deserve the best narration. I wouldnt complain if I wasn't listening to an English version.the 3rd reader is impossible to understand.

the prior reviews did not scare me off, & I am very thankful.

(5 stars)

Not scared off by prior reviews, & so thankful! I live near one of the largest cities in U.S. made up of people from many, many peoples across the world. Do not critsize readings by someone reading in English-as-a-2nd language, unless you also speak at least 2 languages & do so fluently, as tested in a county were 2nd language is primary. I did listen to Chapter 3 numerous times, and was rewarded with further understanding of narrators speech, which will benefit me in speaking with my neighbors. Then I discovered her interpretation of the classic quite enjoyable & enlightening. The woman thought to speak gruffly reminded me of story time with my grandmother, who never smoked, but put in countless hours teaching children in rural communities in dust bowl country. All the grandmother's sounded like her! Perhaps, Librovox, you can add to "Todo" list a reading easy to understood by persons listening to improve their own English-as-a-2nd-language, or listening for the wonderful flow of the original language.

A question

(5 stars)

The five stars are for readers who sacrificually do their best . Those who so harshly criticize readers who give up their time and make an effort to bring some joy into others lives ought to be ashamed of themselves! Reading through some of these rather coarse reviews one wonders if any of them would be able to do better, and if so...why have they not volunteered to do better? A good rule to follow is simply this...If you have nothing good to say...say nothing!