Sons and Lovers (unabridged)

Audio Sample

D.H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers

Read by Paul Slack


Sons and Lovers, Lawrence’s third published novel, was written by the author at the height of his literary powers. The story of class differences (the relationship between a middle-class woman and a miner) in the tough world of coal mining brought a refreshing realism to literature. It remains a challenging text and is studied widely. It is particularly effective on audiobook in the hands of Nottinghamshire reader Paul Slack.

Audiofile – Earphones Award Sound Commentary – Best of 2009
  • Running Time: 16 h 33 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-962-954-772-1
    Cat. no.:NAX89112
    Download size:246 MB
    Released:October 2008
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Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Sons and Lovers, published in 1913, was Lawrence’s first great novel, and its richly drawn characters are magnificently brought to life in this production. Though this is his first audiobook, narrator Paul Slack reads with flawless composure, subtly adjusting his resonant voice for each member of the Morel family and their circle. He is suitably gruff as a coal miner yet movingly tender as he relates the final hours of Gertrude Morel, a scene based on the death of Lawrence’s own mother. He’s also convincing in his handling of the East Midlands dialect the author slips into the dialogue. A simply outstanding performance by Slack; one hopes it is the start of a long career as a narrator.

D.B., AudioFile

Sound Commentary Best of 2009

This highly autobiographical novel of life in a Nottinghamshire mining family is told from the viewpoint of Paul Morel, it is his anguished relationships – with his mother, his father, and two women – that dominate the story. The powerful imagery and language are done justice by this superb narration. Slack voices each character in a wonderfully natural way, with excellent dialects, and when he reads the descriptions of the landscapes he is able to paint an exquisite picture for the listener. He reads with pathos and great emotion, with rage and with passion; it is difficult to imagine a better rendition. This will delight both listeners who are new to the novel and those who have read the book. It is a rare treat to find writer and reader so perfectly matched.

Sue Rosenzweig, Sound Commentary

Slack’s reading of Lawrence’s classic novel portrays, with clarity, the class differences between Walter Morel and his wife, Gertrude, in the “tough world of coal mining.” Gertrude’s middle-class background and her husband’s working-class origins are clearly indicated in Slack’s varied accents and tones. But it is the mother’s relationship with her children, especially William, the eldest, and Paul, after William’s death, that is most lyrically and elegiacally relayed. Slack’s rendering of Paul’s obsessions and preoccupations is sympathetically handled. Gertrude’s aloofness is icily portrayed. Walter, despite his drunkenness and coarseness, seems far more sympathetic in audio. Paul’s relationship with Miriam Leivers is pivotal, and the tensions that their relationship causes between Gertrude and her favorite son are central to the story. Slack underscores her maternal jealousy, showing it in sharp contrast to Gertrude’s cold manner with her husband. Lawrence’s central themes are heightened through the marvelous British-laced reading.

Mary McCay, Booklist

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