Classic Fiction History

The Scarlet Letter Audiobook Review

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Audiobook Review
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The Scarlet Letter Audiobook

Written by: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Narrated by: Ian Lynch

Length: 7 hours and 16 minutes

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date: 2011

Publisher: Cherry Hill Publishing

The persecution of a certain group of people has been prevalent throughout history. Some novels are capable of capturing this type of treatment and turning it into something true special. This is exactly how The Scarlet Letter has obtained its success. The novel, which was originally written in 1850, tells the story of a woman by the name of Hester Prynne. This 17th century female is cursed to wear the scarlet letter A, because she has been persecuted for adultery. Her struggle and attempt to reclaim her dignity is a tale, which is uplifting and timeless. Find a review of The Scarlet Letter audiobook bellow.

Throughout the years, this critically acclaimed novel has been adapted into films, plays and even operas. Hugues Merle also transformed the story into an oil painting. Just recently, the novel was released as an audiobook, which will help the tale live on for many more years. Ian Lynch narrated the audio adaptation. So, how is it? You will find out below!

Ian Lynch’s Adaptation

When comparing the novel to the audiobook, one could ultimately say that one isn’t for everyone, while the other is simplistic enough for all. Many individuals will find the reading level of The Scarlet Letter beyond their skill of expertise. With the audiobook and Ian Lynch’s help, the book’s complications are simplified and laid out in an understandable manner. This helps to guarantee that it can be enjoyed and understood by everyone, who desires to do so. Often, hearing a sentence makes it much easier to interpret and Lynch provides the listener with the easier alternative.

Another area that Lynch deserves praise is in his ability to maintain consistency throughout the book. During the dramatic dialogue and action, Lynch never overdramatizes anything. He adds a bit of urgency to the sentences, but he doesn’t use too much emotion. Many have argued that The Scarlet Letter audiobook is long winded and drug out. Although this might be true, it has nothing to do with Lynch’s performance. His delivery pace is very satisfying and keeps the story moving along steadily. This definitely helps to keep the listener on the edge of their seat, during the book’s most frightening moments.

Another likeable aspect of the adaptation is the use of music. During chapter and scene breaks, music, which helps to set the mood, is played. This also helps to drag the viewer back into the era that the book is set. One of the most difficult tasks for a narrator is trying to differentiate between a cast of characters. This is even more trying, when the cast is as diverse as that of The Scarlet Letter. Lynch is forced to shift between male, female and child characters on a whim. This is where Lynch truly excels. He manages to develop a unique tone for each of these individuals and allows the listener to easily identify precisely who is speaking at any given time.

Overall, Ian does an excellent job bringing the characters to the forefront of the story. In a character driven novel, this is absolutely vital and it helps to make the Scarlet Letter even better than ever. Although there are a few slow moments, the pacing never falters. At 7 hours and 16 minutes, The Scarlet Letter is definitely a delight for anyone, who has the time for a good romance.

Overcoming the Struggles of One’s Mistake

Everyone makes mistakes, but some of them are much more extreme than others, which is why Nathaniel Hawthorne decided to write The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne focuses his attention on the female character Hester Prynne. The setting is the 17th Century, at which time unwed mothers were not accepted into society. Unlike today, when young women have children out of wedlock, they integrate into society very well.

The officials of Boston, Massachusetts, where Hester resided were willing to take matters into their own hands. They decided to punish her harshly for her adulteress ways and the townspeople definitely wanted to witness the event. Hawthorne wants the reader to see envy, jealousy, anger, and resentment in many of the characters.

In today’s society, it is difficult to look back at the time, when young women were crucified for making a mistake of getting pregnant, when they are not wed. This is a huge reality that many women faced up until the 20th Century. Hester is forced to stand on a scaffold that is erected in the city. She also must wear a scarlet “A” on her dress at all times, so she will be identified as an adulteress.

Hawthorne works diligently to show that women are very strong and can endure a lot of verbal punishment. He also portrayed Hester as being a trusting soul, since she was not willing to divulge her lover’s name, but again when we look at her child’s father, Mr. Dimmesdale, you cannot say the same.

It is evident what Hawthorne’s intentions were in The Scarlet Letter. It shows an admirable beauty that is absolutely extraordinary. This novel also expresses the love that a mother has for her child under all different circumstances. Adultery and pregnancy out of wedlock was a topic that was not spoken of often, which makes one realize why Hawthorne chose to exemplify it in his novel.


When it comes down to it, The Scarlet Letter is a true classic, which will never be completely forgotten. The romanticism is absolutely wonderful and definitely provides the listener with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and pleasure. Although the audiobook feels a little slow, at times, this is not a deal breaker! The characters are compelling and very likeable. Ian Lynch helps to push them even further and make them more realistic than ever. Whether you’re looking for a nice time period drama or want to experience the romance, The Scarlet Letter will satisfy you to no end.

Instead of picking up a book, you should do yourself a favor and check out the audiobook. You will be truly grateful that you did and Ian Lynch will instantly become one of your favorite narrators.