Stephen Fry Presents a Selection of Oscar Wilde's Short Stories

  • by Oscar Wilde
  • Narrated by Stephen Fry
  • 2 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"Oscar Wilde's Fairy Tales continue to exert the same pull over the imagination and emotions as they did when he first read them to his children in the 1880s. Written with inspired poetic intensity and sudden flowerings of the matchless wit for which he is so well remembered, the stories combine the wisdom of parables with the impact of drama. I have loved them since I was a child: indeed they continue to make a child of me. I do not mind admitting that at the recording some passages were hard to read out loud without choking. I hope you will be as entranced by them as I have always been." written by Stephen Fry.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A family favourite

These short, but entertaining, stories are a big hit with both my 'near teenage' son and my 20 year old daughter. Stephen's voice is, as always, a pleasure to listen to; and the stories are both entertaining and engaging.
I recommend this for a car journey where you want everyone to just calm down.
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- Wendy

More than just kid's stories..

Having seen the other reviews, I was wary of this product & thought it may prove to be a flat note in Stephen Fry's/ Oscar Wilde's repertoire. Happily both were on top form with Oscar Wilde writing some devilishly clever stories, with his protegee Stephen Fry giving just the right voice to do them justice.

All in all, there are 6 stories (including a story-within-a-story) at 15- 30 minutes a piece, so they are manageable in a long car journey/ walk. They are as follows:

1) The Devoted Friend
2) The Happy Prince
3) The Nightingale and the Rose
4) The Remarkable Rocket
5) The Selfish Giant
6) The Young King

With all the stories I was expecting them to be either old fashioned or babyish. Fortunately they are neither & you can see why Fry says on the back cover that 'I do not mind admitting that at the recording some passages were hard to read out loud without choking'.

Like the 'Stephen Fry Presents - Short Stories by Anton Chekhov', though, I have the same nagging grievance - why is it only 6 stories & 2 hours 14 minutes of material? Fair enough that Wilde wrote few short stories, but a double album with the Chekhov stuff (or better still with some of Wilde's under-rated poetry) would have made a much more desirable product.

That said, I can think of few instances where a great narrator has been so perfectly matched with an author. Wilde & Fry are very much cut from the same cloth & Fry has even made a film playing his doupelganger.
The only thing I can think of comparable to this pairing is that of Dawkins reading Darwin on 'On The Origin of Species' & I wonder why it is not done more often.
Can anyone imagine The Queen reading 'Queen Victoria's Journals', or Terry Pratchett reading 'The Lord of the Rings'? It would give a whole new meaning to the phrase 'bringing a book to life'...
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- Tim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-12-2008
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited