Summary

Utopia is the name given by Sir Thomas More to an imaginary island in this political work written in 1516. Book I of Utopia, a dialogue, presents a perceptive analysis of contemporary social, economic, and moral ills in England. Book II is a narrative describing a country run according to the ideals of the English humanists, where poverty, crime, injustice, and other ills do not exist. Locating his island in the New World, More bestowed it with everything to support a perfectly organized and happy people. The name of this fictitious place, Utopia, coined by More, passed into general usage and has been applied to all such ideal fictions, fantasies, and blueprints for the future, including works by Rabelais, Francis Bacon, Samuel Butler, and several by H. G. Wells, including his A Modern Utopia.
(P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 12-06-13

More's unobtainable vision of the ideal society

After reading Hilary Mantel's amazing first two Booker-prizing winning books of her Henry VIII trilogy ('Wolf Hall' and 'Bring Up the Bodies'), I felt I needed to actually bust into Thomas More's 'Utopia'. How could I consider myself educated and not have at least tasted a bit of More's utopian ideal, his veiled criticisms of European culture and values, and his unobtainable vision of the ideal society.

At times 'Utopia' seems overdone/overripe, like even More wasn't buying his own brand of guiding, noble principles. Still, 'Utopia' works because it is playful and ironic. I'm not sure I would view it as great (to me it doesn't measure up to either Plato's 'The Republic' or Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels'), but I do believe the interaction between More's brand of political idealism with Cromwell's ruthless pragmatism, ended up creating in England something really GREAT.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Matt on 29-06-12

Good story, average reading

What did you love best about Utopia?

Its is an interesting look into creating a perfect society and some of the ideas sound valid but certainly do require some discussion. I think some fundamental aspects of human nature make Utopia an impossibility - well worth listening and discussing.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of James Adams?

Simon Vance would have done this book fabulously - Mr Adams fails to bring any distinction between any of the characters and tends to run them together which makes following the text a little tricky. Buy the book - but from another reader.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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