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Publisher's Summary

When Helene Hanff makes an innocent inquiry about the possibility of purchasing hard-to-find books through Marks and Co., Booksellers, she begins a 20-year love affair with Frank Doel, the proper English bookseller who answers her letter and sends along her first order in the fall of 1949.

They are two very unlikely correspondents: she a cranky Jewish New Yorker who writes TV scripts and lives in a messy apartment on East 95th Street; he a determinedly courteous middle-class Englishman who sends her beautifully bound and often obscure antiquarian books from the shop he manages on Charing Cross Road in London.

The letters, written between 1949 and 1969, capture the period and pay tribute to the special kind of reader who treasures a well-worn classic.

©1970 Helen Hanff (P)1993 Recorded Books, LLC

What listeners say about 84, Charing Cross Road

Average Customer Ratings
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Love this stoty

Great story of the greatness of letter writing in this day and age .great personalities and their connections

1 person found this helpful

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A book of love amongst lovers of books

This story brings a nostalgic recollection of the past for people who know how life was like in the 1940’s and 1950’s. In the materially rich world we currently live in, it may no longer be possible to experience that level of thoughtful kindness, tender melancholy, joyful long distance friendships, and the longing for a good book ... all the spiritually enriching things that helped the good people in those days to endure the hardships of postwar shortages of everything, including daily sustenance (Safe to say most young people today have never experienced rations, just imagine how they’d whine and complain.) Life was still beautiful, people lived more nobly and kindly towards each other. And books had meant even more to book lovers. This is a classic story. Powerfully emotional and extremely well told. You will feel a whole lot richer in your heart after hearing it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kat
  • 2021-04-26

Charming Classic

I read this decades ago and enjoyed it enough to listen to it again in this recorded version. I was surprised to find it even more enjoyable. I think having the different voices helped bring it to life and the readers were all perfect. Highly recommend.

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Loved it.

What a delightful listen. Did not think I would enjoy a book of correspondence so much, so glad I purchased. So well performed, such a nice story. Have to give it 5 stars, couldn't find much fault, and can't critique personal letters!

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Wonderful story

I know you will love this book i have listened to it twice. I felt like I was part of the story.

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Such a beautiful story

Without ever really setting out to be a story, this collection of letters shares such depth and warmth of characters that it shapes so beautifully these people I wish I myself had met.

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ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!

I have watched this movie several times and now I have the audiobook to listen to again and again. The narration is SUPERB and the story is wonderful -- the only downside is it is too short... I wanted to it to go on and on.

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Cosy letter exhange on books and friendships

A heart-warming epistolary exchange of letters between an American playwrite and a British antiquariam bookseller.

No romance, just friendship, with a lovely exchange of letters over 20 years. This is a cosy book, like being wrapped in an erudite comfortable book blanket.

I had not realised this was non-fiction. Interesting to see how hard life was in England immediately after the war.

The narrators were good, but they should have de-aged Franklyn-Robbins voice as he was supposed to be in his 30s at the start of the book, whereas he sounded as though he was in his late 60s.

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An Absolute Delight!

84, Charing Cross Road is a pure delight to listen to! The back and forth exchange of correspondence between Helene and Frank that spans twenty years is heartwarming and engaging. It'll give you a lump in the throat by the end and you wish it kept on going for many more hours. Beautifully performed by the various readers, this gets my highest recommendation, especially for book lovers!

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So much better than the movie

I saw the movie years ago, and I did like it... but the book was so much richer. I like this as an audiobook, as hearing the different voices and inflections was immensely satisfying. But the real joy here us the words. A true correspondence, carried out over a long number of years, this book takes you on a journey in both New York City and London. There are interesting insights about the post-war period in both cities. With loads of literary references and antiquarian book finds, this is a delight. Charming.

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  • Jody S
  • 2017-12-02

Sweet

I had put this book off, for reasons unknown. It was on three different suggestion lists for light hearted enjoyable reads.
I concur, those are the right lists for this book.

The irony is I’ve been awake with with pregnant lady insomnia. I have listened to this entire sweet book in one long go and can now go back to sleep with a smile.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kitty
  • 2018-01-11

A True Story About How Books Connect People

I am not a regular reader of collections of letters, but I fell under the spell 84 Charring Cross Road almost immediately. This is a beautiful and true story, told through correspondence, of the love of books, and their power to draw readers together. 84 Charring Cross Road revels in the way books can connect people, even across an ocean, and even if those people have never met.

7 people found this helpful

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  • cheryl retired bookseller
  • 2020-01-04

A very special book

I was a bookseller for 40 years. Listening to this book reminded me of so many special customers over the years.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Joan
  • 2019-01-24

Booklover’s delight

This short book of transatlantic correspondence is a delight. The personalities of letter writers come through in the readers voices. The shared love of fine books, the generosity of the writers and the mutual appreciation of the writers makes for a wonderful, funny, and wistful tale.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Peggy
  • 2020-08-19

Pleasure to hear this old favorite

Sweet, funny and touching in under two hours. At first I was put off by not hearing Anthony Hopkins as the male narrator. (He starred in the movie) But that passed. Barbara Rosenblat was a seamless replacement for Anne Bancroft.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Robin
  • 2020-08-18

A wonderful story

First, you can’t go wrong with any book performed by Barbara Rosenblat. This book is charming and quirky, and a pleasure to listen to. Audible ... please arrange for the sequel!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jaime Altamirano
  • 2018-03-04

Lovely story

beautiful narration, hard not to like all characters. I wish it could have lasted more.

2 people found this helpful

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  • A. PAGE
  • 2017-08-25

I have always loved this story.

This audio version does it proud. Thank you for your care and a wonderful performance.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Suzanne
  • 2020-01-02

finally read the book

I rented this movie years ago from a mom and pop video store. The story always remained in my mind and I decided it was time to read the book. I think it's the way these letters show how books can bring people from different walks of life together that is so heartwarming to me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wendy Nahmias
  • 2021-05-22

A Sophisticated Dramody

What a lovely joy! It’s charming, wickedly funny and historical all at the same time!