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84, Charing Cross Road

Written by: Helene Hanff
Length: 1 hr and 55 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 12.03
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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 members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

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One of the best stories of all time

I don't usually jive with books comprised of strictly correspondence but this one is a rare gem of an exception. I watched the movie before reading the book but I'm not disappointed. The movie is pretty much a word for word dramatic representation of this beautiful little book. The narration of Helene Hanff was spot on...just the right amount of sass and humour in her tone. This will forever be beloved in my top 20 books and I'm on the hunt for a physical copy asap. 😊

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jody Swink
  • Irondale, MO USA
  • 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jaime Altamirano
  • Houston, TX
  • 2018-03-04

Lovely story

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ANN L. 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • SMR Long Island
  • 2019-04-02

love love love

I wish the world was like this again. simple, pure, genuine love and caring... terrific listen (and the movie is pretty fab too)

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  • Joan
  • Charlotte, NC, United States
  • 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.

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  • C. Defnall
  • 2019-01-01

Loved this!

I enjoyed getting to know the staff of 84, Charing Cross Road and Helene. I wasn't ready for the end, but a very delightful quick read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-11-15

Relationships

Most excellent female narrator.
Great story.
Well written.
Well acted.
A pleasure to listen to this book.

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  • Joseph
  • YORK, PA, United States
  • 2018-10-01

A gem in print as well as in audio form

I've owned this book in print for many years and have read it many times. It is refreshing to finally listen to it in this wonderful audio version. The narrators brought the characters to life with the same pizzazz as it had been scribed.
The special relationship between Helen and Frank is such a heart warming and gentle "love" story.
I wish that antique book stores that specialize in providing service to book lovers rather than the almighty dollar still exist.
This is truly an amazing book. A must listen!

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  • Barbara C. Thomas
  • Greensboro, NC United States
  • 2018-09-16

Truly delightful

The book is a true delight in every way. The correspondence between Hanff and Doel over the years is a testament to human connection, and the power books have to connect us. Short but so worth it. I will listen again.