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A Rogue's Life

Written by: Wilkie Collins
Narrated by: Bernard Mayes
Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins

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Publisher's Summary

This delightful tale of thwarted ambition and forbidden love follows the adventures and fortunes of an endearing young rogue, Frank Softly. Originally serialized in Household Words in 1859, Rogue is one of Collins's most richly comic creations.

Propelled into society by his ever-hopeful father, Frank is introduced to a variety of professions in order to make his fortune. Not industrious by nature, however, Frank finds working life a challenge, and by his 25th birthday, he has failed medicine, portrait-painting, caricaturing, and even forgery. Disenchanted with life, he despairs of ever finding something to commit to — until he meets Alicia Dulcifer and her inexplicably wealthy father.

Proffering his own take on picaresque storytelling — and with many a grain of truth for 20-somethings today — this is Wilkie Collins at his entertaining best.

(P)2000 Blackstone Audio Inc
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph R
  • 2009-06-15

One Twisting, Turning, Fun Book!

This is a fun book! Having recently finished The Moonstone and The Lady in White (several times), I thought I had a handle on Mr. Wilkie Collins' style and subject matter. Was I ever so wrong. This book is written as if autobiographical as he looks back on his well meaning and hard-working youthful self who just couldn't get things to work out. He stumbled out of one career and scrape into another with sometimes alarming frequency. He got tossed out of the house by his family, thrown into debtor's prison, took up forging old masters paintings. Then he meets his dream woman, lost her, had to search the country for her, then his life really took a turn for the unexpected and sometimes bizarre. The author writes in a matter-of-fact, self-deprecating manner about the most trying turn of events and dramatic setbacks. The narrator, Bernard Mayes, is splendid. I wouldn't characterize his style as BBC World Service where the most catastrophic events are reported as calmly and detached as possible but it is something of that nature. In any case, Mr. Mayes is perfect for A Rogue's Life.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Power
  • 2008-10-31

Funny and Well Read

A very enjoyable listen. The narrator is great. Not at all your usual Wilkie Collins. Nothing supernatural, or dark. Just a well-writing, funny, romantic, sometimes satirical story of a charming young man with no particular calling making an unconventional beginning in life

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Douglas
  • 2009-09-27

Very Droll

Sometimes so much so that one is put in mind of the TV character Buzz Killington. Nonetheless, there are giggles to be had here. It would have been better if the author had used more "showing" and less telling. It is in "journal" form more than fictional form (dialogue, rich details, etc.) For good droll British humor, George Grossman's TALES OF A NOBODY is better.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kari
  • 2009-06-08

Very Enjoyable

Sit back and enjoy. Very entertaining the scrapes that main character gets into, with the final one in the name of love. First chapters set the stage, and albeit are a little slow, but hang on, you get sucked in and can't wait to find out what happens next.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Caroline
  • 2014-08-01

A Lot Of Fun!!

This story is simply delightful and fun. You can't help but be entertained by the path and career choices of the main character Frank. Pleasantly amoral, he gets into one scrape after another and always land of his feet but never for long. This is Wilkie Collins at his comical best! Like is very good friend Charles Dickens, Collins would write any genre brilliantly. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!