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Publisher's Summary

Hollywood icon Laura Dern breathes new life into Louisa May Alcott’s classic coming-of-age tale that follows the lives of four sisters against a backdrop of the American Civil War. This autobiographical novel takes place in and around the girls’ New England home. 

This great American novel demonstrates Alcott's extraordinary talent at portraying the joys and struggles of family life in an unforgettable way. Generations of people - young and old, male and female - have fallen in love with the March sisters. This classic of young adult fiction transcends genre, gender, and class with its examination of personal quests, societal restrictions, family ties, and the end of innocence.

This new audio original dramatisation of Little Women stars a full cast led by two-time Academy Award-nominee, four-time Golden Globe-winner, and Emmy winner Laura Dern (Little Women, Big Little Lies, Jurassic Park), along with veteran narrators Suzanne Toren, Lauren Fortgang, Allison Hiroto, Emily Bauer, and Carly Robins.

Public Domain (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Little Women

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • EAS
  • 2019-12-28

Overacting detracts from story

I should have made my selection more carefully. A simple narration would have been better. The voices of the main characters are overacted and grating. We sat down to listen as a family but couldn’t get past the second chapter. It’s unfortunate because of course it is a classic novel worth reading. Perhaps that’s what we will do - read it ourselves. A disappointing audiobook to be sure.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful book

I absolutely love this audiobook. After seeing the most recent Little Women movie, I was excited to listen to this to finally read the book, and was not disappointed. I love that it is a full production with music, sound effects, and a full cast, which is what I prefer for classics.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not my style of performance

It felt more like listening to a play than a book. I wish I'd listened to the sample before purchasing, then I would have realized a lot of the narration is cut out and a cast of characters is used instead. I enjoyed Laura Dern's performance but I wish she'd just read the whole thing like a regular audiobook. The extra sounds, music, and cast were unnecessary and took away from the storytelling experience in my opinion.

2 people found this helpful

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little women

it was a nice story over all but it took some time to get into the story. Nice ending.

1 person found this helpful

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It's been so long

I read this as a young girl and that was some time ago. it's idealistic and outdated but we can all use some ideals right now and it's a great story

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For Fans of Little Women

Look... if you're reading this book for the first time, I'd recommend finding a different audiobook, because this is NOT (I repeat, it is NOT) an audiobook! It is a dramatization. If you've read the book and you know the source material pretty well and want a new way of experiencing the story, I'd highly recommend it! Performances are a bit over the top, but it's still fun! If you aren't familiar with the source material, try something else out, because this will leave you confused.

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Not for me..but Charming

This book was offered as a Daily Deal and it's on my "maybe someday" reading list, so I took a shot. It's good. Nothing much happens beyond "normal" life events (relationships, illnesses, deaths, etc.), but the characters are interesting and the book is enjoyable. It's very well-written and full of humor, warmth, and genuine pathos. The Author herself thought it was boring when she wrote it and was surprised by it's success. I agree with Walcott - it's nothing special. I also agree with her readers - it's engrossing. The ensemble cast and presentation as a Radio Play works for the most part..although some of the accents are straight-up grating. There is music and sound effects interspersed with the dialogue, but they seldom overwhelm (there are a couple of instances of distraction). Laura Dern generally stays faithful to the story, but reads at a quick pace. Her performance isn't overwhelming. This good presentation of a surprisingly interesting story isn't to my tastes, but still warrants 3.5 stars out of 5

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tanya D
  • 2020-01-05

Enjoyable

I had never read Little Women (apart from the Children's version when I was younger) and wanted to read it before the newest movie. I specifically waited for this new Audible Original version because I love Laura Dern and was super excited for it. It is what it is - an abridged dramatization of the book. I was not aware of this, but this did not affect my rating. I rated it based on what it is. That being said, although quite enjoyable, I personally would have preferred to listen to the full novel. I do wish they had made this more clear to the listener, though I may have still chosen to listen to this version because, Laura Dern. Can she just read the whole thing next time? I found the beginning difficult to differentiate the characters and their voices. The dialogue is without "said Amy" or "said Jo". As the stories begin to separate and each sister has their own path/narrative, it is not an issue. I loved Jo, Marmee and Laurie's voices the best. I found some of the voices to be a tad overdone, but it did not distract from my enjoyment. In the beginning I found the extra sounds - like foot steps, horses or a cackling fire interesting, but they lose their appeal by the end. They just don't add to the story in an effective way that makes you feel like you are part of that world. In the end, I would think twice about listening to another "dramatization", though I think the idea overall has potential. I can see why however, someone who may have read the full novel already, might appreciate this as a new way to experience a beloved tale; but I don’t have that frame of reference.

52 people found this helpful

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  • JRM+JRT
  • 2020-01-01

Very poor execution of this classic tale

Instead of allowing the cast to tell the story naturally through their performance, the action was constantly interrupted by a narrator adding snippets of backstory - sometimes right in the middle of active dialogue! All of this backstory could have easily been woven into the story and told through the cast performance. It was too distracting to continue listening. Also, the actors cast for the girls were a bit too similar in sound/portrayal and I struggled to differentiate who was speaking in scenes with the 4 of them. I could have possibly overlooked the highly censored (historical and faith-based content removed/altered to make the story more in sync with our current "PC" world) and abridged aspects (though I would always prefer a true to the original portrayal when given the choice!), however the constant switch in POV was too jarring to allow myself to get lost in the story, or enjoy it on any level. Overall a very disappointing mess of a beloved classic. Be sure to take the time to listen to the full sample offered to see if this is something you would enjoy - which I often don't because I know I can return books I don't enjoy - to save yourself a bit of frustration and a lot of wasted time spent hoping it might get better further in. It doesn't.

79 people found this helpful

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  • Carrie
  • 2020-01-07

Ew

I could not get past the second chapter. I love this story, but the saccharine voices of the characters contrasts too much with Dern’s dry narration. It bothers me that they did not stick to the original manuscript. This is a dramatization, not an audiobook.

37 people found this helpful

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  • Abigail Vance
  • 2020-01-01

Censored

This version is not just abridged, it is censored. i didn't catch it until I was nearly through, but by trying to find my place in my kindle book, I realized one of the most moving scenes of the whole book, when Beth died, was edited of anything meaningful about the Lord or heaven. Now I've been paying attention and any mention of God is removed. No wonder I thought the book was just "okay." I'm going to have to start over again with an actual version of the book.

78 people found this helpful

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  • Eve O’Cative
  • 2020-02-22

Not the full novel.

This is a radio play version that has been completely re-worked. I found it confusing.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Lisa V.
  • 2019-12-30

It’s more performance than book

I waited for Dean’s version to release. It was a mistake. This is really awful.

31 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • HOOKIPA
  • 2020-01-26

Bangin', Clangin' and Emotin'

Note to self: Do not EVER get another "dramatized" audio book. Laura Dern of course is superb as a narrator. But the music, sound effects, dramatization? The Book: "She wept." The Dramatization: "Bwahahahahahah...snort...bwahahaha...Bwa! Ha! Bwahahahahahahahahahah." Good god just get to the story will you? Other than that, classic-novel-breaking-gender-roles etc. etc.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Carly Brown
  • 2020-01-13

Excellent!

I finally fell in love with the March sisters, and I will be forever grateful. I never read Little Women as a kid, just because the book seemed big and daunting to young me. I am kind of glad it took me until now to read it, because it's exactly what I needed at this time in my life. I am in my twenties and soon to graduate college. I have a lot of big life decisions quickly approaching, and I felt comforted hearing about the March sisters having to carve out their own life paths. Each sister imparts their own wisdom in some way. Meg teaches us how to enjoy the little things. Jo teaches us to nurture our passions. Beth teaches us how to love honestly and deeply. Amy teaches us about the beauty of change. I know Louisa May Alcott considered her own work "moral pap for the young", but I thought it was full of so many lessons that apply to people's lives today. The narration was fantastic too! Laura Dern and the rest of the cast performed the lovable characters with charm and bubbly energy.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • tj
  • 2020-02-24

AMAZING but I wish it were closer to source book

Like I said in the headline, this edition of Little Women is so beautifully done and so fun to listen to; of course Laura Dern sold it to me and then killed it, her narration is gorgeous. I'll be honest, I wish she'd just narrated the whole thing. The actors for everyone sounded SO alike and their childhood voices were so fake sounding... Laurie sounds sooooo old it constantly took me out of the story haha. But I think it's perfect to listen to if you loved the movie or loved the book, just keep in mind it cuts out a lot from the book too.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Virago
  • 2019-12-28

Enjoyable Listen

I have seen a few not-so-great reviews about this audiodrama. Some hated the voice cast, while others were bothered that it's an abridged dramatization rather than the novel verbatim.  I do not have those complaints.  I enjoyed the voice work and the dramatization.  This was a wonderful story and I loved listening to it.  I feel like I got the full story even though it was a dramatization. And the cast brought the characters to life for me.  

9 people found this helpful