Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

Written by:
Thomas de Quincey
Narrated by:
Martin Geeson

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
January 2017
5 hours 22 minutes
“Thou hast the keys of Paradise, O just, subtle, and mighty Opium!”

Though apparently presenting the reader with a collage of poignant memories, temporal digressions and random anecdotes, the Confessions is a work of immense sophistication and certainly one of the most impressive and influential of all autobiographies. The work is of great appeal to the contemporary reader, displaying a nervous (postmodern?) self-awareness, a spiralling obsession with the enigmas of its own composition and significance. De Quincey may be said to scrutinise his life, somewhat feverishly, in an effort to fix his own identity.

The title seems to promise a graphic exposure of horrors; these passages do not make up a large part of the whole. The circumstances of its hasty composition sets up the work as a lucrative piece of sensational journalism, albeit published in a more intellectually respectable organ – the London Magazine – than are today’s tawdry exercises in tabloid self-exposure. What makes the book technically remarkable is its use of a majestic neoclassical style applied to a very romantic species of confessional writing - self-reflexive but always reaching out to the Reader. (Summary by Martin Geeson)
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Margaret S.

I’m sure the contents were worth more than one star, but the narration was so terrible I gave up. Emphasis in all the wrong places, unwarranted pseudo-theatricality, overall too slow, no rhythm, giving the impression the narrator didn’t understand what he was reading, although he was clearly putting a lot of effort into it. Un-listenable-to, sorry. Get someone who can read.

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