Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
Despite being lesser known than her sisters' works, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" may be the best of the Bronte books. Anne is a good writer; terrific at description, and there is humor here and richness of character development. I really loved this listen. The story is long and, I will admit, tedious at times (it's a Victorian novel after all!), but this edition of the audio book has handled the strange structure of the book very well. Both Alex Jennings and Jenny Agutter render their portions of the narrative beautifully.
A word of warning, however. This claims to be an Unabridged version, but it is not so. Because I was listening to the book as a book club assignment, I followed along with the written version and found some puzzling omissions. Just why they chose to abridge some parts -- especially in the central, diary portion of the book -- I can't imagine. The cuts are small and not terribly important, but nevertheless are there. Anyone wishing to experience the entire work should be aware of the abridgment.
But it's a fine trip! I'm very pleased to have learned that there is more to the Brontes than "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights".
can you fit "Mansfield Park" into 2 hours and 18 minutes? This lovely dramatized production answers the question thusly:
1) Get some wonderful A-list British actors;
2) Find a writer or writers who can severely cut Miss Austen to the bone without sacrificing all the dialogue, the essence of the characters, or the dated charm of Jane Austen and Fanny Price;
3) Don't worry if you seriously tick off the purist Janeites out there!
That's what the BBC has done, and here it is done supremely well. Cumberbatch, Tennant, and Jones are three of today's most popular artists - it's a wonder how they were assembled for such a project - and the rest of the cast equals their talent and energy.
I'm not usually a fan of abridged classics, but this is valuable whether or not you are familiar with Jane Austen's perhaps least-favorite novel. Reading "Mansfield Park" can be something of a chore - this listen is a breeze!
(The BBC dramatization may well encourage some to seek out the full version. I'd recommend going with Juliet Stevenson's narration of the unabridged "Mansfield Park" - it's available at Audible.)
This has it all - great setting, characters, love triangles, tragedy, and a lot very welcome comedy, as well!
I had never read this first book by George Eliot, but I must now rate it as one of my favorites. And I suspect that is partly because I have just first experienced "Adam Bede" in the audio format! The dialects of Eliot's wonderful people would be hard-going in book form, but Wanda McCaddon renders them understandable yet full of character and personality.
This is a familiar old story. Class distinction, misplaced affection in Victorian England leads to unhappiness and tragedy. Yet the strong, the hard working, and the morally resolute prevail in the end.
Adam Bede, the title character, is not necessarily the most interesting or the most important character in this book, yet one understands why the author chose him to represent what she believes to be the epitome of British virtue. It's not a revolutionary or a shocking novel, but Eliot weaves the old tale with a real mastery of description, characterization, and humor. I highly recommend this book, and especially the narration of Wanda McCaddon.