The story is labyrinthine, lots of characters over a long period of time, each with his or her own eccentricities. While some of the subject matter is very politically incorrect today, it is an interesting chronicle of social and economic changes at the end of the Victorian and beginning of the Edwardian eras. The transition from a largely rural, farming country to a more urban investment-based middle-class also drives the early story, complete with successful Forsytes buying country homes later.
The book reminded me a bit of "Middlemarch," with its gentry versus people of commerce themes and its focus on marital strife. There were also elements that echoed some of Trollope's themes (especially his Barsetshire Chronicles and Paliser novels) regarding proper behavior and the role of money in a changing society.
The narrator seems really dull at first, almost mechanical and droning, but after a while, his subtle intonation really underscores Galsworthy's droll characterizations and wicked satirical wit.
No. The narrator spoke so slowly and with so much emphasis on each syllable, that is was painful. Struck me as a parody of bad diction coach.
Unfortunately, no. I loved the TV show of these books, and have also read the books so I was really looking forward to listening to the audiobook, but the narrator was hands-down the worst audio book narrator I have ever listened to.
He read the book like he was reading a science textbook - it was completely dry, unemotional and flat. It was SO hard to listen to, it completely spoilt the book for me.
The book is great, and with a different narrator I'm sure it would have been an absorbing listen.
The very best!
Well, there are a lot of great books in the world and there is The Forsyte Saga
They are all alive, and Fred Williams's reading is superb. Irene, Soames and Young Jolyon are our favourites.
Definitely young Jolyon. I would love to discuss children - parents problems with him.
The book is our absolute favourite, and we'll listen to it again.
No. It was depressing with no redeeming area
Have at least someone end up happy in the end
The first half hour or so was a bit dull, but once you get into it you'll find a certain charm in it. It's not bad and I did want to know how it'll all turn out, but it's far longer than necessary and not quite as intriguing as I had hoped.
The narrator is perfect for this kind of story. Don't worry, he isn't as dull as he sounds at first or in the sample.
My wife and I are audiobook addicts and have read dozens. This one ranks as our favorite, far and above all others. The prose is exquisite...so much so that we downloaded the book to our iPads so that we can revel in favorite passages later. The reader may strike the listener as crochety at the outset, but within the first two hours I guarantee you could not imagine anyone doing a better job. By the 10-hour mark, in fact, he was blowing us away. If you want an extraordinarily compelling story read by a powerful narrator, this is it. In our book, it's the best of the best. By the way, Galsworthy won the Nobel Prize for literature, and as you read this masterpiece, you will find yourself applauding the choice of the committee.
This actually sounded like it was going to be a really good book, and I got about a section and a half into and then just couldn't stand the narrator anymore. He was so boring and didn't add any life to the characters.. I just couldn't stand listening to him anymore without falling asleep.
When I got started on this five-part audiobook, I was really interested, despite the narrator's rather limited range of inflection and characterization. I was still interested in Part 2 and pretty interested in Part 3. I had to make myself listen to Parts 4 and 5, especially Part 5. The plot gets weaker and weaker as the author examines and re-examines the same characters in the same way, without shedding any new light. When the author moves on to another generation, they are less interesting, and they have the same tendencies and rivalries as their elders. There just isn't enough plot to stretch out through this long, long book. Especially with a narrator with such a limited range.
It takes a while to get into this book, and I'm still not sure if the effort pays off in the end. I did become more engaged as the story unfolded, but some characters are more sympathetic and interesting than others. I wish book focused more on the characters I liked than the ones I found tedious and uninteresting. How much I enjoyed the story at any given time depended a great deal on the subject of the narrative.
The best I can offer in support of this story is: Eh. Good. I guess. But not great.
The narrator is ok & very British. Sometimes, however, I wasn't sure who was speaking, or if the words were thoughts or actual speech, because the narrator did not modulate his voice very much or make any effort to distinguish between different characters' voices.