I am in love with Timothy West's narration. This book was rivetting! So much so, that I am going to travel from Australia to London to soak up Trollope's world next month and prowl around. The story and the characters became more real to me than my own daily experiences, almost. Trollope always presents the character and the problem from many different and fascinating perspectives. I could not put this reading down. I used to go for ten mile walks each day so I could listen to it uninterrupted. Beyond marvellous!! Thank-you Timothy West for your ineffably wonderful narration.
As Trollope is beyond praise, it remains to be said that with audio the qualities of the narrator are as vitally important as a musician interpreting a great composer. Timothy West is a narrator whose performance does justice to the greatness of Trollope, and that is not easy for this novel is packed with male and female characters. West does a marvelous job interpreting them all, and is equally successful interpreting the novelist himself, for Trollope is an ever-present voice in all his works. I got enormous pleasure listening to this long, long novel.
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
As others have rightly said, Trollope may be better than Dickens. And if not better, then he certainly can give him a run for his money every time!
Both share a genius for choosing the perfect names, and both provide social commentary and satirical wit. Both stage-manage a breathtaking cast of characters, and provide unforgettable stories. But there are differences. For one thing, I find Trollope's female characters, while still Victorian, to be far more fully developed and interesting. At times one begins to feel that the women in Dickens are either angels or demons, with some close to caricatures. Not so with Trollope. And his wit is so dry and crisp that he doesn't lapse into the preaching tone into which Dickens sometimes falls.
One couldn't find a better illustration of Trollope's considerable talents than this book. It begins simply: Auguste Melmotte has lately come to London. If one is well-born, one certainly does not wish to know this man, but one cannot afford to ignore anyone this rich, nor the daughter who is his sole heir. The vultures begin to circle, to highly entertaining effect, and we meet dozens of characters whose lives will be affected by the parvenu.
We may not be corseted, nor driving four-in-hand in the park these days, but this is still the way we live 138 years later. Money "expects money," and those who do not have money scheme to get it, some legally, some not. And as ever, greed and social climbing are the very soul of modern satire.
For those who watched the wonderful BBC miniseries with David Suchet you may find the book to be even better. It ends in a far more interesting way, I think, with all the loose ends tied up, and the characters are fully developed over the long course of the reading. Timothy West is incredible at bringing the characters to life.
I absolutely agree with Larry (reviewer from San Antonio); Trollope couldn't find a better narrator than Timothy West.
Trollope constantly surprises us, he never takes the easy option - none of his characters is totally good or totally bad. For instance, one starts off wanting Mrs Hurtle to be a villain and Paul Montague a hero, but neither turns out to be either. Even Melmotte himself is not the devil incarnate.
My only problem is that I have read most of Trollope! However, if Timothy West is the narrator, I will listen again to books I have already read.
I've listened to six of Trollope's novels. I love them ll but I'd rate this the finest. It explore's with merciless humour the struggle between the bankrupt gentry who need to marry new money they despise, and the nouveau riche who want to buy themselves higher rank. At the centre of it is a great crook running a Ponzi scheme. The novel remains totally relevant to our times. The reading is excellent.
Absolutely superb narration, yes this book is long but I never lost interest for even a second.
Timothy Wests interpretation of all the characters voices was utterly masterful.
This is the first book I've read/listened to by Anthony Trollope. I was compelled by the reviews for this book to give it a try and I'm glad that I did. Although the book was published in 1875 the story rings true to "the way we live now" in a universal way that I suppose always will. I have never known a story with so many flawed characters and the trial and errors of these characters, though exasperating at times, are fasanating. I found myself annoyed and compelled all at the same time with these characters- the way I feel about a lot of the people I know and care about in my own life. This book, although slow at times (I dazed through some of the chapters) all in all is well worth the time I invested listening to it. Now on to the next Anthony Trollope novel!
Hi all. I'm in my 50's (that's relevant, i think), and I favor fiction. I like the british sensibility, and was introduced to the Forsyte Saga through audible ... loved it! I happen to also like Chinese writers, but they are not well represented yet at audible. Looking to follow readers with similar tastes ...
This is the first book i've read by Anthony Trollope. To say it moves slowly is an understatement. Mostly concerns itself with spouse-hunting and finding, etiquette and matters of money. Nonetheless, I did listen to the whole book, as the characters are interesting and the narration excellent. If you are considering a book of this era, much better to read the Forsyte Saga.
Timothy West is fantastic. I will look for other books read by him for sure. This story is great too. It's long, but well worth it. Repeatitive at times, but that's probably good because it's mostly recaps to remind the listener about the multitudes of characters. There are so many hilarious moments in this book that simply sneak up on the reader. You won't regret this purchase!