The story is wonderful and describes the setting with a perfect amount of detail. The characters are fully developed and their foibles are both comical and infuriating but above all presented as people that we care deeply about as the story proceeds. Money and love play a part in the story. The moral questions of life are sifted and answered and although this all occurs in a time past, the universal nature of such struggles makes this book engrossing for today's reader. The narration is simply perfection.
Timothy West reading Anthony Trollope is one of those perfect coincidences of author and narrator that seem too good to be true; in fact I have sometimes wondered whether strange necromancy might not have been at work and West actually is Trollope. Not a single inflection of the author's wry irony is missed, devestatingly honest, but charitably and affectionately too.
Barchester Towers is of course the most famous of the Barsetshire novels, but as it is really a sequel to The Warden, it is better to begin with the earlier novel. All six Chronicles of Barsetshire, as well as all the Palliser novels, are available in West's performances on Audible, and few audiobooks have given me so much enjoyment.
I enjoyed The Warden first so this was like coming back to old friends. Mr. West does an excellent job with the text and voicing the characters and it blends very well with Trollope's style of speaking with the reader directly. The character names are as entertaining as ever, though I confess that the Lookalofts might edge out the Quiverfulls for my favorite. The story was well-conceived and well-told and I enjoyed the light-hearted look into the church and cathedral town life of the mid-century.
Your choice of Timothy West was inspired. Barchester Towers is an outstanding classic and worthy of regular exposure to the modern reader/listener.
Wonderful story, beautifully plotted, distinct and memorable characters, a wise and ironic narrator, and a reader who catches all the nuances of the text and voices.
There's something of Austen, Dickens, and even an anticipation of Oscar Wilde in Trollope
Blue Dome Mimi
I agree with the other reviewers...this book is a fascinating listen. Trollope's story is well-written, tightly woven throughout with a thread of gold. I admire his vocabulary and his use of it in telling the story of Barchester and its people. The variety and number of characters is impressive, and Trollope evokes my sympathy or disgust at will. I also enjoyed the way Trollope takes the reader deeper into the psyche of the characters as the story moves along. And don't we all enjoy poetic justice? I loved the book and enjoyed the narrator very much. I'll be listening to more of both by A. Trollope and recommend you do the same.