They just don't write them like this anymore! I could not wait to finish the book so I could watch the BBC miniseries. While the actor playing Mr. Thornton was yummy to look at his character as portrayed in the book is who us girls dream of.
Thank goodness for Juliet Stevenson I certainly could not have stomached this story if it weren't for her narration. I am a very big fan of English classics but this was too much even Charles Dickens seems like a barrel of laughs in comparison. The most depressing listen ever!
This profile is under my husband's name since Audible merged with Amazon. So just call me Bob. Or wife of Bob. Or the reader in the family. Whatever.
I love this book and always have. This is a lovely rendering of it. If you are new to Gaskell, please don't hesitate.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect of "North and South." I downloaded it on a bit of a whim, and I'm very glad I did.
Reviewers have compared Gaskell to Jan Austen, which seems very strange to me; they have very little in common. Gaskell is trying to explore the effects of industrialization and labor unrest through the eyes of her heroine, who has moved to industrial Northern England from the more bucolic South.
Gaskell has nice characters to represent the capitalist class, the workers, and others. If anything, they're a bit too good to be true, but it also lets her set out the conflicts without putting in straw men. Her workers and capitalists are at odds with each other, and Gaskell doesn't draw out an easy solution, which is probably just as well, since it would destroy any realism the novel has.
For some reason I thought this book was about the Civil War kinda like Gone with the Wind but no it was more Pride and Prejudice. I ended up speeding up the narrator to 3 times the speed just to get it over with. GEEZ
This story is so much more interesting than (sorry Miss Austen), Jane Austen's books. Yes, it's 50 years more modern and that really shows. Elizabeth Garskell's character development is really good. And Juliet Stevenson's performance is spectacular!... you will not tire of her voices, both North and South.
A great listen!
Full of saddness and beauty. Lots of Bravery in the face of difficulty and a clash of cultures as well.
Always love Juliet Stevenson. She gets it right. She's also spot on with the accents.
If you like Jane Austen you'll like this too.
Although this novel has some structural problems (which are understandable since the serial publisher put constraints upon Mrs. Gaskell, she then reworked the novel before it's non-serial publication, and all this was happening near the end of her life) this is a fascinating book. Yes, there is a marriage plot (full of pride and prejudice on both sides) but there is so much more--and the more is something that is still timely, while also being of historical interest. The thematic material includes gender, class, geographical distinctions, and religious beliefs. Please, my list might sound tedious but the novel is anything but.
The narration by Juliet Stevenson is lovely, revealing the humanity and intelligence of the writing, and an array of smart, articulate characters in many walks of life.
This is my first Mrs. Gaskell foray, and it won't be my last.
P.S. I am not demeaning Austen, but because this was written at a later date, under different circumstances, and with a somewhat wider social view, there is a bit more meat here for the modern reader.
Also recommended: Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now.
North and South is great writing with deep and challenging themes. I love it! To think I had lived most of my rather long life without even reading Gaskill!
I particularly appreciated her handling of the complicated relations between management and labour in those earliest days of trade unions and the growing industrial revolution.
Both hero and heroine in the "romance" part of this book are complex, interesting, and strong characters. And the very last lines of the novel have me chuckling yet -- so well read, and so "perfect" .
The BBC drama I had already seen and appreciated; the full novel is even better.
Number 1. This was the ultimate read for me in the last year or so. Absolutely adore this book--audible, text and BBC production. Everythibg about it is enjoyable. I've recommend it to all the readers I know, It's probably not for everyone, but I will read it and listen to it over and over. Already have.
There were so many. Every chapter was memorable.
Most obviously, I think, was when Thornton proposed and was rejected.
It's just a great listen.