I never consider any audio version to be better then the print version. This is one of the few books I listened to without first reading it in print. I enjoyed it very much.
Oddly, I can't remember her name, but the main character is the standout. She learns to change with her circumstances and it is fun to watch this change. She faces great losses with courage. I also like Mr. Thorn who is an equal match to Miss Hale. It's fun to watch these two people, very different on the surface, discover that underneath it all; they complete each other. There is some contrived business about mistaken identity with the brother that doesn't seem equal to the writing, but it's not enough to ruin the fun.
I have listened to most of the books Juliet Stevenson has narrated. In fact, I down loaded this book because she was the narrator. She's one of my favorites.
It was not. I first encountered the book in the form of the BBC miniseries based on it. I've long read about the mills in this part of England, but this is the first book I've read set there. You can listen to this book in stops and starts and if you miss bits, it's not a great a loss. It's a mood book. When you're in the mood for this type of story, you'll be glad to have it in your library. I will listen to it a few times, I'm certain.
I have never heard of the author prior to listening to this book and I wonder when it was written. The plight of the mill workers and the mill owners durning this time is very interesting, but there are a few things that don't seem authentic to me.
I got far too distracted from work listening to this book. I had a wonderful time listening to it not only because of the plot and writing, but also because of Stevenson's careful and fluid narration.
I've listened to it multiple times now. I thoroughly recommend it.
Gaskell captures the ambiguity of the situation for "masters" and "hands" through the sensitive attention of Margaret Hale. Juliet Stevenson reads beautifully, interpreting the sense of the characters and the feeling of their struggles.
and a penny for your thoughts
I recently was on a Jane Austen kick. Once finished, I began looking for a similar author. Elizabeth Gaskell was a good choice. I can't say "North and South" was as good as any of Austen's works but I enjoyed it. Juliet Stevenson is a large reason but however it adds up, enjoyment was the total. Very Austen like story, lots of conversation and relationship confusion but there is also a bit (small bit) of historical value regarding changes brought on by the industrial revolution. Sounds worse than it is. Good story.
Wonderful, touching novel. Anyone who has seen Juliet Stevenson as Mrs. Squeers in Doug McGrath's film of Nicholas Nickely will instantly understand the acclaim she has received for her narration in the other reviews. Splendid in all respects. Art of the highest order.
I found myself looking forward to getting into my car and find out what was happening to the characters. People who you really want to know better. A joy to read
First of all, the narrator is wonderful - her characterisations and mellow voice are all that make this bearable. It is so slow, and downright gloomy, that I felt rather depressed by the end of it! It does have more social and historical background than Austen, but none of the wit or satire. Only the narrator kept me going, I kept expecting something to actually happen...
Ms. Stevenson has such a breathy voice that it makes the reading wildly affected and indistinct when listening in a car. Due to the flatness of the pronunciation, if there is any background noise, such as when driving, it makes it hard to discern words. In addition, the reading sounds so much like someone trying to be very upper class that it is very off putting.
The text itself is interesting but the reading is awful.
Well. to each his own. Obviously many people love Juliet Stevenson. but I found her melodramatic reading intolerable. I couldn't get very far because of it. It's my kind of novel and I think I liked what I heard so will probably try with another narrator.