Just a quick appreciation for the reading by Timothy West: a wonderful job, including convincing regional accents and, perhaps even more impressive, subtle but effective response to the narrative.
I loved the Barchester Novels years ago but could never make much progress with the Palliser series; this reading has changed my mind; I find the reading, and the novel itself, rivetting. The kind of thing that gets you to clean up the garage just to have an excuse to keep listening.
As another reviewer suggested, I think, a newcomer to Trollope might be better off with Barchester Towers, but I liked Can You Forgive Her very much; a little like Mrs. Gaskell's North and South, without the social commentary. I'm no critic, but I think the exploration of female independence / willfulness has an interesting feminist dimension.
Like most of his books, Trollope has a wonderful way of talking aside to the reader as if he were narrating just for us- not just being an observer to the story.
Great performance once again by Timothy West- I love how he adds to the characters with voices.
The frustrating part of this book is the space between chapters- can vary between 1 and 10seconds... the latter making you question if the recording has been accidentally paused.
I just finished listening to the entire Barchester Tower series (which I read twenty years ago), read by Simon Vance. I wish he had read the Palliser novels as well. I do not like the voice of Timothy West -- he makes every conversation sound annoying and high pitched. Yes, the book is not one of Trollope's best, but I think the narrator aggravates the situation.
The first and only Trollope I've been unable to finish. Got 3/4 of the way through, but this book is TOOOO much about the same things--marriage, marriage, marriage--with too little of anything else, such as character development. Too bad!
Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader/listener. My ratings are opinion only.
I loved the story premise and the settings, but the characters... I don't know what to say here. They were written well, but I only had a sense of them, no real depth. I kept hoping for a little more passion from Alice; not physical, but emotional.
I really enjoyed the book, but just felt like it was missing some key element. Maybe it is just me, hoping every time for the next writer I read in this genre to be Jane Austin.
I'm a retired English teacher who enjoys reading, listening to, and sometimes writing books. I've just moved from New Mexico (lived there 12 years) back to Tennessee. So good to be home!
I recently joined Visual Thesaurus--a site with articles as well as words. Yesterday there was an essay by Michael Lydon, writer and publisher, on "The Power of Ordinary Writing." In this essay, he says that if he were banished to a desert island and could only take the writing of one author with him, it would be Anthony Trollope, because his writing is so "ordinary." He explains that Trollope writes beautifully about ordinary people living ordinary lives. Having just finished listening to this book after listening to the six books which are the "Chronicles of Barchester," I made a comment which included my own appreciation for Trollope's novels. The "Chronicles of Barchester" is a series of stories about the lives of the clergy, while this series focuses on the political world. "Can You Forgive Her" is the first book in the Palliser series, where we are introduced to Lady Glencora McCluskey and Alice Vavasor, two of the women who ask the question, "What should I do with my life?" Trollope focuses on this very theme and adds the lives of other women who are asking the same question. And the story is superb. When I think of it, Trollope has captured the essence of a young woman (Alice) who is influenced by her friends while hoping above all else to do the right thing. But like many young women in Trollope novels who are young and innocent, she doesn't see her own value and vacillates dramatically. She isn't the only one who vacillates, and thereon hangs the tale. I highly recommend this novel.