"fabric artist and quilter"
I am a new convert to Anthony Trollope. I have listened to all the Barsetshire novels and I am delighted to hear that some of those characters are appearing in the Palliser novels. An English "Comedy Humane" in the manner of Balzac, except it is so terribly terribly English. One can see the vivid green grass in the fields and smell the mustiness of the old houses but it is a delight all the same.
Timothy West is perfect to read Trollope, in fact dare I say he was born to read it. He brings the characters alive and the descriptions to vision.
There are several novels in the Palliser and I am thrilled to think that I have many hours of enjoyment ahead of me.
Blue Dome Mimi
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.
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.
Trollope discovers two wonderful characters, George and Alice. He despises the rule if the wealthy, and she spurns the juvenilization of women in marriage. Then Trollope tucks them into his smothering Victorian bed.
A very well told story, loved every moment of it. The narrator was excellent. The time just flew and I can't wait to read the rest of the books.
Always reading. Audiobooks in the car, in the kitchen, in the sewing room, and paper books in every room in the house.
Trollope obviously learned a lot from Jane Austen, and he uses that knowledge to sweet effect. Excellent reading, very listenable.
Eighty chapters leave you wanting more. So many unforgettable characters. Many fascinating females and a few men. Cheers to you