I don't know if it would have been possible for me ever to rate this a 4 or 5 start book. The plot is slow and tedious, and the narrator didn't help. Perhaps another narrator could have made it more interesting. I was aware, many times, of not enjoying the way in which the narrator read. But then, again, I'm not sure this book would have interested me even if I were actually reading it. It is definitely NOT audiobook material.
To me, this would have been better as a much shorter book. There is too much drawing out of minutiae. Since I cannot translate French, I can't say what Mr. Hopkins could have done better.
It seemed that in trying to make the reading interesting, he constantly emphasized words of phrases that didn't merit emphasis. This reading was disruptive and annoying.
I didn't have a problem with the number of characters.
I'm so glad to be finished with this book. I was determined not to waste a credit so stuck with it to the bitter end. But it's the second worst classic I've chosen. The first was Bleak House.
Having never read the book before, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to understand and relate to characters living in such a different time and place.
I found the narrator's dramatization to be a bit over the top at times, but enjoyable on the most part.
The story itself, despite how Madame lived her life without understanding.
All of them were fine.
Madame Bouvary took the chicken way out of her problems which she created.