"fabric artist and quilter"
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the second in the Pallisier Series. Again previous characters crop up now and again but only to provide a bigger context to the actual action by the new characters.
Trollope was a marvellous creator of believable heros and heroines and relates their emotions and thoughts with total reality. Its not a skill but a gift to be able to do that and he has that gift in trumps. Its as though he has gotten into the mind of the characters. It makes them three dimensional and live and breathe and utterly believable as real individuals.
Again Timothy West is wonderful at narrating and brings even more life to an already lifelike story despite the fact it is a tale from a long lost age.
Highly recommended to those that enjoy Trollope and those that want to understand why parliamentary reform was so necessary in the mid 19th century.
Tell us about yourself!
the trial for his life
poor boy comes to big city for fame and fortune and is almost hung
Timothy West's readings of Trollope are superb, the best you can find. However, he makes one unfortunate decision in this particular novel: he renders Madam Max Goesler with a rather thick foreign accent. On the page she is a charming woman, extremely witty and well-spoken. In West's rendering she comes across as slightly sinister–something not justified by her behavior in the novel. I think Trollope's point about this character is that the prejudice against her is unjustified (Lady Glencora's for example, imagining her having a yellow-skinned baby with black, black hair etc.). This prejudice is supposed to be caused by her lack of social standing (her father was a simple lawyer) as much, or more than, her foreign ways and speech; that is, when Madam Max seems threatening, Lady Glencora overreacts. On the page Madam Max exhibits no traits of non-standard syntax or usage; in fact, she seems more literate and sprightly in her speech than the British characters. So I don't imagine her having the accent of a German spy! On this one, I'm going to stick to reading the book on the page.
This novel succeeds in detailing, and almost exuding, sympathy for a young, ambitious man. But even more, it provides an astonishingly empathic reaction to the limitations inherent on the lives of three stunning femaie characters. Of the many Trollope novels I've read (at least a dozen), this ranks with the best.
A Great Novel with a Brilliant Narration; Deliciously long
The narration (Timothy West).
Trollope's uncanny ability when on his game (which he is here) to know and his characters so thoroughly, especially women, that those characters become so familiar to the reader, so much the reader's friends, that he dreads the end of the novel and the departure of those new friends. Luckily, the novel is very long (over 18 hours, I think), and that goodbye does not come too quickly.
Wry, accomplished, each and every character limned in what seems not just the right way, but the only way. His voice is naturally plummy, and besides Jim Dale's reading of the Harry Potter novels, the most accomplished and entertaining narration of any audible book I've listened too. (I have to mention that Kenneth Brannagh is pretty damned good too - try some his readings... the Grahame Green is very, very good - but it was Trollope I wanted to hear and Brannagh does not narrate Trollope, perhaps because West is already perfect).
Moreover, I think the novel was the better for West's narration than if I had read it myself. My imagination could not have lent as much color to the characters, nor my intellect grasped the complexity of 19th Century British politics if left to its own limitations.
Yes and No. I could have, if didn't have a life and other interests to interrupt such a tourney. And I wanted to make it last. I would want to eat a fresh baked peach cobbler in one sitting, but wouldn't, knowing I'd like to enjoy a slice for nights to come.
If you are familiar with Victorian novels, of Trollope in particular. I recommend you try Timothy West's readings of the Palliser novels. I have Eustace Diamonds next to in listening queue, and then the remaining 3 novels in the series. I did not download "Can You Forgive Her" for I had read that novel already. However, I am considering downloading it as well to hear West's take on it. If you are new to Trollope, then start with "Can You Forgive Her" (the first in the Palliser series). Be sure to download the Timothy West versions (for there are many on Audible). Avoid LibriVox which is a free resource for many old novels like this one; however, as has been said, you get what you pay for. I would suggest reading the novels as second choice to listening to West's versions. ENJOY (you will)!
I see no one praises Trollope. Nor can I; he is quite beyond it. My wife could not listen to Trollope for as long as two minutes, but I am a thankful addict. I see everyone praises T West the narrator; me too, he is terrific and it is no mean feat to hold the listener's attention for thirty hours. I don't think Phineas is the most interesting character in his own book, and I really wish he had married Madam Max instead of choosing dear little Mary Flood.