Tell us about yourself!
the trial for his life
poor boy comes to big city for fame and fortune and is almost hung
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.