I am so grateful I picked this edition: I am now a diehard Juliet Stevenson fan. I was already a George Eliot fan but after Middlemarch I think "fan" is too light and fluffy a word. Taking a break from Eliot for awhile, the experience was so intense (and rather long) but the next book I chose I chose from Stevenson's performances. It is not just her voice but her intelligent reading of the text. Cannot say enough good things about either this book or this reader.
I have read many a chick book and watched many a chick flick but after 2 hours I could not go any further. I may have rated the narrator better but I could not get past the book.
Story wasn't very interesting...boring
No...just couldn't connect with this book..
The accent did not enhance the book
not right away,
I wouldn't get through it without it's being read. Stevenson reads beautifully. Great handling of voices. Very clear, very alive.
Lots of memorable characters. Dorothea is of course the main character, but I found the doctor and his wife even more interesting and touching.
Near the top
It's rather like choosing which part of a quilt keeps me warmest, the book has many memorable moments and is very difficult to single out just one.
I love that you ask about Ms. Stevenson's "performance", rather than her "narration". I have not listened to any of her "performances", but I most certainly will. It is utterly amazing to think that such a fine performer would undertake a labor of recording such a lengthy work. It is a testament to the importance of elocution for an actor. Stevenson's ability to create, and maintain, believable "voices" for different characters in the book is absolutely astonishing. She even has a knack for creating a voice for an old man and a younger man. Her portrayal of old, befuddled Brooke is amazing and quite comic. Listening to her, one realizes the talent and skill which contribute to fine acting. Watching performances, great actors make the creation of characters seem so effortless. When one listens, one focuses simply on the vocal skill of the actor, which in the case of Stevenson, is so very gifted.
Oh yes, I laughed several times and sometimes it brought a tear to my eye. Eliot's prose is some of the finest written. Also, she was able to create such very likeable characters.
I am finding that I am choosing audiobooks not only for the content, but for the quality of the narration. To have accomplished actors such as Stevenson "perform" a book of this quality is an experience not to be missed. It's an art form unto itself.
If you like stories that take a very, very long time to develop, then, by all means, choose this book! It was not easy to do but I forced myself to hang in there but by mid-point of the book I just had to give up and call it a bad choice. The story just never took off --- a very, very slow read and way too much inconsequential narrative and detail. I really did not like the narration either --- it was as if she too was reading the book for the first time.
I have been a member of Audible for a couple of years but my last two book choices have been the worst! I received a credit refund last time and chose this book as my next choice. I'm on a losing streak!
Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.
This book is a difficult one made much easier by the execellentnarration of Juliet Stevenson who makes Dorothea Brooke a pleasure, THe somber nature of the story merits a serious narrator who nonetheless can bring out the beauty of the text and the charm of the characters. Very enjoyable classic mid-19th century novel.
Yes--but only to those who find 19th century England a great place to visit. The characters are engaging and the narration is superb. As far as England stories set in the 1800's it is more serious than Dickens (less sarcasm) and the characters are as interesting but less annoying than in Trollope.
I recently read "Can You Forgive Her?" by Trollope so I can't help but compare since they both covered young women/men in the 19th century, touching on class differences and politics. I did enjoy Trollope but I found the characters less annoying and the narration even better. And the plot was more interesting. How can you not love lines like "He was as genuine in character as any ruminant animal." ?!
The best of the narrators I've come across in my 2 years with Audible. Ms Stevenson creates a unique voice for every character and you can even tell who's talking in rapid pub conversations (an Eliot favorite).
The whole Garth family because they are fun, honest, and loving. Or maybe Dr Lydgate because the poor, noble man needs a break from his wretched wife. Though if I had him out for dinner I'd try to steal him away from her.
George Eliot's story of human frailties still captivates after well over a century. Juliet Stevenson brought Middlemarch to life consistently. Her crisp enunciation and brilliant characterisation made listening to this other world a wonderful experience.
As of the writing of this review, I did not finish the entire novel, only the first download section.
Stevenson's narration was very good. She gave each character it's own voice and was able to convey some of the subtle humor.
What irked me the most about Middlemarch is that it is not a story solely about Dorothea, but rather a series of vignettes that concentrate on different characters that might only have an indirect connection to each other. Just when I was starting to get interested in what the fallout might be from Dorothea's marriage, the focus of the book shifted to new characters and I lost track of things completely. Part of this might because of the audio format, since with a physical book I'd be able to see where things picked up again, and where the new characters came from, but when I got to the end of the first download section and I had to make a decision as to whether to continue or not, I realized that I wasn't getting anything out of it except frustration.
If you like stories where characters talk about this and that with little or no bearing on the plot of the story, and you have an unnatural interest in the philosophies of Victorian England, this is great stuff. Elliot's characters talk about the rights of women, what makes a good marriage, there is even some mention of the science of the time. But if you want a good arc of a character, and you like a little action in your dialogue, this might not be for you.
There are some definite gems here, and I'll probably finish this sometime, because there's likely to be more. One part of the first section goes into the past of a doctor, who fell in love with a murderess. That was interesting, even though it didn't seem to connect with anything else. It was a lot like the story of the pocket watch in Pulp Fiction.
And in fact, putting aside that the conversations go on far too long to be enjoyable in their own right, the novel is a lot like Pulp Fiction, or more accurately like Slackers or Clerks. What you have is various situations set up that seem to exist for the sole purpose of allowing characters of different viewpoints to talk. Unlike those movies though, there isn't a shock to give punctuation to these dialogues, they just fade in and out like lights on a Christmas tree. Since a lot of the topics of conversation revolve around things that are rather antiquated by now, many of those lights of conversation have lost their luster.