Mary Ann Evans is a formidable intellect. "Middlemarch"may be the best novel in the English language. It takes one's breath away. In one of the vicar's wives, she gives us some comedic writing, very like the bright and sparkling Jane Austen, but mostly she shows us ourselves and our friends and families in high relief.. Genius.
I love books. Love to read them, listen to them, and build my stash of them.
This story seemed as if it would never end. It was drawn out in some places, yet held my interest enough to keep going - although, I'm afraid if it weren't an audio book I would have had great difficulty finishing it.
Narration was very well done, with the different voices actually sounding like more than one person reading.
Blogger of accidental discoveries through books
At last I've read Middlemarch. A really good story filled with insights into the human character.
Eliot does not disappoint in this exquisite work. Characters will stay with you long after you finish the novel.
Outstanding on every front. The psychology of every character illuminated gradually by Eliot could be lifted and placed in the modern era and there might be just at home.
This was a fantastic story and wonderfully narrated! Stevenson portrays the characters in a lively and captivating way.
I highly recommend it!
Over theyears, I've started the book many times and, though I loved it, never got past the first 100 pages. This reading took me back to my childhood and the complete absorption I often found in books. Thanks to George Eliot and Juliet Stevenson, the couple weeks I spent in Middlemarch were passionate, amusing and filled with profound observation of human thought and behavior. I'll think on Dorothea and her circle for some time to come.
Juliet Stevenson did a superb job with everything from pace to voices to her ability to read in multiple languages. I'd look for her again.
Middlemarch by George Eliot was definitely not what I expected. I assumed that it might be somewhat Avant-garde, and maybe it was at the time. It was unusual for a woman to be an author at that time, hence the pen name George Eliot taken by Mary Ann Evans. In 2014, however, the book would not be considered eccentric or Avant-garde. It reminds me a lot of books written by Louisa May Alcott, who was born about twenty years after Evans.
Middlemarch, as a novel, was very long and from another period in time. It was enjoyable, but also a bit overwhelming. After listening to the 35+hour audio book, I have to admit that I liked Middlemarch and all of its citizens. I came to understand and like all of the main female characters: Dorothea Brooke, Mary Garth and Rosamond Vincy, in particular. Their stories of love, disillusion and resolution are universal. The political and societal changes that were beginning in Middlemarch were also occurring in England and beyond. Other themes also occurred throughout the book.
I would highly recommend reading My Life in Middlemarch either before or after reading Middlemarch. It really gave me a better understanding of the significance of Eliot’s writing and of Middlemarch itself. I do intend to do some more reading on Eliot and Middlemarch. I found a graduate paper titled: “Louisa May Alcott and George Eliot on Class, Gender and Marriage”, written by Elizabeth Michelle Meyers in December 2010. I’m going to read it, because I think it will be an interesting read and may help me better understand the works of both authors. I’m sure there are other sources that would be equally valuable. For me, just listening to Middlemarch was not enough. I’ve gained a lot from going beyond the book itself, and my journey is not over yet.