Juliet Stevenson is an excellent narrator. Her pace was just right and her portrayal of the various characters, male and female, was superb. Would search out other audiobooks just for her narration.
Am about 3/4 of the way through, don't have a favorite scene yet.
Middlemarch has been on my "to read" list for a long time. Have also wanted to see the BBC adaptation, but wanted to wait and read the book first. Listening has been a great experience because of the story and the narrator. Wish I knew more about the history/politics of the setting, which I might have gotten through the notes when reading the book, but have understood enough to enjoy the story. Will go back and research later. Have been surprised at how funny some of George Eliot's dialogue is.
I listen to a lot of audiobooks and this one -- oh, this one is, unquestionably, the best.
Juliet Stevenson manages to make language that is forbiddingly inaccessible to many who attempt to sit down and read Middlemarch, amazingly vital and natural. Scenes that feature a bunch of old men talking about land grants suddenly become funny! She has an uncanny ability to create such a variety of distinct, emotionally realized characters, combined with an unparalleled mastery over incredibly difficult language.
I have to admit, I opened up a copy of Middlemarch after listening to this, and I was astonished. Stevenson's performance is so natural, accessible, and perfectly communicates the meaning and intention of the language, that I had no idea how difficult the book really was. A masterpiece of the English language - and an incredibly rewarding story, yes, yes - but it's Stevenson's performance that elevates this audiobook to a level of sublimity. I can't say enough good things about it.
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.
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.