Indeed I would. It's entertaining, it's funny, it's engaging, and informative. There is a reason that this is the classic of classics. It kept me in a daze for a week, couldn't go anywhere without it!
Everything by Jane Austen and the Brontës of course, the dry humor is akin to that in E.M.Forster's works, and it also reminds me of the drama of Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg. But this is not only great literature - it's incredibly funny too.
Juliet Stevenson is just perfect. All the sociolects and dialects of the characters, the understated humour and the hyperboles fit perfectly into her way of performing this story. Brilliant.
All the hilarious dialogues between members of the rural community speculating on this and that, one character sillier than the next, and Juliet Stevenson's fantastic dialect interpretations of the Middlemarchers.
Exquisite x 3
The story is wonderful, multi-layered, intriguing. But what's best is the writing and the observations on human nature and instinct. Completely on-target, relevant in today's world, profoundly insightful and sophisticated. I wanted to quote this book all the time.
I'd have to say Mr. Brooks and Rosamund were brilliantly captured as comic roles.
Of course, the hero, Dorothea. A thoroughly modern woman; intellectually and emotionally open and generous.
I resisted reading this all my life because it
The narration of this classic novel was so wonderful. Juliet Stevenson is a great character actress and she plays all of the myriad large and small roles to perfection here. This is one of the greatest novels in the English language, and she does it justice. Brilliant!
This is a remarkable book.
Listening to it being read -- so very beautifully by Stevenson -- allows the listener to absorb the many dimensions of this classic. There is the subtle humor and the witty and insightful political and social commentary. Then there are the calls for the liberation of women, not only on a social level, but urging women to recognise their own position in the society of the 1830s and respond even if it only within the confines of their family.
The main heroine, Dorothea, is remarkably portrayed: she could be a woman of 2012: she is ruled by a confused idealism, wanting to contribute positively to an unequal and unfair society and work towards higher philosophical understanding of the nature of existence. At the same time, she has tragically unrealistic expectations of a marriage where she believes she can help achieve her partner's fulfillment rather than her own. The male characters range from self absorption and selfishness, directionless laziness, caring partners: again these men are recognisable today. There is so very much in here.
But to return to the reader, Juliet Stevenson. She has a wonderful voice, her acting out of characters is superb -- and most of all, she shares her understanding of what Eliot was endeavoring to convey in this apparently ordinary story about ordinary people in an ordinary little town in England.
Sometimes a book can have a stronger impact on a reader because of where that reader happens to be in their life at the time that they read it. Had I read 'Middlemarch' when I was younger, I don't think I would have been as moved. I love a writer who creates complex characters who are forced to choose between following their own innate sense of right and wrong or live their lives bound by the demands of societal/religious dogma. The fact that Ms. Evans had to write under the pen name George Eliot because she was considered "too intellectual" speaks volumes.
Yes, I have already recommended it to my sister, who like myself has now gone soft and is an avid reader (whilst I prefer to listen due to to much time on PC at work).
I have 300+ books in my collection and love to safe 5 STAR Books in my "Audible Bank" to listen too when making my 12 hour journey back home from my work in Saudi Arabia.
I have just finished Middlemarch, and it is one of my prized assets in my "AB", and it will always be on my IPod to listen to again whilst stuck in the Airport.
I checked out Middlemarch on Wiki and could agree with:
“Virginia Woolf gave the book unstinting praise, describing Middlemarch as "the magnificent book that, with all its imperfections, is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people." Martin Amis and Julian Barnes have cited it as probably the greatest novel in the English language”.
George Eliot’s prose is just fantastic and I marvel how she could use such language, which along with the superb narration by Juliet Stevenson made this an outstanding listen for me.
There are so many prominent characters in the book, (and on my first listen I just soaked upt the quality of the language and the narration), that I don't have a favourite character yet. Maybe I will when I listen to it again.
What I liked is the number of characters, the insight into their virtues, weaknesses, flaws, and how the landed gentry interacted with each other.
No, but I will certainly do what I do some of my other favourite 5 Star Listens (books I wait 5 mins in the car before going to the office and have marked down to read again), I will check out Books with the same narrator. This is what I like about Audible, the narrator can really make the book come to life.
The difference between this and the preceding Question is too subtle for me !!
My collection of Auible Books, which is very eclectic (Espionage, History, Thriller, Young Adult,Comedy, Biography, Military), is my one vice, and I am always happy to find a Gem like Middlemarch.
I have bought a number of Classic Books from Audible, and so far Middlemarch has been both the best and most enjoyable for me.
Middlemarch is somewhere near my all time favourites:
Tinker, Taylor Soldier Spy
Open (Andre Agassi)
George Eliot must be one of the most gorgeous prose stylists who ever wrote in English. Her psychological insights are astounding. But just looking at the many pages and the small print in the book itself is daunting -- so it's lovely to have it read to you by a first-rate reader.
I think the brilliant novels of Edith Wharton -- especially "The House of Mirth." But, because of the complex double- and triple-plotting, something by Dickens is probably the closest match. To me Eliot is superior to Dickens.
Stevenson is a superb reader, but I think her male voices are a bit exaggerated and often do not fit my visual image of the characters. Her female voices (surprise!) are the most effective. This temptation of readers to "act" everything out is often more of a distraction than an asset.
The entire saga of Dorothea Casaubon is a moving feminist statement, but Eliot carefully balances this with the saga of the young doctor, Tertius Lydgate. The plotting is amazingly good.
One of the great books in English. Belongs on a Top Ten list.
Never cease to be amazed and enamored with Juliet Stevenson's reading...and with such exquisitely crafted prose it brought tears to my eyes during even the most mundane parts of the story. Not the most quest-filled adventure of all time to say the least, more of a dramatic slice of life, but it did have a beginning, middle and end that were most enjoyable ;-)
A wonderfully complex and rich book, full of subtle and beautifully portrayed characters, is made even better by Juliet Stevenson's extraordinary performance. She really brings the people to life. This is about as good as an audiobook gets.
Eliot's brilliant character insights weave an enthralling tale.
Fred was my favorite character. His obvious flaws made him vulnerable to oblivion,but his capacity for love of Mary and his sense of honor lead him to a fitting end. Then again Featherstone, too, was a man of great depth and kindness. His flaws were also apparent but never as a foil to his genuine virtue. Eliot's characters ring true - to the core.
The conversation between Featherstone and Fred concerning Fred's return to the scene of his previous downfall was my favorite scene. In it my two favorite characters revealed their true essence to one another and to us.
The narration, too, is beautifully done. I'm listening for the second time!