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.
Just finished listening to this wonderful book. Juliet Stevenson made it a fantastic listen. I looked forward to hearing her tell this interesting story. I became so involved in the lives of the people of Middlemarch as they lived their lives in1830. A classic I will never forget.
Mr. Garth was one of my favorite characters. An honest and true man. A loving father and attentive husband. He was clearly the best in Middlemarch.
Juliet Stevenson made every character come alive for me by changing her voice and intonation. I saw Mr Bullstrode as a big, heavyset man who had trouble getting the words out due to his weight. Mr. Casorbin, the husband of the lead character, Dorothea, was a smarmy, unpleasant person. I was furious that the beautiful Dorothea married him. Juliet Stevenson made me despise him and feel so sad for Dorothea.
No, I wanted to savor this book slowly. It was about 35 hours long so I knew I could take my time and enjoy parts of it each day.
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!
I am only half-way through this 33-hour extravaganza, but George Eliot's writing is insightful and quietly witty. Contrary to today's "Law & Order"-type of no-backstory storylines, this tome dives deep into each character's psyche and motivations. Trying to decide which characters are the good guys is a challenge, as little is black-and-white in Middlemarch.
The characters' voices are very well done, and Stevenson's measured reading pace perfectly suits the material. Her voice is a joy, and she manages to wade through the long, convoluted sentences with integrity of style and preservation of meaning.
Yes, yes and yes again. It is a terrific way of experiencing George Eliot's masterpiece of English life as metaphor for living.
Immediately after finishing 'Middlemarch', I began listening to Tolstoy's 'War and Peace'. The obvious similarity is the length, albeit Tolstoy wins this hands down, but there is also within each book the deeper understanding and exposition of human frailty and beauty as represented by the many and several characters.No one character is whole but rather each person can be seen to be acting in particular ways that the reader/listener can, if they so choose, identify within their own behaviours and those of their closest kith and kin.Both books by their length and depth explore so many aspects of what it means to be human and in relationship, whether healthy or not.
Simply put - I adore the sound of her voice. In addition Ms Stevenson was able to bring individual characters to life with her vocal skill. She kept the tempo moving and yet at no point did I fell my listening was being hurried by her reading.
A Pastoral Parable - perhaps??
Just listen to it.
Provincial, emotional, and masterful.
I loved Fred Vincy. His story evolves throughout the book, and he's imperfect but strives to better himself. In the beginning he's lost as to what to do with his life and his family is trying to push him towards a profession that he knows he'd neither like or is well suited for. In the end, after a very bumpy road he's able to achieve happiness although it's not in the form he once imagined it would be when he was younger. I feel like his story is similar to what a lot of young people go through and I empathized with him.
I love Juliet Stevenson as a reader. She is my favorite reader, and I have listened to a great number of her audibook readings. She nails the characterization of the characters she's reading and her voice brings so much warmth and life to the story.
The most memorable character is probably Dorthea Brookes because she is the central character in the book. A lot of the action in the book centers around her trials and tribulations. She also grows immensely as a character, and is sympathetic. I was surprised because in the beginning I didn't think I'd like her very much or relate to her but as the story progressed I found myself warming up to her to the point where are the end I was cheering for her.
I am steadily listening my way through the classics and Middlemarch is one of the best. Juliet Stevenson's performance is great and the characters are bought to life. Recommended for anyone looking to enjoy a long complex novel.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
True love hurts.
Dorothea Brooke Casaubon. She really grows on you. When the story begins you think "what a little nun" but after all she goes through you really want her life to turn out well. She chooses an older religious man because she wants to help him with his work. However, Mr. Casaubon is so selfish and unworthy of her love that he twists everything she does into something false and shameful. It's very painful to listen to.
As the story goes on Dorothea changes into a strong and vibrant woman that everyone respects. A true heroine!
I think my favorite scene was when Dorothea goes to talk to Rosamund Lydgate again and explain to her how much faith she has in her husband's skills as a doctor. Rosamund, unfortunately is so selfish and silly that poor Dr. Lydgate has to give up his dream of scientific discovery in order to make money so his vain wife will be happy. But the scene with Dorothea was wonderful.
So many characters in this book were so filled out. My favorite couple in the book was Mary Garth and Fred Vincy. I am so happy they end up together.
This is one my favorite books now! I have never read any George Eliot before, but I will be sure to read more now! Highly recommended!
Eliot leaves Austen as dry chick-lit with no erotic appeal. Never will a' book teach me so much, about so much. If I was charged £1000 to hear this, it would be the bargain of my life. Here's struggling to imagine how a novel can get much more enjoyable.
*Hint, take real time out with it, close your eyes and relax.
No - didn't finish it
I am listening to Ken Follet's World Without End
I get tired of these hyper English accents.
The irony was amusing, but this just went on and on.