""Best Novel Of All Time" Lives up to billing"
Notable people have called this the best novel of all time and who am I to disagree. I picked it up because it was one of those books that you "should" read and, inevitably, one of the books that you "should" read turns out to be really fun. The characters, the plot, the humour, the depth of language is just beautiful to be wrapped up for over thirty hours. When it all wraps up you want more, more, more.
I criticised Juliet Stephenson in her reading of "Jane Eyre" (I don't know what makes me think that I should have a pop at one of the best actresses in the country) because although her voice for Jane was totally convincing, all the other characters seemed to meld into one sound. That is not the case here. A whole town of characters with multiple strands and interlocking storylines are all beautifully separated by very specific choices from Stephenson. The listener is completely clear as to who is speaking and why they are saying it. What could have been very confusing on the ear turns into a very easy listen.
Overall, an engrossing novel with a performance that matches the quality of it's pedigree.
Yes, there is so much depth and truth in it that it will be worth a rediscovery in a few years.
Tertius Lydgate because of his idealism and his work for the less well off.
Excellent variety and choice of voices for the characters.
All of life is here.
It takes a while to get into it. I didn't really start to enjoy and appreciate it until the section in Rome, stick with it.
Juliet Stevenson is the master narrator! I've listened to her reading of Middlemarch approximately six times and am about to embark once again!
"Slow & Boring"
I probably should have given it more time but it just dragged & was just too old-fashioned to be of interest.
First I should point out I'm trying to read a list of 100 top books (BBC Big Read) so there are bound to be ones I don't like.
The reader was dull, maybe perfect for those wanting something to nod off too late at night but for me there was little feeling a little zip in his voice. This may be attributed to the fact the story for me contains very little excitement or points of interest. I'm writing this review maybe 8 months after finishing and the fact I can barely remember the storyline or character names probably indicates my lack of enjoyment. I always approach every book with an open mind and have enjoyed many books I didn't think I would including Rebecca, Pillars of the Earth and Dune, books I would not normally pick up. Certainly read other reviews as enough people must enjoy it to vote for it in the top 100, but this was not for me.
This classic story with its brilliant depiction of the inner worlds of its protagonists, sharp satire, and absorbing plot is brought to life convincingly by Juliet Stevenson in this tour de force of the narrator's art.
"Excellent performance, great story"
This book would make an excellent TV series. There are a lot of characters and the narrative is broad and develops slowly. Juliet Stevenson brings it to life beautifully. I could really picture provincial life in the early 19th century. I recommend you read it in small chunks over several weeks.
Fantastically read by Juliet Stevenson, her voice weaves a magic that sustains you through some of the slower parts. Brilliant study of the human character.
If you have always felt that you should read Middlemarch, but have been discouraged by the thickness of the book then listen to this entrancing reading of this wonderful story. You will love it.
"A great story beatufully read"
A wonderful book- my favourite of George Elilot's .
Juliet Stevenson is a perfect narrator, as always, especially for this period of literature .