After listening to Mr Lesser's narration, I was reminded how enjoyable the book was the first time I read it. Mr Lesser using his acting skills to the fullest, and his understanding of the characters comes through in his narration. It felt as if Quilp was actually narrating the script himself. I listened to the book in only a week, and I couldn't recommend a better book to listen to.
The story itself was pieced together by Dickens and was never meant to become a novel. However, the narration makes it sound as if the continuity flowed---something I could not manage when reading it myself.
Reading Wuthering Heights in high school and again in my early thirties, I never could lose myself in the characters. Although one of the great "stories" in English literature, I never thought of it as a classic "novel".
However, after listening to Ms McTeer's narration, I have become much more appreciable of this story. Her ability to tell the story, I got lost in the characters; in fact, I thought Ms McTeer was Nelly at times. She brings you back to the time when your mother read to you before bed. Her timing between silences and emphasis of phrases (her overall intonation) was superb.
Mr Timson's narration is also superb. The way he introduces the book and allows "Nellie" to tell the story is a classic approach. I wish audio books would use this method more often. It made the book and narration more exciting. It's as if I was Mr Longwood (Timson's character) listening to Nellie. They made a great narrating team.
A definite 5-Star narration I highly recommend. This is only the third 5-stars rating I have assigned to audio books (out of more than 100 audio downloads).
I believe this the most mature of Austen's novels and it is timeless (as are all of Austen's novels). Of course, Austen was always about character, and Persuasion demonstrates this. I find the novel as fresh as the first time I read it, and learn something different after each re-reading of it.
Although I have read the novel 5 or 6 times, Ms Scacchi brought the characters to life. Her tempo was outstanding, as was her ability to "act" out the characters. I highly recommend this narration, even for those who have read the book several times.
The only negative thing is that there appear to be long pauses (8 seconds) between some paragraphs, but a minor distraction that has very little affect on the reading's flow and continuity.
In addition to personal enjoyment, I hold group get-togethers with older people, and present "the classics" to them, using a combination of Audiobooks, Texts, and BBC/PBS productions. Ms Scacchi's narration has received high praise by my audience as well.
The 1-Star rating was kind. In fact, he is the worst narrator of the 125 audio books I own. I have read this classic at least 15 times, and it only gets better as the years go on. But I can't believe how it's destroyed by Mr Woolf's narration. Sounds as if he recorded this in a closet. Eliot has created the best characters in literary history, only to be flattened by bland emotion. Also, he seems to lose his place often. TERRIBLE. I am shocked Audible sells this.
Stay away from the Great Literary Classics. They are generally of inferior quality. Some are "fair" (2-Stars), but you are better paying full price for other classic narrations.
Although not one of Dickens' great texts, Jennings' gives a flat, boring narration of the novel. What I found most troubling is his inability to present the female parts in an enjoyable reading; they were quite annoying actually. I much prefer Robert Whitfield's narration. Overall, a poor narration. It sounded as if he were forced to read this novel and didn't enjoy it himself.
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