What can one say about Anthony Trollope? He's one of the giants. My wife wouldn't be found dead reading him so it is clear that not everyone falls for him, but for those who love Trollope, Barchester Towers is one of the loveliest, though frankly there's nothing Trollopian I wouldn't read. With readings, the narrator is also critically important and here we have Timothy West, who in my opinion is as good as it gets. I think he is not entirely on the mark with Madeleine, but bear in mind this book has multiple characters. Timothy West does a terrific job differentiating them. He is better at men than at women - go figure - but he is overall so good that listening to this book was a pleasure from start to finish.
It is pretty rare to listen twice to anything, but were Timothy West to read the phone book, I would pay to download it. I have listened to all his readings of Trollope novels, but there is one catch, which is I cannot now contemplate listening to Trollope by any other reader. As he is now in his mid-seventies, perhaps his recording days are over. Now here is his autobiography, that proves he is also an eloquent and entertaining writer as well. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment.
Outstanding narrator. Curious story with a very well-drawn heroine. Interest in the heroine kept me reading.
Lucy Scott has a wonderful voice and uses it to full effect.
Every word written by Trollope and every word uttered by West.
Oh, I love them all even the bad ones, as Trollope did I'm sure.
My only complaint about Trollope is that he only wrote 46 novels.
I am facing a very nasty situation in that I have listened to nearly all Trollope novels narrated by Timothy West. Sadly, Trollope is now deceased and will never write more, but could not West be held captive in a Venetian palacio or English country mansion until he has recorded EVERYTHING.
I see no one praises Trollope. Nor can I; he is quite beyond it. My wife could not listen to Trollope for as long as two minutes, but I am a thankful addict. I see everyone praises T West the narrator; me too, he is terrific and it is no mean feat to hold the listener's attention for thirty hours. I don't think Phineas is the most interesting character in his own book, and I really wish he had married Madam Max instead of choosing dear little Mary Flood.
As Trollope is beyond praise, it remains to be said that with audio the qualities of the narrator are as vitally important as a musician interpreting a great composer. Timothy West is a narrator whose performance does justice to the greatness of Trollope, and that is not easy for this novel is packed with male and female characters. West does a marvelous job interpreting them all, and is equally successful interpreting the novelist himself, for Trollope is an ever-present voice in all his works. I got enormous pleasure listening to this long, long novel.
We all know the world is divided into two - those who cannot get enough of Trollope, and those who are somehow defective. That said, I cannot recommend Simon Vance's reading. He is a good nonfiction reader and he can read fiction too, as long as he does get into characters. The problem lies in his hopeless rendition of female voices, and he is not that great at men's voices either, so it rather spoils the telling. Sorry, Simon. I whole-heartedly recommend Timothy West's readings, who nails it every time.
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