First of all, I'll say that I absolutely loved this book! Timothy West is a wonderful narrator and I enjoyed his reading to the end. And what I mean by "interwoven" is that if you've listened to the first five books in the series, you'll see that the families from the other novels are interwoven in this last one. However, as another reviewer has said, this book would also stand on its own. The words flowed so freely and with such energy that I didn't want to stop listening until it was over. No matter what I've done in the last three-four days, I've also listened to this book. There are disappointments for some of the characters (and for me) and triumphs for others, all of which are brought about in an ingenious way. In a world where rank and money is everything, the poor and lowly can be discounted so easily. But Trollope doesn't allow only bad things to happen to good people, and thereon hangs the story of the Crawleys. You'll recognize most of the characters as they enter the story in one way or another, and I felt that it was the coziest way to experience a summing up of the Chronicles. And, as with all of Trollope's stories, the lessons learned from an honest look at the lives of our fellow man are of value in our own.
I enjoyed this book very much, including the narrator. And I asked myself this morning--after all the books I've read and listened to--why I was still procrastinating, checking off lists, putting lists into shorter lists, etc. etc. etc. Is it just me or does this book resonate with the very core of the problem, which is always the "getting started" part? This book is light (which I liked), but to the point. I began using it before I'd finished it, which was over two days. If you are someone who feels overwhelmed by the projects you want to do, I believe this book will help you. I'm sure I've never had a book get me moving so quickly and easily.
I bought this book because it was a Deal of the Day which had good reviews. And I'm glad I did, because I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. I liked the narrator, Robin Bailey, very much and will listen to more books by him.The story is so well told that it flows from chapter to chapter without a hitch--something that many books fail to do. The story line is mesmerizing--the horror of war with its inevitable atrocities hit at your very soul. From the time Jean is caught by the circumstance of war, she steps up and makes the most of the situation for the sake of herself and others. The war years are spent walking from town to town because no one wants the responsibility for the women POWs. Women and children die almost daily. As their leader, she finds a place where they might stay and bargains for their lives. Back in London two years after the war, she is left a legacy which changes her life, not simply because she has money to live on, but because she has resources to make life better for the people who helped her during wartime. And having gone to Australia to find a man who befriended and helped the women, she makes her home there. She decides to create a better town there as well. This takes vision and guts, but she's up to the task with the help of her lawyer and her lover. This story is full of romance in every way--the kind of romance we all crave, I think. Now which Nevil Shute book is next.
This was an endearing book because it was about Julia Child, and I listened with interest throughout. I would just say that her energy and enthusiasm were noticeably missing because she simply waited too long to write it. It's more of an overview than a fully detailed description. Having said that, I'm still glad that I know the story of her life and would listen to this book again.
I just finished listening to this book, and I probably enjoyed it so much because it was so well-written and had an actual event to back it up. The effect of a whiskey shortage, which is due to the war, seems funny when its effects are so far-reaching, dramatically affecting the lives of most of the people on two islands off the coast of Scotland. Adding to the picture is the fact that one island is Catholic and the other is Protestant. I liked the writing so much that I'm going to download Monarch of the Glen, which is the basis (though loosely, I think) for the TV series. It's my first book from Compton Mackenzie and in my opinion he's an excellent storyteller. The narrator was perfect for the book and I found myself listening closely as he used different voices for the characters. Great job all round!
I recently joined Visual Thesaurus--a site with articles as well as words. Yesterday there was an essay by Michael Lydon, writer and publisher, on "The Power of Ordinary Writing." In this essay, he says that if he were banished to a desert island and could only take the writing of one author with him, it would be Anthony Trollope, because his writing is so "ordinary." He explains that Trollope writes beautifully about ordinary people living ordinary lives. Having just finished listening to this book after listening to the six books which are the "Chronicles of Barchester," I made a comment which included my own appreciation for Trollope's novels. The "Chronicles of Barchester" is a series of stories about the lives of the clergy, while this series focuses on the political world. "Can You Forgive Her" is the first book in the Palliser series, where we are introduced to Lady Glencora McCluskey and Alice Vavasor, two of the women who ask the question, "What should I do with my life?" Trollope focuses on this very theme and adds the lives of other women who are asking the same question. And the story is superb. When I think of it, Trollope has captured the essence of a young woman (Alice) who is influenced by her friends while hoping above all else to do the right thing. But like many young women in Trollope novels who are young and innocent, she doesn't see her own value and vacillates dramatically. She isn't the only one who vacillates, and thereon hangs the tale. I highly recommend this novel.
I agree with the other reviewers...this book is a fascinating listen. Trollope's story is well-written, tightly woven throughout with a thread of gold. I admire his vocabulary and his use of it in telling the story of Barchester and its people. The variety and number of characters is impressive, and Trollope evokes my sympathy or disgust at will. I also enjoyed the way Trollope takes the reader deeper into the psyche of the characters as the story moves along. And don't we all enjoy poetic justice? I loved the book and enjoyed the narrator very much. I'll be listening to more of both by A. Trollope and recommend you do the same.
This is a beautifully written story, reminding us once again how easily things can go wrong, even when we're minding our own business, thinking we're living good lives. Not only is the warden a good man, but he does everything he can to make up for the wrong he's accused of doing, In some way, he's the "everyman" who is going about his life in the best way he can, when someone else comes along and spoils it. Intertwined relationships only send the suspense higher. I enjoyed listening to this story partly because the narrator is excellent. I'll be looking for other books by Timothy West, and I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys authors like Anthony Trollope. I'm going to listen to all the Barchester Towers series.
To me this material is wonderful and amazingly easy to understand.The narrator is absolutely perfect for this material! I couldn't stop listening once I'd begun, and I immediately listened to it again. (I'm listening to "He Is There and He Is Not Silent" right now.) There is much in this material for everyone, and it's presented in a way that allows you to take it into your heart and begin right in the moment to change and to see who you are meant to be. Some of the insights are so striking to me and answered questions that I've had most of my life. You may be thinking that I'm pretty ignorant, but you'd be wrong. I've studied the Bible my whole life and I'm 71 years old. I've written Bible lessons that are going into many parts of the world, which I tell you to impress on your heart the need to listen to this material. I honestly believe that everyone who hears Schaeffer's message will make the world a better place. I'm not a member of the same church as Schaeffer was, but he has converted my heart to his way of thinking and living. And I'll add that I've had a sensation of joy and peace that I haven't known for many years since listening to this audio book. As you can imagine, I'm very thankful for the gift of this message.
I just finished listening to "True Spirituality: How To Live for Jesus from Moment to Moment" which was read by Grover Gardner. I have listened to it twice, as both the message and the narrator were wonderful beyond words. I decided to buy this book because I want to hear all the F.A. Schaeffer material, and have listened to three chapters so far. And my sense of this experience is that even though the narrator is a good reader, SHE is all wrong for this book. First of all, a man reading this work would have been consistent with the material.(My choice would be G. Gardner.) I haven't really enjoyed listening to a woman who doesn't have the depth and quality of voice which this book needs. It is more difficult material than "True Spirituality," and, therefore, really needs the narrator to help in understanding the content. I'll finish the book and listen to it again, but not with the same pleasure that other books have given.
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