After reading/listening to Middlemarch and Adam Bede, I embarked on the 4 volume Deronda. I was happy that I enlisted Nadia May whose spectacular voice rendition of charcters pulled me through all 4 volumes. I enjoyed it all and was particularly captivated by the ugly experience of British prejudice so prevalent in cultured British society. The love story as with all George Eliot's books was tender and romantic.
The Great American Novel
Ishmael narrates this tale about the hunt for the white wale on his first voyage as a seaman. He tells it without exposing us to his psyche and with reverence for the professional whaler and the honorable men aboard the Pequod. From his very first words of the book "Call Me Ishamel" to the his final words as the only survivor, Ishmael is the keyhole through which we view the events and history and the sea. And most importantly, he makes us believe every word.
No doubt, it was Ahab. Ahab whose madness is reflected in his soulful yearning for a confrontation with Moby Dick but then his poignant revelation of his love of the sea and whaling forces us to wonder if perhaps he was correct to follow his destiny and not mad. This journey evolves slowly and Mr. Heald performs it magnificiently, from the respected captain and earnest whaler to a driven obsessed madman. When Ahab succumbs to Moby Dick he reminesces on the loss of his life and the sacrifices he made to pursue the whale. Sacrifices that include loss of time with his child, wife and home. Mr. Heald presented Ahab with sensitivity and emotion. When members of the crew are killed, Ahab mourns and grieves with voice of an angel and when Ahab realizes that Moby Dick prevails, Mr. Heald projects audible surrender.
Even though my audiobook preferences are classics, I found this book spellbounding The narrative was crafted on the John Grisham model as the outcome was unpredictable but like the English novel pleasing.
Augusta was my favorite character and this does Michael Page honor, as his voice renditions of the female characters are worthy of Shakespeare. Also, the author develops this wicked and self centered character so carefully that she garners sympathy.
Unfortunately not however I will keep him in mind as I select more.
Since this was a 2 volume book, there were many directional changes in the story. Most were unsuspected as most of life is; but the most memorable to me was the last scene of the book - an ending at the beginning of the story.
After listening to MIddlemarch, I eagerly sought-out another of George Eliot's books. I am satisfied that I selected Adam Bede. As her first book, it is not as polished as Middlemarch; however, it is quite enjoyable. The reader, Nadia May, is superb. She employs every voice mechnization possible to portray the many characters authentically and she succeeds.A good listen.
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