An almost perfect novel, divided by two distinct plots. The first a complex and glowing account of Gwendolen Harleth, a young strongly willed girl with many charms and faults, and Daniel Deronda, a parent-less gentleman, an intellectual with empathy only for the obviously miserable, the other. Her journey fascinates me and his informs me of the world situation, at the time, of nation building. Unlike, perhaps, all other popular Victorian novels, we have a very positive portrayal of a Christian's view of Zionism. Very interesting and important, but for me jarring and awkward into what is a great story that naturally flows from Elliot.
Enjoying long and detail rich novels, The Tontine was a wonder filled surprise. Dickensian in it's wealth of quirky characters, that move through the early industrial and Empire building revolutions of Britain, a Tontine, or Lottery of immense size, allows us to follow these ticket holders through three generations. Only one person can receive the great sum of the winning ticket from the accumulated interest of decades, that being the last person alive in the Tontine.
The growth of industry following the Napoleonic Wars and the expansion of the Empire, through to the social nightmare of great poverty and child labour in Victoria's reign, opens out to a full range of possibilities for the bold and weak inhabitants of 18th century England, in Thomas B. Costain's novel of 1955.
I also loved the characterizations the narrator, David Case, portrays.
Simply an unbearable story for lovers of the natural world. A difficult book, worth the effort, to be read only once. Not for the weak hearted.
Not every read must be pleasant, but it can be beautifully sad.
This sadness is not a surprise in 'The Good Soldier', but there are many in this novel that keep the reader engrossed in a difficult tale. Narrated to perfection and gorgeously written, a story of people as real in all colours of growth and disintegration as the earth we survive upon.
The painting of a small portrait, I am grateful to have witnessed.
I first started reading Doris Lessing in the 70's and have admired her writing, although I remember little of it. I will never forget 'The Golden Notebook', as the most tedious well written novel ever. Juliet Stevenson's aristocratic reading, portrays the neurotic Anna's numerous life crises, in a middle-class whine that rarely quits. Listening to the successful but blocked writer, Anna, weep, screech, complain about her lovers in the frightening atmosphere of the cold war and the inhumanity of South Africa's racial war, was interesting at most for me. I found the supporting characters, specially the Americans, caricatures. Notable for it's selection of taboos, every vice of the pre-sexual revolution written here, it must have been an eye opener for many. However, it is Anna we follow through this long book and I don't know why we do. A single mother, who insists she loves her daughter (we never see it), has a nasty masochistic affair with every straight man she rents a room to and lives off the royalties of her one novel, while going kind of mad in a sexual flurry.
Juliet Stevenson was Anna, and I'll never be able to listen to that voice again, or see her in a film, without running away.
Mr. Pierce does a great job narrating. The notion 'Miles' is reading this does not interfere with the quality of the text. He's pretty perfect. Knowing this story from movies only, I was pleased to hear it as written. It's humorous and satirical, lots of 'potty' stuff, full of fantasy and Swift's personal politics and humanism. It's wonderful, for me, to hear an author of the period, blast the cruelty and evil of imperialism for it's destruction and massacres of lands and inhabitants, for greed, and in the name of God and goodness.
A sad, interesting story of a dedicated teacher abused by fate. The characterizations are brilliantly written, with Stoner a supreme man of pathos. I'm glad to have found this book.
I have read and listened to 'The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty', not all in one go, a few or one at a time, between novels or for a break, in a car on NPR, and on a plane to escape my seat companion, and I am always taken completely from myself into a world of word as music. The common and tragic tales of survivors, living as best they do, in the chaos of being alive.
The narrators are not all meant to be reading these stories to us, sadly, as much as they may love the author, but don't let those few stop you from purchasing this excellent collection. You will be transported!
I absolutely loved this book. Fast paced swashbuckling adventure, brotherly love and Bromance, Romantic intrigue with beautiful women, and the murderous machinations of Catherine de Medicis! Lust and vengeance at every turn!
What's not to like?
The two Heros are very much in the style of the later humorous and wonderful Musketeers of the 'D'Artagnan' series by Dumas. Those readers, like me, who've craved for similar stories of honour and adventure and the goodness of men against evil, will thoroughly enjoy this book and it's brilliant narrator, Robert Whitfield.
Not an easy listen but a brilliant performance by the narrator, Jonathan Oliver, and a performance it is! Melodramatic, hysterical, Tolstoy lets his audience know what he thinks of indulgence and lust.
Lazy over-fed fornicators, dressed in the false cloth of an anti-Christ Christianity. Women are to be respected, treated as sisters, mothers, daughters, not as vessels for man's pleasure. People should work, hard. Should abstain from alcohol and sexual passion. Should not marry. Should not waste important energy searching for 'love'. One should be kind helpful good and 'love' all mankind.
'The Kreutzer Sonata' is more a message, and less a novel. But, an exciting story of a murder it certainly is, and, for me at least, it is an interesting idea.
Imagine a delicately dressed, quietly soft woman, circa 1800 under the influence of Napoleon's murderous campaign against Europe, writing in the hand of Ayn Rand, in a copse in wild Yorkshire, and you have an idea of the scope of 'Shirley'. What a treat! Industrialization, striking roughs, aristocrats poor and prosperous, and the plague of poverty, struggle with the politics of embargo and isolation. There are no devils in this story, but people wrestling realities, truths of spirit, ignorance and pride. Characters are given grace and life by the impeccable narration of Anna Bentinck, and the story and words of Charlotte Bronte bring a beauty to humanity, understanding and love, that begs the ear and heart to devour more.
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