I read Middlemarch for the first time twenty-five years ago. I remember the first 100 pages were a bit of a slog, but after that I was hooked. Since then I have read it again twice and listened to it twice. Juliet Stevenson is the only reader I have ever heard whose performance adds, rather than takes away from, the profound insights expressed by the omnipotent narrator into the minds of her characters and the vivid portrayal of time and place, (1830's England). To quote Virginia Woolf, Middlemarch is "the magnificent book that, with all its imperfections, is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people."
I took a chance on this book when it was offered as a very good "deal of the day." I recommended it to all of my friends when I noticed that it was still on sale at a great price. The author managed to be both passionate and measured, and the narrator seemed perfect at reflecting the character of the author.
The narrator is John Lee, who has a very distinctive voice and is a terrific voice actor. The info on both web sites; Audible, and Amazon, tell us that the narrator is John Le Carre! Somebody had a mind slippage there.
After listening to this book narrated by Roger Allam my body and mind feel like I had actually been there. I'm still wrung out and stunned. What an experience! ...And I am still alive to tell the tale.
I read this book as soon as it came out in Kindle. I loved all three of the "Old Filth" trilogy. I both read and listened to all three of them. They all had the charm and impact of old fashioned fairy tales, especially when read by their skillful and talented narrators. Lots of danger, mystery, passion and life long grudges, and somehow being funny as well.
Powerful, thought provoking, and beautifully performed. You would have to be made of stone not to be moved by this book.
I received a copy of this book from my maiden great-aunt when I was 11. My aunt had bought it new in 1917. I loved it then, and I still do. The narrator, Venessa Maroney, has the various Yorkshire accents down perfectly. It was like time traveling back to Yorkshire a hundred years ago.
I really liked getting to know Justice Sotomayor a little. Her life is, and has been, very interesting. She managed to overcome a lot of obstacles a lesser person might have collapsed under. She is tremendously hard working and learned early to recognize her shortcomings and limitations and figure out a way to overcome them. Unlike many very successful people, she doesn't seem invested in being right all the time and therefore she sees what needs to be fixed and usually finds out a way to fix it.
The only reason I gave the performance a four star review instead of five is because I really liked hearing Justice Sotomayor's New York accent when she read the prologue. It sounded so earthy and real. Rita Moreno was good, but I wish she had used that New York accent instead of a neutral American accent.
I love Juliet Stevenson's readings of Austen, George Elliot, and Charlotte Bronte, however I think Prunella Scales is the best by a nose as regards to "Emma". I listen to it about once every year or two, and always get something new out of it, in addition to the frequent laughs it provokes.
The story, the characters, (including the overall geographic character, L.A. County), and the issues are all important enough to engage your mind as well as your emotions. It's a funny satire, but unusually for that genre, it is warm and real and sympathetic. The performance by Frankie J. Alvarez was terrific. The book is written in English, but with a lot of Spanish, not all of it translated in the text. Nevertheless, Alverez is such a good voice actor that he communicates very well even if you don't understand and Spanish. I will look for him again the next time I'm looking for another Audible book.
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