In her first novel, Adam Bede, George Eliot displays the descriptive power and knack for characterization that she would later demonstrate in works like Silas Marner and Middlemarch.
The title character of this 1859 novel is a virtuous carpenter in rural England in love with Hetty Sorrel. When Hetty is seduced by a caddish young squire, a chain of events is set off that leads to a scandal.
In a posh British accent, David Case provides an urbane and crisp performance of this richly told story of love and forgiveness.
Adam and Seth Bede work as carpenters in Hayslope. Seth proposes to Dinah Morris, a gifted Methodist preacher. However, she wants to devote herself to God's work. Meanwhile, Adam Bede woos Dinah's cousin Hetty Sorrel. But she is distracted by the attentions of Captain Arthur Donnithorne. When Adam finds out about Arthur's intentions toward Hetty, he fights Arthur and forces him to leave town.
Soon after, Adam proposes to Hetty, who accepts, only to discover she is pregnant with Arthur's child. She runs away to find Arthur, but discovers that his regiment has been called away. Distraught, Hetty restrains herself from suicide and gives birth in a lodging-house. She then runs off with the infant and buries it in the brush, where it dies. After she is convicted for child-murder, Arthur finally hears the news, and Hetty's commuted sentence (transportation) saves her from the gallows. Some months later, after Dinah comforts Adam during his mother's illness, Adam comes to realize that he loves Dinah. Although reluctant at first, Dinah eventually agrees to marry Adam.
Adam Bede addresses profound questions of morality, religion, and the role of women in society, while at the same time seeking to establish a new aesthetic for fiction.
©1994 Phoenix Recordings; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.
David Case really gave it his all in this one. I have listened to it twice. The narration throughout is a testament to dedication, consistency, and vibrancy. A review of the book would be superfluous, as it is one of our great treasures of the nineteenth century.
I found this to be a terrific book to listen to. I might not have read it in print, it does seem to drag a bit in the beginning, but do preservere! The reader does a wonderful job bringing the sad tale to life. It is too bad that the description reveals the entire story. Even though this book was written long ago it still has merit in our modern world.
I have listened to another version of this book before and adored it. I have also read Middlemarch and the Mill on the Floss and enjoyed them as well. David Case is not the right narrator for this book. His voice is to harsh and it just takes to much away from the tone of the actual writing. The other version I heard was a women and that just fits better. I did really like David Case's preformance in the Count of Monte Cristo, but that is an adventure novel and such a harsh, crisp voice is appropriate. All in all, get the book, just not this version.
SIopped in first part because of narrator's style. He just wasn't my cup of tea. Since I have several other well-reviewed choices, I will try again. I've always like Flo Gibson's style with the Austen classics.
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