George Eliot’s first full length novel is the moving, realistic portrait of three people troubled by unwise love.
Adam Bede is a hardy young carpenter who cares for his aging mother. His one weakness is the woman he loves blindly: the trifling town beauty, Hetty Sorrel, who delights only in her baubles—and the delusion that the careless Captain Donnithorne may ask for her hand.
Betrayed by their innocence, both Adam and Hetty allow their foolish hearts to trap them in a triangle of seduction, murder, and retribution. Only in the lovely Dinah Morris, a preacher, does Adam find his redemption.
George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann, or Marian, Evans (1819–1880), was an English Victorian novelist of the first rank. An assistant editor for the Westminster Review from 1851 to 1854, she wrote her first fiction in 1857 and her first full length novel, Adam Bede, in 1859. In her writing, she was chiefly preoccupied with moral problems, especially the moral development of her characters.
Public Domain (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Adam Bede has taken its place among the actual experiences and endurances of my life.” (Charles Dickens)
“A firstrate novel.” (Times, London)
“Adam Bede was Eliot’s first long novel. Its masterly realism—evident, for example, in the recording of Derbyshire dialect—brought to English fiction the same truthful observation of minute detail that John Ruskin was commending in the PreRaphaelites. But what was new in this work of English fiction was the combination of deep human sympathy and rigorous moral judgment.” (Merriam Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature)
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
This has it all - great setting, characters, love triangles, tragedy, and a lot very welcome comedy, as well!
I had never read this first book by George Eliot, but I must now rate it as one of my favorites. And I suspect that is partly because I have just first experienced "Adam Bede" in the audio format! The dialects of Eliot's wonderful people would be hard-going in book form, but Wanda McCaddon renders them understandable yet full of character and personality.
This is a familiar old story. Class distinction, misplaced affection in Victorian England leads to unhappiness and tragedy. Yet the strong, the hard working, and the morally resolute prevail in the end.
Adam Bede, the title character, is not necessarily the most interesting or the most important character in this book, yet one understands why the author chose him to represent what she believes to be the epitome of British virtue. It's not a revolutionary or a shocking novel, but Eliot weaves the old tale with a real mastery of description, characterization, and humor. I highly recommend this book, and especially the narration of Wanda McCaddon.
It's amazing that this is Eliot's first novel. The story telling, the dialogue, and the reflections are all so assured. The narration is truly wonderful. I'm originally from the part of England where Eliot grew up and where I imagine it to be set, and she gets the accents dead on.
I look forward to it. It was beautiful and artfully narrated. Count me in.
It was unlike so many Dickensonian stories. It was plain and real and lovely.
I loved Totty...she was perfect.
Yes. It was so possible...so sad. Poor, poor Hettie. Women are such suckers!
To me, this book was difficult to understand and to engage with due to the poor performance of the reader.
She was difficult to understand, and made the book inaccessible as a result.
Have not read the print version.
Dinah. She was a godly, selfless woman who put her faith and belief in God before her own desires.
When Adam Bede wouldn't give up on Dinah and went to bring her home. Their encounter was very moving, especially when Dinah told Adam she loved him and would marry him. You knew Adam would never put Dinah in a position of forsaking her evangelism.
Not an extreme reaction, but a growing fondness of the story and the characters.
When I began this book, I was a little disappointed, thinking it was a bit stale and boring. But, I decided to see it to the end and I'm very glad I did. I became interested in the story after a short time, and then engrossed in it's Christian overtones and moral lessons. The characters were more than 3-dimensional. I'm so glad I listened and did not give up early on!
I was expecting a little more Middlemarch and a little less Thomas Hardy. While it was not the extreme number of odd situations over and over, like later Hardy novels (deception, rape, dying child, marrying the rapist, etc.), it was more along the lines of The Mayor of Casterbridge. The rural setting, misunderstood/unrequited loves, and generally odd behavior made it a far cry from Middlemarch's upper-class preoccupations.
I was looking forward to hearing this wonderful old classic. However the narrator was so horrible I couldn't get past the first chapter. What a disservice to Eliot & waste of money.
I thoroughly enjoyed this production. The novel is probably one of the ten stories that I have enjoyed the most from the 19th Century. I felt that is was much better than her novel, Middlemarch.
Some people might be put off by the important role that religion plays in these peoples' lives, but that is a fact of history. This is not a story of fantasy; it is a story about people that might really have lived in 1807, and they are all the more realistic for it.
Wanda McCaddon does a great job bringing the speech of these people to life. The "performance" is only marred by editing that leaves some uncomfortably long breaks in the naration.
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