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Adam Bede | [George Eliot]

Adam Bede

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (88 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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4.1 (83 )
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4.2 (86 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-16-13
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-16-13

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "First George Eliot Novel and First-Rate!"

    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.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 03-04-14
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderful novel brilliantly narrated"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Viki ABERDEEN, MS, United States 11-16-13
    Viki ABERDEEN, MS, United States 11-16-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent, excellent book."
    Would you listen to Adam Bede again? Why?

    I look forward to it. It was beautiful and artfully narrated. Count me in.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was unlike so many Dickensonian stories. It was plain and real and lovely.


    Which character – as performed by Wanda McCaddon – was your favorite?

    I loved Totty...she was perfect.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. It was so possible...so sad. Poor, poor Hettie. Women are such suckers!


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catheryn 12-25-14
    Catheryn 12-25-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't get into this book due to the performance"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    To me, this book was difficult to understand and to engage with due to the poor performance of the reader.


    Would you ever listen to anything by George Eliot again?

    Possibly


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    She was difficult to understand, and made the book inaccessible as a result.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    christine 05-05-15
    christine 05-05-15
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    "Spectacular"

    Elliot's brilliant command of story and voice comes alive in this masterful telling by Wanda McCadden. I couldn't stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle United States 04-11-15
    Michelle United States 04-11-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved this listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The narrator was excellent thus bringing this timeless story into a reality that is long lost to us.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. Tj Stipinovich South Africa 04-09-15
    Mrs. Tj Stipinovich South Africa 04-09-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Completely fabulous!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Adam Bede to be better than the print version?

    Wanda McCaddon captured the richness and magic of the different regional dialects with ease. I find this kind of dialogue difficult to read, so it was a total joy to have her read it for me.


    What other book might you compare Adam Bede to and why?

    I love all of George Eliot's books.


    Have you listened to any of Wanda McCaddon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, this is my first - but I will definitely look out for her again. She is wonderful to listen too.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Don't be born a woman if you can possibly help it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo Miller 01-30-15
    Jo Miller 01-30-15

    Saint Lover

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    "A Very Pleasant Surprise!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Adam Bede to be better than the print version?

    Have not read the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dinah. She was a godly, selfless woman who put her faith and belief in God before her own desires.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Not an extreme reaction, but a growing fondness of the story and the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah at Seriously, Sarah? South Carolina 01-26-15
    Sarah at Seriously, Sarah? South Carolina 01-26-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Felt Like an Early Thomas Hardy Novel"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane 01-16-15
    Diane 01-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Horrible narrator"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    4/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    Any additional comments?

    I really liked this book but then I like autobiographies and this book although it was fiction seemed more like an autobiography than anything else. I believe the author drew on her own experiences in life and the people she knew in her writing. I will buy her other books as I enjoyed this so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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