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Barchester Towers Audiobook

Barchester Towers

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Publisher's Summary

Barchester Towers, Trollope's most popular novel, is the second of the six Chronicles of Barsetshire. Trollope continues the story, begun in The Warden, of Mr Harding and his daughter Eleanor.

©2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (321 )
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 (218)
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4.5 (240 )
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Story
4.8 (242 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Not happy 05-15-16
    Not happy 05-15-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    7
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    Story
    "I thought I'd read all the classics."

    It is wonderful to find this gem of a tale. I will immediately purchase the next book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Rochester, Australia 03-02-13
    Martin Rochester, Australia 03-02-13 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    14
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    "Match Made in Heaven"

    Timothy West reading Anthony Trollope is one of those perfect coincidences of author and narrator that seem too good to be true; in fact I have sometimes wondered whether strange necromancy might not have been at work and West actually is Trollope. Not a single inflection of the author's wry irony is missed, devestatingly honest, but charitably and affectionately too.

    Barchester Towers is of course the most famous of the Barsetshire novels, but as it is really a sequel to The Warden, it is better to begin with the earlier novel. All six Chronicles of Barsetshire, as well as all the Palliser novels, are available in West's performances on Audible, and few audiobooks have given me so much enjoyment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Corona Del Mar, CA, United States 08-07-12
    Lisa Corona Del Mar, CA, United States 08-07-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "an entertaining listen"

    I enjoyed The Warden first so this was like coming back to old friends. Mr. West does an excellent job with the text and voicing the characters and it blends very well with Trollope's style of speaking with the reader directly. The character names are as entertaining as ever, though I confess that the Lookalofts might edge out the Quiverfulls for my favorite. The story was well-conceived and well-told and I enjoyed the light-hearted look into the church and cathedral town life of the mid-century.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meredith Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States 07-24-12
    Meredith Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States 07-24-12 Member Since 2016

    Blue Dome Mimi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Trollope Triumphs!"

    I agree with the other reviewers...this book is a fascinating listen. Trollope's story is well-written, tightly woven throughout with a thread of gold. I admire his vocabulary and his use of it in telling the story of Barchester and its people. The variety and number of characters is impressive, and Trollope evokes my sympathy or disgust at will. I also enjoyed the way Trollope takes the reader deeper into the psyche of the characters as the story moves along. And don't we all enjoy poetic justice? I loved the book and enjoyed the narrator very much. I'll be listening to more of both by A. Trollope and recommend you do the same.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madeleine Prince George, BC, Canada 01-28-12
    Madeleine Prince George, BC, Canada 01-28-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Nice Story"

    Incredibly entertaining. I felt he gave away a bit of the plot mid-novel but all in all a good listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R Jasper, GA, United States 11-02-11
    R Jasper, GA, United States 11-02-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Narration"

    Your choice of Timothy West was inspired. Barchester Towers is an outstanding classic and worthy of regular exposure to the modern reader/listener.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin 08-10-13
    Robin 08-10-13

    Hi all. I'm in my 50's (that's relevant, i think), and I favor fiction. I like the british sensibility, and was introduced to the Forsyte Saga through audible ... loved it! I happen to also like Chinese writers, but they are not well represented yet at audible. Looking to follow readers with similar tastes ...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "tedious story, great narration"

    I'm sorry, but I do have to differ in my opinion of this book from most other listeners. I've read 3 Trollope books before this one ... each was charming, if at times slow. I found this book to be simply boring. The redeeming value of this listen lies in the excellent narration of Timothy West, and the author's impeccable writing style. Unless you have an interest in church politics I'd skip this one.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Falanga Berkeley, CA United States 06-28-15
    R. Falanga Berkeley, CA United States 06-28-15 Member Since 2013

    Entwife

    ratings
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    "What larks!"

    Wicked and satisfying portrait of human nature. Will not be understood by anyone under 40.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy White Cambridge, MA USA 06-03-15
    Peggy White Cambridge, MA USA 06-03-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Timothy West is the best reader ever."
    Where does Barchester Towers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Timothy West is pitch perfect in reading the Barchester and Palliser novels.


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

    Yes, they are all incomparable.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Long for one sitting but would if I could


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Montcalm 01-14-13
    Montcalm 01-14-13 Member Since 2015

    Wolfe

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Trollope is great"
    What did you love best about Barchester Towers?

    Wonderful story, beautifully plotted, distinct and memorable characters, a wise and ironic narrator, and a reader who catches all the nuances of the text and voices.


    What other book might you compare Barchester Towers to and why?

    There's something of Austen, Dickens, and even an anticipation of Oscar Wilde in Trollope


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Francis
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    10/28/08
    Overall
    "West is best"

    Barchester Towers is perhaps the most enjoyable novel of an author whom it is almost always a delight to read. Perhaps the novel does not scale the heights and social criticism is mild and muted in comparison with other Victorian novelists.But there are few readers who will not enjoy the portrayal of the Archdeacon, Mrs Proudie ,the egregious Mr Slope and many other characters.
    When in addition the novel is superbly read by Timothy West, this becomes an outstanding audio book. He judges the varied tone of the narration to perfection and differentiates and portrays the various characters so well that listening one forgets that there is just one single reader. I'm sure that I will not be alone in finding that listening to these novels read by Timothy West is more rewarding and enjoyable than reading the book for oneself. Strongly recommended as are all of Timothy West's readings of Trollope.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • AReader
    London
    6/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb reading makes story come alive"

    I have always enjoyed reading Trollope but of course he is not as dramatic - or melodramatic - as Dickens. This reading brings out the light and shade in his writing. With the subtlest of accents or voices Timothy West breathes fascination into the whole book. Perhaps one of the features that make some readers find Trollope dull is that the commentary by the narrator is so understated. Giving each character his or her own distinctive voice keeps the attention of the listener. It's a virtuoso performance.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lynne
    New Quay, United Kingdom
    4/1/09
    Overall
    "A perfect audiobook"

    This is everything an audiobook should be: Trollope's easiest to go along with novel sublimely well read. The baby talk section always makes me laugh. Don't bother with any other Barchester Chronicles readings!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • blueskythinker
    1/10/11
    Overall
    "Pure pleasure"

    This recording of Barchester Towers is an absolute joy to listen to. Timothy West gives each character their unique 'voice' and it is easy to picture them in conversation together.
    My favourite is Rev. Slope who sounds as slimy and ingratiating as Trollope writes him.
    I usually listen to my Audible books before going to sleep and I had several rather late nights while listening to this as I didn't want to stop!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • John
    brightonUnited Kingdom
    6/29/10
    Overall
    "Tim's Trollope Triumph"

    It's fashionable, especially among politicians to cite Trollope as a favourite writer over the likes of the more obvious Dickens. In reality, he is not in the same class but he is certainly worthy of his place amongst the greats. This is a beatifully read rendition by the great Timothy West (why not Sir Timothy by now?)which brings out all the wonderful humour of the novel.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    Skipton, United Kingdom
    2/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful novel, wonderful reader"

    What more can one say. This is audiobook heaven. I know of nothing else that comes close to the Trollope and West combination.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    Holmfirth, United Kingdom
    12/23/10
    Overall
    "A delightful book beautifully read"

    This is the second book of the barchester chronicles series. All the books in the series are a delight, and Timothy West reads them beautifully.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Francis
    Liverpool, United Kingdom
    10/28/08
    Overall
    "West is best"

    Barchester Towers is perhaps the most enjoyable novel of an author whom it is almost always a delight to read. Perhaps the novel does not scale the heights and social criticism is mild and muted in comparison with other Victorian novelists.But there are few readers who will not enjoy the portrayal of the Archdeacon, Mrs Proudie ,the egregious Mr Slope and many other characters.
    When in addition the novel is superbly read by Timothy West, this becomes an outstanding audio book. He judges the varied tone of the narration to perfection and differentiates and portrays the various characters so well that listening one forgets that there is just one single reader. I'm sure that I will not be alone in finding that listening to these novels read by Timothy West is more rewarding and enjoyable than reading the book for oneself. Strongly recommended as are all of Timothy West's readings of Trollope.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Clare
    AberdeenUnited Kingdom
    4/7/09
    Overall
    "What a joy!"

    I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The reader's characterisations are brilliant, from the Bishop with his thin, weedy voice, to the conniving Mr Slope. I had forgotten what a great book this was, it is so much more entertaining than its predecessor, The Warden. The dry wit of Trollope and the social observation are glorious, he is recognisably the same author as that of The Warden, but he seems to have gained considerable confidence and really enjoys exploring the possibilities that various combinations of characters and situations provide him with. The novel is peopled with such wonderful characters, and so much incident that I defy anyone not to be entertained. And if you can get through this book without laughing out loud then I'll eat my hat!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Judy Corstjens
    6/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Set the Tardis to 1861"

    I'm beginning to wonder whether my plan to audit the whole of the Barchester Chronicles this summer is not a great use of my time. This volume is twice as long as the first (The Warden, set in 1851) but it doesn't really seem to add very much that is new. The characters are the same, as is the setting, and their concerns and attitudes also. I still love the atmosphere of the Cathedral close in 1855, the sunny gardens and very correct grammar and manners, and the insights into the nineteenth century frame of mind (e.g. the position of women and class structures) but it is now becoming predictable and repetitive. I'm going to skip the next volume (Dr Thorne) and fast forward to 1861. Into this happy band of ecclesiasticals should fall the nuclear bomb of the Origin of Species, and I'm hoping that will spice things up.

    The performance from Timothy West is first class. Every character has a distinct, consistent and appropriate voice, including Trollope himself: it is Trollope himself who is starting to pall for me.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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