©1851 Public Domain; (P)2007 Naxos Rights International
Clare Wille's performance of Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford...may be the wittiest I've ever heard." (AudioFile Magazine)
This is a wonderful recording of a delightful book. Clare Wille has a gentle and sympathetic voice, and reads the text very expressively. Life in an English village populated by quirky but warm-hearted spinsters in the mid 19th century is lovingly brought to life. Lovely piano interludes between chapters help to create an atmosphere of quiet, cosy gentility - just what the Cranford ladies themselves would have liked!
I first was introduced to Cranford by PBS and fell in love with the story. I had never heard of the author but am glad I stumbled upon her. The characters make you fall in love with them and their plot in life. The book is a great period piece that takes you back in time and makes you feel you are sitting in the room, or walking down the lane with them. The narrator made the time fly, her voice is easy to listen to.
I couldn't finish this one. I had technical difficulties and it finally got to the point that it wasn't worth the effort.
"A good listen, classic Gaskell!"
If you are purchasing this book because you enjoyed the BBC adaptation, you will very soon realise that the tv series was just that an adaptation in the losest terms. Do not despair, I read this book many years before it was broadcast and this narration is excellent and introduces each character with all their funny little ways. I've enjoyed listening over and over again. You will enjoy this book if you are a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell.
However, one slight criticism; each character could have been better interpreted using a better range of accents and mannerisms, If that is possible in an audio book.
"What a delight!"
I read 'Cranford' 40 years ago as a teenager and had forgotten, (or perhaps not realised) what a delightful, well-observed and amusing book this is - and what a wimp (by today's standards, anyway) Miss Mattie is!
Clare Wille is perfect as the narrator, both her style of reading and because she's the right age. Good though Judy Dench was on the TV, you know she's too old to be the narrator really.
All in all one of the best audio books I've had so far.
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