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Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite authors and this book is probaby my favorite of his books. It has the darkness that a lot of his novels have, but it has some light as well. Bathsheba is a very complex character with very definite faults. Nobody in this novel is too perfect and everyone seems very human. Nathaniel Parker is a great narrator. At first I thought he read a little fast, but either he slowed down or I got used to it because I really enjoyed his reading. He does a wonderful job with the characters, and Bathsheba doesn't have that annoying sound that some male narrators give their female characters. I will definitely be listening to this one again.
This Thomas Hardy masterpiece is presented with excellent narration. The quality of the production is wonderful. My only question, why doesn't Nathaniel Parker do more of Thomas Hardy?
Gabriel Oak is man of virtue and integrity, a giant in fiction.
Yes, I loved this book!
Nathaniel Parker's characters are stunning. Accents, toning, even breath sounds make Hardy's world so real as to seem to belong to the listener.
yes. The writing of Hardy is worth second third and fourth looks. Beautiful descriptions and keen observations of the human condition, with just the right balance of humor and pathos.
Nathaniel Parker's narration; Thomas Hardy's exquisite descriptions, observations and character development.
yes, hard to put down, but it is a long book, and it needed to "breathe" as the story went on.
It will be hard to top anything that Nathaniel Parker narrates. He did an excellent job. Only wish there were more books available narrated by him!
"Evocative, clear story-telling"
I loved the re-telling of a classic novel. The story in itself is a rich and complex novel, but what really makes this recording stand out is Nathaniel Parker's use of individualizing all of the many characters with a slight change of his voice, so that we know exactly who is talking and the intonation they are implying. Well worth listening to.
"A Pastoral Tale of Love and Loss Read Beautifully"
I had read Far From the Madding Crowd several times in my teens when going through a Hardy phase, and though I appreciate that Hardy's later novels often pushed the boundaries far more in challenging society's notions of love and respectability, this has always been my favourite. Although there is no absence of hardship and tragedy for many of the characters in this tale, there is a happy ending; at least for the male protagonist Gabriel Oak if not entirely for Bathsheba who has had to endure many terrible twists and turns in her young womanhood (some admittedly brought on by her own folly) before she finds that what she was looking for was right under her nose.
Hardy has a way of writing even very flawed characters so that we at least partly understand and empathise with them. These are real people, vividly drawn, and when they despair, we despair (in Hardy's last novel Jude the Obscure I was so moved at one point that I was in floods of tears and had to put the book down for weeks to get over it!).
In this audio performance I found myself appreciating the cast of rural workpeople far more than I had when reading the novel. I don't know if this is due to age - I felt I got a lot more from the novel this time around in all regards, perhaps due to the wisdom of experience - or because of the excellent narration. Nathaniel Parker gives each character his own voice, his accents sound authentic and his Gabriel Oak was so good I was prompted to seek out the 1998 television series in which he starred as the character (very well worth a watch too if you get the chance, I have now watched it twice).
Overall, well worth my credit, I know I will be listening to this many times.
"Far From The Madding Crowd"
A well known story thanks to a great film. The film, though, omits many of the great details of Hardy's classic tale. Here is love, commitment, passion, desire and the terrible resut of unfulfilled love. Beautifully read, all the passion is is here. Classic.
"One of the best readings I have ever heard"
Nathaniel Parker makes every nuance of the story clear. A joy to listen. Hardy's style is not easy to narrate without appearing contrived, yet Parker effortlessly achieves the narrative with complete conviction. Wonderful.
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