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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!
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!
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.
Definitely near the top of my list/.
A great story. I was glad it was a long book and sad to see it end. Really believable characters.
I didn't think about the narrator at all, which is how it should be.
No, I listen when driving. I looked forward to long drives when I was listening to this book.
I highly recommend this book.
Retired art and high school teacher. Artist, wife, mother, grandmother and I love gardening, meditation and listening to good books.
Love the story. Fantastic writing great description . Wonderful character development . I would like to read by Thomas hardy he is brilliant .
I know this book received some excellent reviews, but it was by far the most difficult book for me to listen to. Painfully difficult. I almost stopped numerous times. The narrator did a good job, the story was a good story- but it was the form of literature that made it so difficult to want to finish...I do not take pleasure in giving a poor rating but this is one that was so painfully slow that I will not listen to it again....ever.
The story combined with the excellent narration made this audio book a great listen. The story reminded me of Wuthering Heights. Anyway, I recommend.
I really like to read, and when I discovered I could get things done while listening to my favorite books, it was a light bulb moment.
The story is Jane Austen with a twist. Very great book and performance. I plan to listen to more from this author and reader. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Thanks audible!
"Riveting Story, Superb Reading"
This compelling classic could not be better served than it is in this reading by Nathaniel Parker. He makes vivid Hardy's majestically poetic narrative and uses subtle yet distinct inflexion to indicate which character is speaking. I did not listen to this book as much as dwell within it.
"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.
"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.
The reader has different voices for the various characters. It was amazing. Listened over 3 days!
"Loved it from start to finish!"
This had become one of my favourites. Very enjoyable. I expect that I will be playing this again and again.
"My lovely revisit of a classic"
As fas the classics go, this is in the upper half of my list of favourites.
I appreciated the overall listening experience, but I was moved by Gabriel Oak's loyalty, strength and honour despite his personal setbacks.
I appreciated much more now than when I first read it decades ago what an extraordinary position and status Bathsheba had for those times and how hard it was for her to use her status fully. I also appreciated how Hardy, a male author in the second half of the 19th century, captured the essence of that difficulty with sensitivity in a time when women were still very much treated as chattels and had very few rights.
"Couldn't get into it"
I really wanted to read the book but gave up after 3 hours. I guess it's not my kind of literature. Not much happened in the first 3h and although the narrator was very good at all kinds of voices and accents I found some of the sentences hard to understand.
"Superb reading by Nathaniel Parker"
I'm not a huge fan of Hardy, it has to be said. His opinion and depictions of women leave a lot to be desired. However, Nathaniel Parker brought such life and vitality to the story in his reading that I couldn't help but be captivated and engaged in the story.
Exceptionally well done!
This is one of my favourite books, and it is beautifully read here. The characterisations are excellent, and very atmospheric.
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