In a remote corner of early Victorian England, where traditional practices remain untouched by time, Bathsheba Everdene stands out as a beacon of female independence and self-reliance. However, when confronted with three suitors, among them the dashing Captain Troy, she shows a reckless capriciousness that threatens the stability of the whole community. Published in 1874, and an immediate best seller, Far From the Madding Crowd established Thomas Hardy as one of Britain's foremost novelists.
Public Domain (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks
I must say that, with future books, it will be hard not to rate the authors' words and compare them with Thomas Hardy's knowledge of a dictionary and his construction of a sentence. It can be rather simple to narrate the combined works of many characters onto pieces of paper and call it a novel, but Hardy has a lovely style that I'll show presently. In randomly turning to any page in the book I've found the following paragraph: 'At this moment on the ridge, up against the blazing sky, a figure was visible, like the black snuff in the midst of a candle-flame. Then it moved and began to bustle about vigorously from place to place, carrying square skeleton masses, which were riddled by the same rays. A small figure on all fours followed behind. The tall form was that of Gabriel Oak; the small one that of George; the articles in course of transit were hurdles.' Now, if this had been me (or many other authors) I would've said 'Mr Boldwood saw Gabriel Oak and his horse moving hurdles in the hot sun.' See what I mean by eloquence?
As for the story, it is terrific! Gabriel Oak is a loveable man who devotes his life to hard work. Unfortunately, one of his herding dogs happens to chase his flock of ewes off a cliff, so he's left without work and he comes to be employed by Bathsheba, a woman that he falls in love with after she saves his life. I rooted for him the entire time, hoping that she would find some sort of romance with him, but, even after she doesn't, his devotion to her as a concerned employee doesn't stray, though she's being courted by an older gentleman after she plays a trick on him and she ends up marrying a gambling drunkard who doesn't love her in the first place. And at this point, the story's not even halfway through!
Now, when it comes to Jamie Parker's reading of the novel, I found it spot-on! There were several characters with regional accents that he performed incredibly well. His recognition and performance of the author's words was one for the ages. There was only one thing I didn't enjoy about it, at first: his performance was so accurate that, when whispered words were uttered, it was sometimes difficult to hear on my laptop. But this was quickly remedied with the use of headphones, and his performance was enjoyed exponentially more! Well done, sir!
It more than exceeded my expectations. Jamie Parker does the Wessex rustic voices brilliantly. I would happily listen to him reading any books.
I love Hardy's tales.
I had never read Thomas Hardy before taking a course in British Literature from The Teaching Company...that whetted my appetite! Sure, I had seen movies and Masterpiece Theatre presentations and thought they were brilliant...but now that I've read two books, including THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE and FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, the smartest thing I did was read the books.Thomas Hardy's prose is true poetry. His descriptive passages put you so deeply into the scenery that you can almost smell the grass and feel the breezes! And MADDING CROWD literally will make you count sheep...if you can put the book down long enough to get some rest! It is that intriguing a plot and the characterizations are so true to life that you find yourself reading with a Wessex accent! Our heroine, Bathsheba Everstone, is being courted by three diverse characters...lucky girl? Well...we'll see! The first is Dominick Oak...now there's a name that describes this hardy shepherd to a tee. He's big and sturdy as an oak...and and gentle as one of his flock.Then there is William Boldwood, a mature man who is both wealthy and a bit obsessive! And finally, the dashing Sergeant Francis Troy who arrives with a secret past and one might say, turns life upside down for more than a few folks in this little town of Wetherby.The plot winds and twists and turns and you never quite know where it's going...but it keeps you in suspense and wanting to read "just one more chapter" before turning off the light. In my case, the sun was coming up by the time I wearily put the book down and tried to figure out how to make room in my day to pick it up again!Compare Hardy's writing to most of our modern day authors and they will not make the cut. This is poetry in the disguise of prose! And much easier to digest too!I will continue on my study of Thomas Hardy, such a bonus for taking this Teaching Company course! My intention is to read everything by Hardy that I can find. Now I wish I knew a way to get more of you good people of Goodreads to join me!
The narration by Jamie Parker was brilliant! All those dialects; all those characters...faultless! 1 like ·
The narrator makes this book come alive. Each character was so individualized and he has a good singing voice. He's fabulous!. Can't beat Hardy for plot twists and turns.
I love Thomas Hardy. His writing is so artful and delicious. The book is so much richer than the movie. The narrator's performance is very well done. Bathsheba Everdine is not my favorite heroine of all time, but it's a very engaging story.
The narrator did a fabulous job with his voices, especially enjoyed the voice of pious Joseph.
I like Thomas Hardy and the flaws and strengths he creates in his characters.
Good summer escape reading.
The problem with having a movie adaptation of a great novel is that many people will never read the novel. In the case of this classic, that is a shame. The story, the characters, the natural setting and the action are all presented in beautiful prose that is rarely heard in contemporary writing. This unabridged release, narrated by the tremendously-talented Jamie Parker, is exquisitely "acted", with each character having their own "voice", and every sentence is phrased in a way that captures the ear and feeds the imagination of the listener. I could not be more pleased with an audiobook, and would have given Parker 6 stars if this were an option!
The prose is beautiful and descriptive and I felt transported to the place and time of the story through the excellent voice acting of Jamie Parker.
Sorry, I couldn't possibly choose just one. The crafting of the story is even-handed and exquisite throughout.
I wouldn't. See my initial comment.
Loved this book from the first word to the last one! It goes on my short list of all time favorites books.
This book is so charming. Hardy is a bit long-winded sometimes but in such a beautiful, clever way that it's hardly minded. How I wish I could find more treasures like this that I haven't yet read. Why don't writers care about the sound of the words and the way they are put together anymore? Why can't writers caress the English language like they once did?
This reader is superb, as well. So much personality and so much difference in voices and accents between the different characters. And he just... he gets it.
Lovely all around!
"The Pedant strikes"
I am enjoying this reading. I was impressed by Jamie Parker's narration, especially when I noticed that he pronounced the 'pint' of 'cuckoo-pint' correctly. However, my faith in his pronunciation had a nasty jolt when he pronounced 'Collect' in Chapter 44 as if it meant to acquire or pick up. As the context makes pretty clear, the Collect is a Christian prayer ('The boy was of the dunce class apparently; the book was a psalter, and this was his way of learning the collect.') Not the worst mistake I've heard in an audiobook by any means, but when I come across errors I always wonder why it isn't possible to get the recordings carefully checked and double-checked to eradicate the mistakes and re-record those passages before release.
Well read by the narrator. A good 'Hardy' story with contrasting characters. I've never read this one and this audiobook did its job and kept me listening.
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