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 Sergeant 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.
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 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 ·
I loved the story and the narration was wonderful, however his accent was so good at times I had to really concentrate at times in order to understand him. Ultimately, I loved everything about it.
I'm so glad I got this version of FFtMC. Parker's voice is so resonant and soothing. He's a little slower than I like so I sped it up to 1.25 speed. Will definitely be seeking out this narrator in the future.
Devotion, sheep, pastoral
I listened to the book after watching the 2015 movie adaptation. I enjoyed hearing the original story and comparing the differences. The book gives more insight into the background and thoughts of the male characters than the movie. It was fitting to be read by a man.
Jamie Parker's accents for the townspeople were wonderful. Since the book delves into the emotions of the three men pursuing Bathsheba, it was wonderful to have him voice their characters and thoughts.
The scene in the book (that is not in the movie) I found moving takes place when Gabriel is working on the farm for Bathsheba. Gabriel is sheering sheep and Bathsheba is beside him watching and admiring his work. The description of emotions for Gabriel in that scene and the one immediately following are heart gripping.
Since the book tells more about the thoughts of the three men, who love her in very different ways and devoted in different degrees, a "reader" is persuaded to care about Bathsheba in spite of her vanities, careless ways and pride. The "reader" sees her through the eyes of the men as lovely, strong and desirable. If the book were to stop half way through, the "reader" would not have affection for her, but see her as a flirt, strong-willed, capable and sometimes impetuous creature. It is not until later into the novel when the harsh realities of Bathsheba's choices catch up to her and she is humbled underneath it all, that empathy is felt for her and the "reader" truly roots for her to find happiness and her strength again.
Been listening when listening to books was unheard of - and on tape. I've evolved along with Audible and love everything about Audible!!
I so enjoyed the superb narration! It added immensely to the entire performance! This story of early feminism is wonderful!!
Jamie Parker is the BEST narrator (I've listened to 190 books. There could be someone better out there, but I have not heard him/her.). His narration made the story even more enjoyable, and the story is riveting in and of itself. Out of curiosity, I listened to the same book read by someone else, and it just did not have the same allure. Highly recommend this particular version.
"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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