Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon’s mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.
Dorothea Brooke is an outstanding heroine; Middlemarch is filled with characters that are vivid and true, comic and moving. It is one of the greatest novels in the English language.
Public Domain (P)2011 Naxos AudioBooks
Victorian sagas are not exactly my genre of choice. But this story utterly captured my imagination - because it's a masterpiece, I suppose, and in equal measure because of Juliet Stevenson's astonishing performance of it. Her command of the characters, and of their regional accents and mannerisms will make you forget, over and over, that you're listening to a single narrator. This is more than an audio book - it's a life experience!
You can listen to this quite easily at 1.5x (I regret no possibility for 1.75x), then when there are extended conversations, especially amongst townspeople, back it down to 1x. 1.5-1.75x is an appropriate silent reading pace.
Did we ever really talk like this? Beautiful language requiring full concentration. Touching stories of a difficult time in which to live. Well worth the investment in time!
While the length may seem overwhelming at first, there is not a single superfluous word in the text. The characters are full and beautiful and flawed, and by the end of the book you will feel as if you are parting from the dearest of friends.
Perfect! A classic that should be revisited with frequency. Re-read this after reading Sri Hustvedt's A Blazing World. Great contrast on women's issues.
Everything. The narrator was very good. This is the first time that I realize that a woman can do men's voice just as well as men, as long as she can master the intonation.
Juliet Stevenson's narration was definitely enjoyable and I would like to download books narrated by her in the future.
The story follows several plotlines. Every one of them is compelling and has a central protagonist that you care about.
Most importantly, although this story was written a couple hundred years ago, the issues are still relevant today: financial independence, religion and conscience, charity and life goals, and love and courtship just to name a few.
Fred Vincey was my favorite. He's a silly young man with a heart of gold and Stevenson really captured his essence.
The audio was perfect and I loved the story. Now I can't wait to watch the BBC miniseries on D
loved it, found it riveting, couldn't stop listening to juliet stevensob's beautiful perfornance of so many rich characters. she had every possible type of British accent, really superb.
Excellent book. All of it was good. I'll have to buy the hardcover book for my library. Great listening too.
"A must listen audio book."
I was recommended this audiobook by a good friend of mine. As a matter of fact this was my very first introduction to audiobooks. Middlemarch has always been one of my favourite book of British literature. As I am not native speaker, Juliet Stevenson's narration was a great lesson for me to improve my english accent and comprehension.
An amazing book that kept me company while running, going to work and helped me relax and sleep at night.
I highly recommend this book to all book lovers!
"What an achievement!"
Juliet Stevenson is a great narrator. She has a fine sense of pace, superb diction and a way of altering her voice to suit each character so they are easy to distinguish, even when three or more characters are conversing. She has a reputation as a good reader, I know, and when her skill is combined with George Eliot's skill as a writer, this brings us a very fine package indeed.
I loved this book and Juliet Stevensen is a brilliant narrator, she brings the book to life and you feel you are hearing multiple characters portraying the story
So beautifully read by Juliet Stevenson. Her use of voice bought the book alive and made listening a movinng and extraordinary experience. Thank you.
"George Eliot's Genius"
The opening chapters of this book are fairly off-putting. Dorothea is a prig, her sister Celia is tiresome, Casaubon is painful, but don't be discouraged. As the author gets into her stride the characters take on a depth that at times surpasses even Austen's characters. There are some very humourous moments and some of great pathos. The story doesn't ever crack on at a pace, but if you understand delayed gratification you will enjoy this book. Stevenson's ability to inhabit dozens of characters is wonderful, and although a few of the voices grate it is worth persevering. Rosamund Vincy is a tour de force, one of English literature's undiscovered female protagonists. Read this book, you won't regret it!
I know this is a classic and things passed by more slowly but deary me. Sorry I couldn't finish it, the reading however is very good.
"An Indisputable Classic"
I recently heard a culture critic claiming that Middlemarch is "irrelevant". He may as well have said that about Shakespeare. No matter how much we might want to think otherwise, certain works of literature never lose their relevance, and continue to speak to all human experience.
Whether it is the story of Dorothea Brook falling in love with the first intellectual man she ever meets, Fred Vincy blaming the world for his own poor judgement, Nicholas Bullstrode using his piety as an excuse for his selfish concerns, or the heart-breaking self-sacrifice of the reverend Fairbrother, each character and their journey through the narrative of this immense work is a complete, recognisable human being. Their choices are often poor, but no different to the choices you or I might make in the same circumstance. Elliot masterfully (mistressfully?) plunges into themes of party politics, class, religion, money, science, art and technology with intelligence and empathy. And the stories will simply leave you breathless.
Juliet Stevenson is a delight to listen to, and I suspect is a great lover of the book herself. This audiobook is an investment that will pay you dividends over a life-time, and perhaps for your children and grandchildren. My grandmother called this the greatest work in the English language, and I can't help but agree.
This is a book I have wanted to read for a long time but never seemed to get around to. This-my first audiobook-lived up to all my expectations.
As well as being a fascinating commentary on changing social attitudes in the 1830's with matters such as the Reform Act and the beginning of the railways, it is also a study of character and everyday life. Add to this that it is remarkably witty and fun in places and you have a great novel.
The icing on the cake is the narration of Juliet Stevenson which is simply superb.
this book was good, although quite long. im very glad i got it on audible to listen to in the car rather than to read beacause its would have taken me too long to read to have enjoyed it. It took a little while to get into the story and there are many characteres to get to grips with but once your into it it is very enjoyable.
An enjoyable classic read by a more than competent narrator, Juliet Stevenson. I would happily listen to more books read by her. I enjoy unabridged classics but even I found some of the wordiness of Middlemarch somewhat tiring (and I wanted to slap Rosamund Vincy). Be prepared for a long listen. I wouldn't recommend it to a 'newbie' to the classics.
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