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Middlemarch | [George Eliot]

Middlemarch

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

Public Domain (P)2011 Naxos AudioBooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (684 )
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4.5 (588 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Suzanne Poland, OH, United States 08-01-13
    Suzanne Poland, OH, United States 08-01-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Old Time Soap Opera"

    I found the town and the way of life interesting. The descriptions were wonderful.

    It was way too long. I assume it was originally published as newspaper series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hollis Ramsey Vero Beach, Florida, US 07-28-13
    Hollis Ramsey Vero Beach, Florida, US 07-28-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Juliet Stevenson is da bomb!"
    Would you listen to Middlemarch again? Why?

    i will be listening to Middlemarch many, many times, because (1) i love the story and characters, and (2) i love Juliet Stevenson's narration.


    What other book might you compare Middlemarch to and why?

    i cannot compare Middlemarch to any other book i have yet heard on audible.com; it sets the bar very, very high.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    to tell the truth, i'm nuts about the very last paragraph -- unhistoric acts and unvisited tombs.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    How To -- and How Not To -- Live Life


    Any additional comments?

    i've read, and seen the BBC miniseries, a bunch of times, but this is the first time that i laughed as much as i did. the author's sardonic wit and sly humor came through in Ms. Stevenson's voices, accents, and narration as a whole. i was delighted entirely.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CT Amazonians North Haven, CT USA 04-29-13
    CT Amazonians North Haven, CT USA 04-29-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "A Great Listen!"
    What made the experience of listening to Middlemarch the most enjoyable?

    Just finished listening to this wonderful book. Juliet Stevenson made it a fantastic listen. I looked forward to hearing her tell this interesting story. I became so involved in the lives of the people of Middlemarch as they lived their lives in1830. A classic I will never forget.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mr. Garth was one of my favorite characters. An honest and true man. A loving father and attentive husband. He was clearly the best in Middlemarch.


    Which character – as performed by Juliet Stevenson – was your favorite?

    Juliet Stevenson made every character come alive for me by changing her voice and intonation. I saw Mr Bullstrode as a big, heavyset man who had trouble getting the words out due to his weight. Mr. Casorbin, the husband of the lead character, Dorothea, was a smarmy, unpleasant person. I was furious that the beautiful Dorothea married him. Juliet Stevenson made me despise him and feel so sad for Dorothea.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I wanted to savor this book slowly. It was about 35 hours long so I knew I could take my time and enjoy parts of it each day.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aimee AUSTIN, TX, United States 12-05-12
    Aimee AUSTIN, TX, United States 12-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Great rewards for those who have patience"
    What did you love best about Middlemarch?

    I am only half-way through this 33-hour extravaganza, but George Eliot's writing is insightful and quietly witty. Contrary to today's "Law & Order"-type of no-backstory storylines, this tome dives deep into each character's psyche and motivations. Trying to decide which characters are the good guys is a challenge, as little is black-and-white in Middlemarch.


    What does Juliet Stevenson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The characters' voices are very well done, and Stevenson's measured reading pace perfectly suits the material. Her voice is a joy, and she manages to wade through the long, convoluted sentences with integrity of style and preservation of meaning.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Woodlands, Australia 11-13-12
    Jenny Woodlands, Australia 11-13-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Where are you now Dorothea?"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, yes and yes again. It is a terrific way of experiencing George Eliot's masterpiece of English life as metaphor for living.


    What other book might you compare Middlemarch to and why?

    Immediately after finishing 'Middlemarch', I began listening to Tolstoy's 'War and Peace'. The obvious similarity is the length, albeit Tolstoy wins this hands down, but there is also within each book the deeper understanding and exposition of human frailty and beauty as represented by the many and several characters.No one character is whole but rather each person can be seen to be acting in particular ways that the reader/listener can, if they so choose, identify within their own behaviours and those of their closest kith and kin.Both books by their length and depth explore so many aspects of what it means to be human and in relationship, whether healthy or not.


    What does Juliet Stevenson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Simply put - I adore the sound of her voice. In addition Ms Stevenson was able to bring individual characters to life with her vocal skill. She kept the tempo moving and yet at no point did I fell my listening was being hurried by her reading.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A Pastoral Parable - perhaps??


    Any additional comments?

    Just listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isabelle Burleson, TX, United States 10-19-12
    Isabelle Burleson, TX, United States 10-19-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Masterful Victorian Novel"
    If you could sum up Middlemarch in three words, what would they be?

    Provincial, emotional, and masterful.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved Fred Vincy. His story evolves throughout the book, and he's imperfect but strives to better himself. In the beginning he's lost as to what to do with his life and his family is trying to push him towards a profession that he knows he'd neither like or is well suited for. In the end, after a very bumpy road he's able to achieve happiness although it's not in the form he once imagined it would be when he was younger. I feel like his story is similar to what a lot of young people go through and I empathized with him.


    What does Juliet Stevenson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love Juliet Stevenson as a reader. She is my favorite reader, and I have listened to a great number of her audibook readings. She nails the characterization of the characters she's reading and her voice brings so much warmth and life to the story.


    Who was the most memorable character of Middlemarch and why?

    The most memorable character is probably Dorthea Brookes because she is the central character in the book. A lot of the action in the book centers around her trials and tribulations. She also grows immensely as a character, and is sympathetic. I was surprised because in the beginning I didn't think I'd like her very much or relate to her but as the story progressed I found myself warming up to her to the point where are the end I was cheering for her.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 09-11-12
    Mark 09-11-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic reading of a classic"

    I am steadily listening my way through the classics and Middlemarch is one of the best. Juliet Stevenson's performance is great and the characters are bought to life. Recommended for anyone looking to enjoy a long complex novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 09-05-12
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 09-05-12 Member Since 2014

    An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Choose your spouses wisely!"
    If you could sum up Middlemarch in three words, what would they be?

    True love hurts.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dorothea Brooke Casaubon. She really grows on you. When the story begins you think "what a little nun" but after all she goes through you really want her life to turn out well. She chooses an older religious man because she wants to help him with his work. However, Mr. Casaubon is so selfish and unworthy of her love that he twists everything she does into something false and shameful. It's very painful to listen to.

    As the story goes on Dorothea changes into a strong and vibrant woman that everyone respects. A true heroine!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I think my favorite scene was when Dorothea goes to talk to Rosamund Lydgate again and explain to her how much faith she has in her husband's skills as a doctor. Rosamund, unfortunately is so selfish and silly that poor Dr. Lydgate has to give up his dream of scientific discovery in order to make money so his vain wife will be happy. But the scene with Dorothea was wonderful.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    So many characters in this book were so filled out. My favorite couple in the book was Mary Garth and Fred Vincy. I am so happy they end up together.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one my favorite books now! I have never read any George Eliot before, but I will be sure to read more now! Highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David WestBeach, Australia 08-31-12
    David WestBeach, Australia 08-31-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Like someone making love to your ears"

    Eliot leaves Austen as dry chick-lit with no erotic appeal. Never will a' book teach me so much, about so much. If I was charged £1000 to hear this, it would be the bargain of my life. Here's struggling to imagine how a novel can get much more enjoyable.
    *Hint, take real time out with it, close your eyes and relax.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael winters, CA, United States 04-20-12
    Michael winters, CA, United States 04-20-12
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    "clever but boring"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No - didn't finish it


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I am listening to Ken Follet's World Without End


    What aspect of Juliet Stevenson’s performance would you have changed?

    I get tired of these hyper English accents.


    Was Middlemarch worth the listening time?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The irony was amusing, but this just went on and on.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 51-60 of 64 results PREVIOUS1567NEXT
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  • Caroline
    Cornwall
    4/27/11
    Overall
    "All consuming"

    Great audio book. It has totally disrupted my life over the last days because I've stayed awake to listen, not been able to work because I couldn't stop listening and thinking about it whilst not listening. Really brilliant reading and I will be totally bereft when it finishes in about an hours' time. Best audio book I've had for ages.

    25 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Heidi
    Sutton, United Kingdom
    6/11/11
    Overall
    "A great book enhanced by a brilliant narrator"

    I first read Middlemarch many years ago and much enjoyed it. Browsing through the audible website recently I came across this version read by Juliet Stevenson and downloaded it on impulse. Since listening to it, I have been recommending it to anyone who will listen. Juliet Stevenson is a wonderful storyteller - she captures the mood of the book and the personalities of the characters. The combination of a good narrator and good book is irresistible - I resented every interruption!

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • N. Bowring
    Sussex
    7/23/11
    Overall
    "Highly recommended"

    If Oscars were awarded for audio-book narrations, Juliet Stephenson would surely be in the front line to win several for her multiple performances in Middlemarch. This inordinately long book is made to feel considerably shorter by her fine portrayals, giving each separate character his or her own distinctive voice.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • R
    Exmouth, United Kingdom
    7/30/11
    Overall
    "beautifully descriptive"

    I bought this audio book for something different to listen to and thought that listening to a classic may educate me into a different type of listening.
    the book is beautifully descriptive which to start off with i found hard going as I wasn't used to this way of writing. However after a number of times wondering whether to give up or not I was glad i didnt as it was wonderful and found i was listening to it for hours in the middle of the night captured by the various characters who i felt i had begun to know and be part of their lives.
    well worth pursuing

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • geoff60017
    7/28/11
    Overall
    "Quite outstanding"

    If you could take only one audiobook to a desert island, this would have to be it! I have long been a fan of both George Eliot's work and of Juliet Stevenson's narration, but this surpassed all expectations. A well-crafted story brilliantly characterised.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Caryl
    Port Louis, Mauritius
    10/6/11
    Overall
    "Perfect"

    I have read the novel at least 5 times over the years but hearing the words read in Juliet Stevensons beautiful and flexible voice has added a unique new pleasure to the enjoyment of this great story. I found it perfect!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • jill
    London, United Kingdom
    1/26/12
    Overall
    "Juliet Stevenson's astounding tour de force"

    The book is excellent, of course, but Juliet Stevenson's narration is an astounding tour de force. Characters are many, demanding all tones and dynamics - from those of deep-voiced or husky males to silvery, pacific or spiritually conscious females. All are convincingly manifested. Overlaying their natural timbres, the acquired tones of experience convey characters as middle-aged & deeply earthed, shallow, criminal, loving, hating, Oxbridge intellectual & innocent, enthusiastic, bumpkin, familial, old & wavery, drunk, idealistically or dully clerical, brilliantly or spitefully medical and otherwise totally various. Every character is believable and immediately recognisable throughout the entire performance of this very long book.
    I feel obliged (if unwilling) to mention that I found most of the introductory quotations to each chapter, in various languages, long and (even when in English) incomprehensible. Such quotations were, I assume, written for the reader to slowly cogitate over, whilst looking to the drama ahead and waiting for their undoubted relevance to be revealed. Not only did I find the quotations extremely irritating, but I was really sad to find Ms Stevenson's rendering of those in Italian, French and German equally so. Even so I choose not to remove any of my 5 stars, which are, in my demanding estimation, totally deserved.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Deborah
    London, United Kingdom
    11/7/11
    Overall
    "A triumph!"

    I knew this book to be excellent but I was not prepared for such a feat of narration. Juliet Stevenson is outstanding! She creates a million different voices so that each character is instantly recognizable, and just seems to add to Eliot's depth of meaning. Every day I long to put my earphones in and just immerse myself in the story. Unmissable!!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Angela Emerton
    12/18/11
    Overall
    "Middlemarch"

    One of the best written books, ever. I have read the book many times over the years, watched the BBC drama numerous times, and now I have enjoyed listening to it. A wonderful piece of English literature, superbly narrated by Juliet Stevenson.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • George
    Los Angeles
    5/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great experience"

    What a privilege it was to listen to this wonderful book. Juliet Stevenson puts in a really great performance and brings the characters, the subtle differences in status and character, to life and this makes such a huge difference to the enjoyment of the book. Couldnt recommend it more highly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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