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Middlemarch Audiobook

Middlemarch

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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

4.5 (2164 )
5 star
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4.4 (1947 )
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Story
4.7 (1958 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Molly-o Seattle 12-25-11
    Molly-o Seattle 12-25-11 Member Since 2007

    English major. Love to read

    HELPFUL VOTES
    673
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    "Best Audible book ever"

    I have been an audible listener for close to five years now and this is the best book I have ever listened to. I hated this book in college and,if it hadn't been for a friend who suggested I try it again,I would have continued to hate it. I now say pish on my earlier self, this is a fantastic story and George Eliot is an insightful woman whose perspective on life is timeless. But the very best part of this listen is Juliet Stevenson. Oh my, what a narrator: I may be forever spoiled by her mastery. My favorite characterizations were the stuffy Englishmen whose voices were so perfectly captured that I was in awe each time I heard them. This is a must read.

    132 of 137 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 08-18-11
    Jonelle Camp Hill, PA, United States 08-18-11 Member Since 2008

    A librarian who loves to read, whether in print or in the air

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved Middlemarch and Juliet Stevenson!"

    This book has been on my to-read list for years. This year, I read a a very positive review of Juliet Stevenson's narration in Booklist and decided that the time was right...and I loved it!

    Without a doubt, she is one of the best narrators I have ever listened to - ranking up there with Jim Dale, George Guidall and Scott Brick.

    Plus, Middlemarch, which had been highly recommended to me by friends who knew I was a fan of Jane Austen, was wonderful. It's a big, big novel, but it really is a timeless classic, full of observations about people that still ring true today.

    Give it a go...you won't regret it.

    85 of 89 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M Kaner Minneapolis, Minnesota 06-20-11
    M Kaner Minneapolis, Minnesota 06-20-11 Member Since 2017

    Bread Baking Enthusiast

    HELPFUL VOTES
    138
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    "I will listen to anything Juliet Stevenson reads"

    I have purchased Middlemarch read by a different narrator before and simply could not listen to it. It was boring, and very long.
    Well, when I have learned that Juliet Stevenson has produced this book, I have purchased it right away and was not sorry. Amazing skill of the narrator brought all the characters alive and made this 19th century piece of literature very relevant in our modern life. George Elliot was one sharp woman and knew how to develop her characters. Brilliant!

    100 of 107 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane 01-24-12
    Jane 01-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect in every way"

    This is a remarkable book.

    Listening to it being read -- so very beautifully by Stevenson -- allows the listener to absorb the many dimensions of this classic. There is the subtle humor and the witty and insightful political and social commentary. Then there are the calls for the liberation of women, not only on a social level, but urging women to recognise their own position in the society of the 1830s and respond even if it only within the confines of their family.

    The main heroine, Dorothea, is remarkably portrayed: she could be a woman of 2012: she is ruled by a confused idealism, wanting to contribute positively to an unequal and unfair society and work towards higher philosophical understanding of the nature of existence. At the same time, she has tragically unrealistic expectations of a marriage where she believes she can help achieve her partner's fulfillment rather than her own. The male characters range from self absorption and selfishness, directionless laziness, caring partners: again these men are recognisable today. There is so very much in here.

    But to return to the reader, Juliet Stevenson. She has a wonderful voice, her acting out of characters is superb -- and most of all, she shares her understanding of what Eliot was endeavoring to convey in this apparently ordinary story about ordinary people in an ordinary little town in England.

    44 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina Marietta, GA, United States 11-20-11
    Christina Marietta, GA, United States 11-20-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Juliet Stevenson is a genius"

    Ordinarily, I would begin a review with an evaluation of the actual book rather than the narrator but in this case, Stevenson was SUCH a standout that I had to begin with her. To say that she inhabits each character fully is to sell her performance short. I remember Stevenson from the movie version of Emma in which she plays Mrs. Elton so wonderfully snarky and politely arrogant. But this narration shows her talents to a greater degree. Not only does each character have a different sounding voice, but one can practically hear their thoughts as Stevenson brings them to life.

    What is so perfect about this amazing performance is that it makes a somewhat challenging novel much easier to manage. There are so many characters and so many story lines that Eliot brings together so beautifully (eventually) that a reader can easily lose track. Several of the characters are not easy to like, a few are like-able at first and then become less so, some are not like-able at first and grow on you. It is a lot to keep up with. But the story is well worth the investment. Eliot is wise and funny. Her take on the relationships between men and women is insightful. Well-deserving of its status as one of the greatest books ever written.

    I gave the story only 4 stars because there isn't much that actually "happens." It is not an exciting story. The story is really in the every day happenings of the characters. That is where the true genius lies.

    28 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. 02-04-15
    S. 02-04-15 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Holy Moose ~ !"

    Delicious, eloquent writing with deep characters and a very satisfying ending. The performance, above all, was spectacular. Worth every minute.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matilda 01-18-12
    Matilda 01-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Juliet Sevenson brings it alive"

    I tried to read Middlemarch in highschool and again in university but could never sink in. What was missing for me was Juliet Stevenson's narration. Her skill makes this masterful story much more accessible and a pleasure to experience. Eliot's wit sparkles through in this performance.

    20 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Johannesburg, South Africa 11-14-11
    Lisa Johannesburg, South Africa 11-14-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "George and Juliet - the magic of Middlemarch"

    My first exposure to Middlemarch was as a teenager when my older brother read it to me. He was studying it at University and I was still in school. I loved it and the book became one of my favourite books after Pride and Prejudice.

    Then I watched the BBC serialisation of Middlemarch when I was a bit older and it meant more to me and I loved that too.

    But the Juliet Stevenson version is quite simply the one that was meant by George Eliot. It is masterpiece. I will treasure it for ever. The fact that one single human being can interpret the nuances of tone and texture of so many personas is remarkable. I am not sure who is the more remarkable artist; George Eliot or Juliet Stevenson. I fell in love with Juliet Stevenson when I happened upon a small English movie called something like deeply madly and I knew she was a star.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Modesto, California, United States 07-01-12
    Daniel Modesto, California, United States 07-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Juliet Stevenson -- not perfect -- but CLOSE"
    Where does Middlemarch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audiobooks I've listened to.


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Juliet Stevenson is always fantastic. This might be my favorite of her narrations, though.


    Who was the most memorable character of Middlemarch and why?

    Rosamond. Stevenson (and Eliot) depicts her in her complexity brilliantly.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're considering M-march as an audiobook, ignore reviewers recommending other narrators (a few of which I've listened to as well), GET JULIET STEVENSON.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane 01-24-12
    Jane 01-24-12

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    236
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    320
    93
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    FOLLOWING
    35
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect in every way"

    This is a remarkable book.

    Listening to it being read -- so very beautifully by Stevenson -- allows the listener to absorb the many dimensions of this classic. There is the subtle humor and the witty and insightful political and social commentary. Then there are the calls for the liberation of women, not only on a social level, but urging women to recognise their own position in the society of the 1830s and respond even if it only within the confines of their family.

    The main heroine, Dorothea, is remarkably portrayed: she could be a woman of 2012: she is ruled by a confused idealism, wanting to contribute positively to an unequal and unfair society and work towards higher philosophical understanding of the nature of existence. At the same time, she has tragically unrealistic expectations of a marriage where she believes she can help achieve her partner's fulfillment rather than her own. The male characters range from self absorption and selfishness, directionless laziness, caring partners: again these men are recognisable today. There is so very much in here.

    But to return to the reader, Juliet Stevenson. She has a wonderful voice, her acting out of characters is superb -- and most of all, she shares her understanding of what Eliot was endeavoring to convey in this apparently ordinary story about ordinary people in an ordinary little town in England.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • KathrynS
    Beijing, China
    1/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the most brilliant books I've ever re-read"

    One of my favourite books of all time, and another wonderful performance by Juliet Stevenson. Highly recommended to all readers.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • J. Roadnight
    UK
    7/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Juliet Stevenson is extraordinary"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've known and loved the book for years, so no surprises there. But the narration by Juliet Stevenson is just amazing - the range of accents, the different voices for various characters and her beautifully modulated delivery of the narrative blew me away. What an exceptional talent. I sometimes wonder what actors are paid so much for: now I know.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic soap opera"
    What would have made Middlemarch better?

    For the women characters to be stronger and more assertive. Dorothea was clearly an intelligent woman but she just gave in all the time to the men around her. I liked Mary much better. She knew what she wanted, said so and in the end got her way.


    What will your next listen be?

    Return of the Native b Thomas Hardy


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

    Juliet Stevenson gave all the characters individuality and she was my favourite thing about this book. The bumbling, stuttering uncle was the best.


    Any additional comments?

    A host of characters all with different stories, which to me appeared to be like a period soap opera.

    4 of 4 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!

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • P A WRIGHT
    10/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What amazing insight into the human condition."
    Would you listen to Middlemarch again? Why?

    Yes, as it is such a rich story and I probably missed some of this in hurrying to get to the end


    What did you like best about this story?

    Eliot's ability to show each character from their own authentic view. I also was impressed at the building and interweaving of all the characters into an overall plot that was believable and rich indepth.


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, but think she is a great narrator


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    Harold's Cross, Ireland
    8/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best Victorian Novel."
    What made the experience of listening to Middlemarch the most enjoyable?

    The writing was beautiful and the narration was wonderful. What kept me most enthralled though was the ability of the author to deal with the essential human condition in its many diverse manifestations in a way that transcended the time in which it was written.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The novel was realistic and honest and not just 'happy ever after'. I loved Eliot's philosophical reflections on what was happening in the text.


    What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

    Stevenson's range of voices was excellent.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    'There are so many way to be in the world - dare to be different'.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended. I downloaded a character chart of the relationships which was very useful to keep track of who's who.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Jennifer
    beara. co.corkIreland
    7/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Is this the best novel ever written?"

    I have read it and loved it over the years. Wonderful performance by Juliet Stephenson. It is long but well worth the effort.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • JMH13
    7/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best"
    Where does Middlemarch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best audiobook I've listened too. By far. Beautiful reading of a fabulous novel.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Middlemarch?

    The downfall of Bulstrode and with him, Dr Lydgate


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I'd buy audiobooks just because Juliet Stephenson was a narrator. 84 Charing Cross Road being one example. But this was an outstanding reading of what can be dense text.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A very special story of a very ordinary town


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blueguitar
    London
    5/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Juliet Stevenson makes the reading magnificent."
    Would you listen to Middlemarch again? Why?

    Not again - this is probably a once in a lifetime listen, but not to be missed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The slow progression, as the characters in Middlemarch are introduced, developed, and inter-act.


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    no.


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

    At over 30 hours, I think not.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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