Sent by her ambitious parents to visit her wealthy D'Urberville cousins, Tess attracts the attention of the unscrupulous Alec. Seduced and discarded by him and alone in the world, she finds work as a milkmaid, and the love of Angel Clare. Yet his love cannot accept the truth about Tess's past.
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Peter Firth played Angel Clare in Polanski's film version of this novel. His reading demonstrates great affection for Hardy's characters, and an understanding of the many nuances of the story. Don't worry if it seems slow to begin with, if you let the plot unfold, there is plenty of excitement and tragedy in store. Originally published as a serial, each phase builds up to its own climax, which makes for pleasant and interesting listening. Definitely not a "boring 19th century novel."
A heartbreaking story possesses both the clarity of rural life and the confusion of the epic struggles of a human heart. Tess and Angel Clare are so beautifully realized that the frustration one feels with them becomes all-too-real. The narration of this version, by Peter Firth, is among the best in the audible.com catalog that I've encountered so far. Tess is a book to read and re-read with your ears, eyes, mind, and heart.
I ENJOY BIOGRAPHY AND NON-FICTION. I LIKE TO LEARN FROM STORIES.
Gripping story of life in by gone days. The heroine is beautiful and her beauty is a negative. Hardy captures eternal human nature in his writing, painting a vivid picture of love, lust, jealousy and fidelity.
Well written and artistically read, this book illustrates in story form the ever-enlarging circles of refusing to forgive a wrong. The beautiful contrast is seen in Tess.
I had read this in high school, and, even though I couldn't remember the plot, always remembered it as a story I liked it. This audible version was delightful and I truly enjoyed my listen.
Addicted to books, both print and audio-.
I nearly gave up on this halfway through. While Peter Firth does a good job with the characters, I found his reading too halting, with so many pauses that the language did not flow, and I had trouble connecting the sentences. This is not usually a problem in listening to Hardy. I switched over to Davina Porter's narration and was riveted for the second half of the book. I don't think this was entirely due to Peter Firth's narration. I think the first half of the book (prior to Tess's marriage) is overlong and repetitive. My advice is to stick with it; the rest of the book is more than worth it!
What a skilled and complex rendering of a good woman victimized by men's response to her beauty, and the double standard of sexual mores. And what an evocative and intense description of the love between two people and the very human inability to transcend judgment and to forgive those we love. This is such a beautiful book, with Hardy's exquisite prose and descriptive skills. I highly recommend Davina Porter's narration. Her voicing of Tess is so simple, yet so infused with feeling, and it brought me to tears more than once.
Yes, I have read "The Mayor of Casterbridge," also by Thomas Hardy, and I really enjoyed that book. "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," though, I found to be a truly depressing story with very little redemption in the ending to overcome that view of the book.
Peter Firth performed the narration well, giving different qualities to each of the characters. His portrayal of Angel Clare was my favorite, for he had a sense of the thoughts and motives of Angel that were evident in his voice and tone.
Tess, of course.
I enjoyed his narration. Speech was clear. I would listen to his book vocals again.
My daily commute time literally hijacked any spare time for reading, and then, AUDIBLE.
I didn't get bored. It was a good listen....good narrator. Too bad the story couldn't have continued with Angel Claire relationship with Tess' younger sister...that might have been a juicy tale.
I first read Tess many years ago as a teenager and didn't think much of it. Having revisiting through this audiobook I am astounded at how much I missed! This is one of those reads which benefit from a few years of life experience. Wonderfully read, atmospheric and colourful.
The description of milking: a real feast for the senses. Brought the era to life and the imagery is superb.
Well read and very consistent... Believable voices and accents. I am local to this area and found the dialect very believable.
It was very easy to see things through the eyes of the characters and to empathise with them, even given the very different attitudes of the time.
Thomas Hardy at his best....Highly recommended.
A wonderful story that is read beautifully in this audiobook. Peter Firth uses a wide range of voices and accents for the different characters which really brings them to life.
After having read and adored Tess of the D'Urbervilles last year, I thought this audiobook did Hardy's novel justice. HIs rich descriptions of Wessex and his compassionate character portraits are just as alive and vivid in an audiobook format as they were for me when I first read this book.
I've read the book (more than once), I've seen the film, but the story of Tess is always spellbinding, and this audio version is excellent. Peter Firth reads it beautifully; his rustic accents are quite convincing, although he does occasionally lapse into 'Oirish'. Highly recommended.
a great story and very well read. will listen over and over again
"An excellent audio reading of this book"
Peter Firth read this book beautifully. I can't wait to read more Thomas Hardy novels.
"Peter Firth's narration was excellent."
Fabulous Hardy novel enriched by the voice and skills of Peter Firth. Go buy it.
"Only Available in Context"
Not the best story I have ever read about, feminists may enjoy it, very typical Victorian scene but it's not something than can give a 21st century reader to think over.. 'Twas for my college course work that I read it, otherwise for the sake of its rambling on such a small story, lol
"Why have I never read this before?"
Love this book. Easy to love characters and easy to follow story. Didn't want it to end
"Beautifully written and carefully narrated"
Calm voice makes for easy listening, it takes a while to get into but well worth it!
Typical of Victorian Literature, not fast paced but evocative and emotionally compelling.
Tess and Angel were both magnificent
This whole book is indescribably sad and hear trenching, but a beautiful experience to read - and to be read to!
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