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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Audiobook

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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Audible Editor Reviews

Thomas Hardy's exquisite story stars one of the most famous female protagonists in English literature. With natural intonation, Davina Porter's artistic voice sweeps listeners into the charm of the English countryside and into the life of this extraordinary character. Thomas Hardy would enjoy this rendition of his Tess, the pure and simple peasant girl, the beauty, the child, the woman. We are provoked by the society that binds her with social and gender constraints. And even when she rightfully defies the men who betray her, atonement is not at hand. This memorable character will stay with listeners long after this vivid rendition of the novel ends.

Publisher's Summary

Tess Durbeyfield, a peasant girl and cast-off descendant of English aristocracy, has become one of the most famous female protagonists in 19th-century British literature. Betrayed by the two men in her life - Alec D’Urberville, her seducer/rapist and father of her fated child; and Angel, her intellectual and pious husband - Tess takes justice, and her own destiny, into her delicate hands. In telling her desperate and passionate story, Hardy brings Tess to life with an extraordinary vividness that makes her live in the heart of the reader long after the novel is concluded.

Public Domain (P)1994 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (593 )
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4.6 (553 )
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Performance
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  •  
    misaki Los Angeles CA 06-15-15
    misaki Los Angeles CA 06-15-15 Member Since 2014

    Books, art, cats, music, and cars.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Davina Porter Does It Again!"

    Highly recommend! I read this book years ago, then had listened to another version of audiobook read by another narrator, and then found this Davina Porter version and couldn't resist listening again. I'm glad I did. By far the best experience out if the three.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer USA 12-09-15
    Amazon Customer USA 12-09-15 Member Since 2016

    I sit at a desk for eight hours a day. Thank God for Audible.

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    "Narration is entertaining. Story is infuriating."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Narration-wise, it was very entertaining; Porter sings, whispers, chants, and uses a myriad of different accents to really bring the characters to life. Story-wise, Tess will stick with you a long time after you read it, and Hardy's language is beautiful.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Hardy's language. I wrote down about fifteen different quotes from the book that I enjoyed as I was listening to it. Truly beautiful at points.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to say. Tess' life doesn't have many starry moments. I do believe I was happiest for her when she was dancing with her friends at the very beginning of the novel, before she met Alec or Angel.


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

    There were moments when I didn't want to stop listening, and moments when I wished things would move along just a little bit faster (in particular when Tess was deciding whether or not to tell Angel about her past; I found her back-and-forth too repetitive). I don't think I could have made it through the entire thing in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    The narration is entertaining, but the story is just as tragic as the other comments say. Expect to hate the world a little bit when you've finished. You'll be infuriated for and at Tess all at once.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Good 08-21-15
    D. Good 08-21-15
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    "A parable"

    Story of a woman who gave heart and soul to "her man" - and got bitten, not once but twice. The powerless but perfect female character is a little hard to swallow, but Thomas Hardy is a master of evoking visions of the English countryside and the ethos of an earlier time.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Sylvan Lake, AB, Canada 01-16-13
    Rebecca Sylvan Lake, AB, Canada 01-16-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Davina Porter makes this lovely book even better"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Naturally the writing style was a bit old fashioned for my taste but the subject matter and innuendos were surprisingly riske and modern. I'd like to complain about the tragic ending but in all honesty I can't. It was refreshing to read a novel that was realistic and believable. Overall the writing style was what I expected and the story was beautiful. You'll be writing down quotes as you go.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    It was very interesting to get an accurate interpretation of what life was like for a woman like Tess. I find that as a woman I take for granted what would have saved her from such misery. If you're in the mood to appreciate the small things there is no part of this book that isn't interesting.


    Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

    Naturally, Tess. She's no Clair Frasier but Davina always brings a story to life.


    Do you think Tess of the d’Urbervilles needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Tad late for that.


    Any additional comments?

    I would definitely recommend this book. Don't expect a rock your socks romance but Tess will stay in the back of your mind long after you finish.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fran Silt, CO, United States 11-09-12
    Fran Silt, CO, United States 11-09-12 Member Since 2001
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    "Excellent"
    What made the experience of listening to Tess of the d’Urbervilles the most enjoyable?

    I love the narrator's voice. Since this story was written so long ago, it described the life and times of the people, politics, religion, etc. I love the "history" of it. I could picture the countryside, feel grateful that I never had to suffer the deprivation that was so common back then, could feel the fabrics, and taste the food.....


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    To me, Davina Porter is a famous narrator. I am used to, and love the sound of, her voice. Her inflections of the dialog were spot on.


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

    One of the scenes that struck me was the description of the work performed by hand in the turnip fields; the extreme physicality of it, braving the elements, and subsisting on next to no food...


    Any additional comments?

    The authors of those times have an excellent command of vocabulary and phrasing, setting the scenes and transitioning into the next scene. Very articulate and descriptive...

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie McMiilan 10-20-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Another Great Performance by Davina Porter"

    I read this book while at school and remembered it being a sad story. Davina Porter is brilliant and made the characters come to life. Very well done; a great listen!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bllsth 10-13-15
    Bllsth 10-13-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Dark"

    This is a dark and depressing masterpiece, brilliantly written and hard to put down. Hated the ending.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann 07-30-15
    Ann 07-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "So sad and so worth listening to."

    I could feel every breeze and hear even the slightest sighs of this story. It is simply a masterpiece.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy Adam Sams 05-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A wonderful story"

    I loved this book and the narrator did a wonderful job of bringing the story to life. Looking forward to listening to another Thomas Hardy novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deborah henderson 10-26-14
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    "Melancholy tale"
    What did you love best about Tess of the d'Urbervilles?

    The reader did a wonderful job. You find yourself wishing the best for Tess.


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

    No. In truth, it gets slow but then picks up.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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