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Tess of the d'Urbervilles | [Thomas Hardy]

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Tess Durbeyfield 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.
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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

4.0 (227 )
5 star
 (87)
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3 star
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3.9 (205 )
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Story
4.4 (209 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Rebecca Sylvan Lake, AB, Canada 01-16-13
    Rebecca Sylvan Lake, AB, Canada 01-16-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fran Silt, CO, United States 11-09-12
    Fran Silt, CO, United States 11-09-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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...

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raymond G. Harder Brea, CA 02-04-13
    Raymond G. Harder Brea, CA 02-04-13 Member Since 2013

    BookBoy

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    "Still a classic"
    What made the experience of listening to Tess of the d’Urbervilles the most enjoyable?

    A gentle pleasant read. Good reading voice. Easy to follow with good storyline straightforward with good unpredictable plot.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Struggle from poverty to stability.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When she gets out of bad relationship.


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

    Relationships change. Sometimes it's better the second time.


    1 of 1 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    misaki Los Angeles CA 06-15-15
    misaki Los Angeles CA 06-15-15 Member Since 2014
    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.

    0 of 0 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Stauss Santa Cruz, CA USA 04-20-15
    A. Stauss Santa Cruz, CA USA 04-20-15 Member Since 2013

    Time Saver Mom

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    "So depressing"

    This is by far the most depressing book I've ever read or heard. I kept listening because I love Devina Porter the voice reading but it was for those who enjoy misery for entertainment. So sad from start to end. I do not know why anyone would willingly read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Kirkland, WA, United States 04-16-15
    Amazon Customer Kirkland, WA, United States 04-16-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just a quick comment on the narration"

    Davina Porter's narration is pretty good, though Tess starts with and retains a much more refined manner of speech than the other women who have been brought up in her same situation. These other women are narrated with a rustic rural sort of form of speech, while Tess (even before her association with Mr. Clare) has a gentle, refined way of speaking.

    But the main thing that prompted me to write this review was that the pause between chapters is beyond unnecessarily long. Almost every time I would check to make sure my device hadn't stopped or gone dead for some reason. The pause is easily more than three times as long as the pause between chapters of any other book I have listened to. Given that this book has more than fifty chapters, you sort of get used to it, but it still tends to pull you out of the book when it happens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 04-06-15
    Rebecca 04-06-15
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    "Perfect narrator"

    I have always been fascinated by this Hardy book. Tess is such an interesting, doomed character. A full on tragedy. I've heard other narrators try to read this book (and other Hardy books) who get bogged down in the details. This narrator matched the tone and details of the book perfectly

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Salt Lake City, UT, USA 03-10-15
    Anna Salt Lake City, UT, USA 03-10-15 Member Since 2010
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    "MAJOR Disapointment"
    Would you listen to another book narrated by Davina Porter?

    Davina Porter was the only good part of the book. Even she could not bring this back to the living.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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