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.
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
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.
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.
Naturally, Tess. She's no Clair Frasier but Davina always brings a story to life.
Tad late for that.
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.
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.....
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.
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...
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...
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.
A gentle pleasant read. Good reading voice. Easy to follow with good storyline straightforward with good unpredictable plot.
Struggle from poverty to stability.
When she gets out of bad relationship.
Relationships change. Sometimes it's better the second time.
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.
Time Saver Mom
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.
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.
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
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