©2010 Anthony Trollope (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
The third novel in the Pallisers series, "The Eustace Diamonds" is the least overtly political, though some of the main characters from the series re-appear in the book in minor roles. It could certainly be read independently of the other books in the series.
Lizzie Eustace is in many respects a latter-day Becky Sharp. Though less ruthless and more self-deceiving than Thackeray's anti-heroine, she is shallow, beautiful, manipulative, and without redeeming qualities. After marrying the dying Sir Florian Eustace for his money, she embarks on an expensive career as a society widow, and the story revolves around her possession—and subsequent loss—of a diamond necklace which has been an heirloom in the Eustace family, and which she claims is her personal property.
Though real-life Lizzies are highly unpleasant people, the fictional version is highly entertaining, and after several hundred pages of gripping legal, criminal and shenanigans, it is hard not to feel sorry when the naughty Lady Eustace is finally delivered up to her fate. The reading, by Timothy West, is top-notch. If you are not familiar with Trollope's work, this is as good a place as any to start.
What a fantastic listen! Lizzie Eustace is a woman that you learn to hate and also to love. All the characters of this novel are well drawn and delightful.
We listened to this while driving across the country (Canada). It made the trip fly by!
I enjoyed the Eustace Diamonds immensely.A little more light hearted the some other of Trollope's works, and as such a highly entertaining companion over a period of grim weather.Timothy west is as always the perfect reader.
Timothy West's narration is so at one with the story that it sweeps the listener into another world. Brilliant story and beyond superb narration. Timothy reads with such passion. Listening to Trollope's stories has made me a lean, mean machine as I listen at the gym and sometimes end up staying for three hours rowing, cycling and running just so I can hear the next part of the story. I listen every day and these books are a huge chunk of my life. Bravo to Timothy West. He is totally magnificent. He has turned me into a Trollope tragic. I cannot write an objective review because I listen with gobsmacked love. A complete addict!
Another great yarn by Trollope. And Anthony West is again the perfect narrator. If you like Trollope, you'll enjoy this.
Trollope has so many wonderful narrators that I feel guilty singling this one out. Simon Vance has done a wonderful version of this same book.
But this is the one I listened to this time around. I have a great fondness for Timothy West for other performances he's given over the years; his deep and pleasing voice strikes just the right note of gossipy intimacy.
Lizzie Eustace, widow with a life interest in her husband's estate, gives out that one of the heirlooms of the estate - a fabulously expensive diamond necklace - was given to her as her own property by her late husband. This sets off a whirlwind of legal wrangling that comes to an abrupt end when the diamonds are stolen.
Did she steal them herself? It's not really a whodunnit: the reader always knows more than the police, and indeed more than any other single character. It's more of a how's-it-going-to-play-out story than a mystery (although there are enough dogged English detectives to satisfy any mystery fan), and how it plays out is with, in usual Trollope fashion, lots of ins and outs, advances and retreats, love and dislike, overconfidence and fear.
Trollope has the great gift of making his characters, and his narrative, seem lifted from real life with the most minimal shaping involved. Few of his characters, even Lizzie the Great Liar, are thoroughly bad; few, even Frank Greystock, the closest the book has to a real hero, are thoroughly good. Events unfold with a messiness that subverts the clean progression of narrative. And yet somehow by the end, the loose ends are tied up and poetic justice is dispensed.
One character in the story comes to a particularly sad end: although there's some ambiguity about it, she appears to fall prey to mental illness - not raving; histrionics are rare in the book - but in a subdued and thoroughly convincing monomania. I hope she returns in a later volume, restored to health, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
An enjoyable Trollope outing. Got me through one of the worst colds I've ever had. Good for bedtime unwinding.
The six Palliser books are wonderful. Timothy West is a superb narrator and brings the characters to life. Although it is very rewarding to listen to the series in sequence, I feel that each books is enjoyable on its own, without listening to them all. Highly recommended
I DON'T THINK SO.
I MIGHT COMPARE IT TO OTHER STORIES WHICH ARE SET IN VICTORIAN TIMES THAT HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY ANTHONY TROLLOPE
HE BRINGS ANTHONY TROLLOPE'S CHARACTERS TO LIFE AND MR WEST READS SO WONDERFULLY
I FIND LISTENING TO NARRATED BOOKS MUCH MORE INTERESTING THAN READING THEM -- IT'S EASY TO GET TO KNOW THE CHARACTERS AND ALSO TO VISUALISE THEM.
Wonderful story, superb narration. Lady Eustace's first foxhunt is the funniest scene I've listened to on an audiobook. I laughed out loud (as I did every time West said "corsaire") and bookmarked it so I could play it many times. Truly entertaining!
Timothy West was fantastic as always. His performance is superb in bringing Trollope's characters to life.
I found it less gripping than other Trollope novels as the characters were so thoroughly dislikable. I had no compassion for them. BUT having said that, it is a good story overall
"The Eustace Diamonds"
Timothy West has such subtlety and humourous nuance flowing from his brain to his vocal chords that he could read a train timetable and I would probably be interested for ten minutes at least. It is wonderful to have a reader of such skill to present the various works of Trollope for the first time, for me at least. Now I see where Joanna gets it. An enthralling look at what people of a certain class were up to in England in the 1860's. Flawless reading, and nice and long.
"Marvellous Trollope and Timothy West"
So entertaining and insightful, beautifully read. I do hope Timothy West records the rest of Anthony Trollope. These are my favourite audio books.
"What a minx"
Lizzie Eustace has been brilliantly written by Trollope, and this is a twisting story that is quite difficult to predict. Loved this (read just as brilliantly as usual by Timothy West).
Can't be done.
Vanity Fair, probably, because of the similarity between the ( anti) heroines and the entertainment value.
No, I have not, but on the back of this one I will be looking out for other books he's read.
Yes, though I also wanted to savour it in small bites...
This really is a very enjoyable book and reading - Timothy West's lovely fruity voice and slight suggestion of ham are perfect for what is a cracking story.
"Wicked Lizzie Eustace!"
You can't help liking the central character in her schemes to keep a family heirloom and to find a husband, even though she causes all sorts of trouble with her selfishness and stubbornness. Highlights very strongly the 19th century need to marry for money (for men and women). Superbly read by Timothy West as usual. Very long, but thoroughly enjoyable. Warning: contains a bit of Victorian anti-semitism , so be aware if that would offend you.
This was so enjoyable, so exciting that I couldn't wait to get back to it each day and was sad when it ended. So well-read, he really is the best in my book.
"If it doesn't grab you at first, persevere!"
Terrific story, brilliantly read by Timothy West, as all his Trollope novels are. A very great pleasure to listen to.
Lizzie [Lady] Eustace. A marvellous antihero, Timothy West plays her part wonderfully, intoning all her scheming, tantrums, and feminine wiles. We have all met Lizzie types in life, Trollope gets under her skin and presents her character in an alarmingly clear sighted and almost, at times, sympathetic way. In a way, she is a bit of a relief after so many near-perfect, patient and compliant females in a number of his tales (including Lucy Morris in this one).
A cameo performance of the lawyer Mr 'Turtle' Dove is memorable, though it's a short appearance in the book, but so well done. His Mr Camperdown, another lawyer, is also spot-on. But Timothy West plays all the characters 'in character' whether male or female, he does them all justice.
Not that I can remember, but I recall laughing quite alot all the way through; there were some hilarious asides, mainly linked to Lizzie's antics and her dealings with Lord Fawn and later with Lord George. The description of Portray Castle in Scotland sounds very much like Culzean Castle, also on the Ayrshire coast, which today has a wondrous garden, though during 'Lizzie's tenure' it has gone to rack and ruin, more or less, since she cannot afford to staff it appropriately.
This book did not grab me at first and I struggled with it, for some reason, for a couple of 'go's at the first chapters over several weeks before getting stuck in -- glued to it, in fact. If you find it doesn't grab you at first, try again. It is well worth it. A good story; much too long, really. It would benefit from editing; Trollope repeats himself often and retreads already described scenarios for no obvious reason; some of the asides are weak and seem like pointless padding-out to meet a word-count. Nevertheless, I was sorry to finish it and played it all again soon after! I wondered if Trollope chose Eustace because it rhymes with 'useless'... They are the 'useless diamonds', when all is said and done, but enjoyable, all the same.
"A Convoluted Tale"
A typical Trollope tale with lots of deception and twists and turns. Lizzie finally gets what she deserves!!! Timothy West gives it a wonderful gravity.
First class narration by Timothy West.
I am really enjoying listening to the Pallister novels. I so much enjoyed The Eustace Diamonds and am now about to purchase Phileas Redux, the next in the series.
"Exactly the right modulation by Timothy West"
Long book but it doesn't flag or feel dated. The narration makes you take the book at a slower more enjoyable pace than reading it to yourself. Recommended to all Trollope fans
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