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The Mayor of Casterbridge | [Thomas Hardy]

The Mayor of Casterbridge

Michael Henchard gets drunk at a fair and sells his wife and child for five guineas to a sailor. Henchard proves to be violent, selfish, greedy and crude, yet at the same time he is magnanimous and humble.
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Publisher's Summary

Michael Henchard gets drunk at a fair and sells his wife and child for five guineas to a sailor. Henchard proves to be violent, selfish, greedy and crude, yet at the same time he is magnanimous and humble.

©2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (30 )
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 (18)
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4.8 (17 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joseph R Dry Prong, LA, USA 12-22-09
    Joseph R Dry Prong, LA, USA 12-22-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    663
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    113
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    "Tangled Webs"

    Tony Britten did a bang-up job as narrator with this book. He has the voice of a crusty old English butler holding forth after work regaling the staff at the kitchen table. Michael Henchard led a rough and tumble life so "The Mayor of Casterbridge" is a rough and tumble story. I hadn't read this book since the seventies so while I knew the story, the details were hazy. Britten's narration refreshed my memory and illuminated details which eluded me when I only read. So I must say, as my eyesight deteriorates, there are compensating benefits in this age of audio books.

    Many books written at this time were about the ruling classes, the landed and educated. The characters in this book like many other Hardy works are working folk, tradesmen and farmers...men and women with dirt under their fingernails. There is scarce a member of the gentry to be found. There are enough twists, turns and setbacks in the plot to even satisfy the modern sensibilities. The hero is a man who sold his wife and daughter to a sailor. No lords or ladies here. Yet, the hero is a likable and good man...hard but almost noble...and he pays a price. When the wife and daughter return, the tale becomes complicated with truths told; truths untold; truths at long last revealed; promises made and promises both kept and not kept. At the end the day, Thomas Hardy makes me feel I know these folks; have a kind of understanding of their ways which along with spending several pleasant hours is all that one can demand from a novelist.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Cary, NC, United States 11-21-11
    Kenneth Cary, NC, United States 11-21-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
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    Story
    "One of my Favorites"

    I absolutely adore Thomas Hardy. His story telling is just so real. His characters are multidimensional and so vibrant. He takes a look at the working class with an eye of sincerity that most authors simply lack. This was one of my favorite books. Unlike in many of his other books, Hardy starts right out with the meat of the story and keeps the number of characters to a minimum. The story moves along with many twists and turns and completely kept my attention.

    The narrator was delightful as well. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book and highly recommend it to anyone who has ever liked classical literature.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Leddy NY 10-01-12
    B. Leddy NY 10-01-12 Member Since 2007

    bleddy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "powerful novel of pre-idustrial age england"

    The writing was superlative. The story was a little creepy. The main character was a great tragic figure. And it is a novel regarding place as well - the way in which he refers back to roman times was really fascinating - makes me want to visit the locale. This was a great book and a great production. Thanks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results
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  • Judy
    Walton in Gordano, North Somerset, United Kingdom
    10/28/09
    Overall
    "Highly recommended"

    Outstanding narration, particularly the characterisation of Henchard and Farfray - rivetting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    7/18/09
    Overall
    "An old friend?."

    Thirty years after first reading The Mayor of Casterbridge, returning to this one is like meeting up with an old friend and appreciating almost for the first time just how wonderful and complete Thomas Hardy?s world is. Locked against the interior monologue of Jane Austen, this is the story of implements and machinery, of farm stock and landscapes and how the bright sunny morning of a heath land and turn into the muddy mire of late afternoon. An easy pleasure from start to finish.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    Fairlight, United Kingdom
    9/2/11
    Overall
    "Excellent reading"

    Really impressive characterisations - I couldn't follow every word of the countrymen's conversations, so convincing is the accent but it made one feel as if amongst the listeners in the pub or street...really well read and of course a terrific story-telling. I'm now looking for other books by the same reader.

    There is a review here that nearly put me off as it refers to trouble with the recording. I can only say that I found the recording quality faultless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Stanford-in-the-Vale, United Kingdom
    6/18/11
    Overall
    "Excellently read!"

    Tony Britten has an amazing range of voices for all the different characters. This book is excellently read and compelling listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MrsH
    Surrey, United Kingdom
    3/12/10
    Overall
    "Recording NOT good"

    I love classics and this is a great story. It's just disappointing that it is recorded so badly, like someone is sitting in their living room recording themselves. You get what you pay for here. Be warned

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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