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The Return of the Native | [Thomas Hardy]

The Return of the Native

Eustacia Vye is a beautiful, commanding presence on England's Egdon Heath. Her longing for the glamour of city life leaves her dissatisfied with her traditionalist husband, Clym Yeobright, and leads her to take Damon Wildeve as her lover. In a mixing of fate, chance, and human error, Eustacia's marriage smolders and explodes in violent tragedy. Set against the looming presence of the Heath, Hardy's work vividly depicts characters cruelly manipulated by the forces around them, unable to dictate their own fates. This classic story, a forerunner to the 20th-century psychological novel, is presented in unabridged form, revealing all of its poetic compassion and universal themes.
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Publisher's Summary

Eustacia Vye is a beautiful, commanding presence on England's Egdon Heath. Her longing for the glamour of city life leaves her dissatisfied with her traditionalist husband, Clym Yeobright, and leads her to take Damon Wildeve as her lover. In a mixing of fate, chance, and human error, Eustacia's marriage smolders and explodes in violent tragedy. Set against the looming presence of the Heath, Hardy's work vividly depicts characters cruelly manipulated by the forces around them, unable to dictate their own fates. This classic story, a forerunner to the 20th-century psychological novel, is presented in unabridged form, revealing all of its poetic compassion and universal themes.

(P) JimCin Recordings

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (46 )
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3.6 (9 )
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Story
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  •  
    Frank Portland, OR, United States 03-22-06
    Frank Portland, OR, United States 03-22-06 Listener Since 2005

    fporegon2

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    8
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    Overall
    "Life on the Heath"

    Hardy does a marvelous job of portraying life amongst the small hamlets of Egdon Heath. The story line though, is fairly typical and it belies Hardy's status as a literary heavyweight. The physical description of people and place are extraordinary and more than makes up for the somewhat flat plot. Hardy does require something from the reader (listener) and can display near cunning in his use of English.

    Hardy's attention to accent and intonation in the dialogue of his characters really set this book apart and help the reader to become immersed. I attempted reading the print version of this book 3 times and the dialogue did me in each time. For this reason an audio version of the book is much appreciated.

    The narration does not disappoint but the audio quality is uneven. I might have rated this a 5 star work if the audio was pristine.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    beatrice El Cerrito, CA, United States 11-10-11
    beatrice El Cerrito, CA, United States 11-10-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    163
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    37
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    20
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    Story
    "worth the effort"

    I'm new to Hardy, and loved his descriptions and strange romantic sensibility, though I had to listen to the first couple chapters more than once to get a feel for the scene and characters. I am a big fan of Jill Masters--I love her throaty, musical voice. She is a reader rather than a dramatist, allowing the author's work to take precedence over the performance. That said, her recordings are generally not good quality. If this bothers you in the sample audio, you will not enjoy listening to hours of it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Quakers Hill, Australia 10-05-11
    David Quakers Hill, Australia 10-05-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Truly Disappointing"

    After Tess of the D'Urbervilles, I was keen to listen to more Thomas Hardy, however the differences between Tess and this title could hardly be greater. While the Audible information indicates that Jill Masters is the narrator, the cover of the audiobook indicates that it is "read by Alan Rickman". Unfortunately, Jill (or Alan, depending on what she likes to be called) is simply abominable as a narrator. She sounds like the Queen reading her Christmas address inside a trunk at the bottom of the ocean...in 1972. Not only does her very posh voice not suit the context of this book, she is simply unable to alter her voice in any significant way to make the characters in the narrative come alive. It is as though she is reading to 8 or 10 year old children. As noted, the "echo chamber" in which she appears to be reading is a constant distraction. There is no clarity at all. I love my Audible books, but this one is a complete and utter shocker.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Elizabeth
    Ulverston, Cumbria, United Kingdom
    4/22/06
    Overall
    "shame about the sound quality"

    I looked forward to hearing this, as I read the book many years ago and loved it. Unfortunately the sound quality is so bad it's impossible to listen to in format 3, so it was no good on my mp3 player, and have now downloaded it in format 4 so I can listen to it from my computer. It isn't too bad in format 4, and it's still a good story, but overall a disappointing purchase.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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