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The Return of the Native | [Thomas Hardy]

The Return of the Native

Eustacia Vye is cut off from the world in her grandfather's lonely cottage. Clym Yeobright seems to offer everything she dreams of: passion, excitement and the opportunity to escape. However, Clym's ambitions are quite different from hers, and marriage only increases Eustacia's destructive restlessness.
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Publisher's Summary

Eustacia Vye is cut off from the world in her grandfather's lonely cottage. Clym Yeobright seems to offer everything she dreams of: passion, excitement and the opportunity to escape. However, Clym's ambitions are quite different from hers, and marriage only increases Eustacia's destructive restlessness.

(P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (168 )
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4.6 (127 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 12-04-11
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 12-04-11 Member Since 2001

    doggybird

    HELPFUL VOTES
    473
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    "Might Be My Favorite Audiobook of All Time!"

    I love Thomas Hardy, and can't recommend his books highly enough, but this reading stands out because Rickman's enunciation is so perfect and his expression so dramatic. It perfectly suits the story in a way that is almost musical. The beginning of the book is like a painting in words and is so beautiful to hear. (but I think I could enjoy Alan Rickman reading the telephone book). It's wonderful to listen a book with so much poetry read so carefully. This is the story of Eustacia Vye, the most beautifully named character in all of fiction. I highly recommend it.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlène United States 01-14-11
    Marlène United States 01-14-11 Member Since 2010

    orchid62

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    "A piece of culture and history"

    Alan Rickman's voice... his deep and powerful voice did make me buy this one and I discovered local life in late 19th century and an unknown workman : the reddleman which must have scared many children in thosed days in isolated places.
    Great read, tragic moments and a good ending.I recommend it.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wallen Danderyd, Sweden 04-20-11
    Wallen Danderyd, Sweden 04-20-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    188
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    "Always Hardy"

    In this book Hardy proves he is one the really great writers that the English language has. Hardy's literary style is clearly 19th century, but it is really readable today. I thought that his style would be a little too heavy for an audiobook, but I found that the opposite is true - just like Dickens', his style lends itself well to the audiobook format.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda UT 11-04-12
    Melinda UT 11-04-12 Member Since 2009

    So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Perfect Pairing"

    One of the most satisfying audio productions I've listened to--a case where the audio version was more enjoyable to me than the text because of the pefect pairing of 2 artists. Rickman's voice added a rich shading and emphasis to Hardy's already beautiful lyricism; it was almost hypnotic. I remember long passages (especially describing Egdon Heath) that challenged my attention when I first read this book, but with Rickman's reading, it all went by like beautiful scenery. One to sit down and experience leisurely.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lili CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI, United States 01-12-12
    Lili CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI, United States 01-12-12
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    "Fabulous!!!"
    What did you love best about The Return of the Native?

    Thomas Hardy's beautiful prose and Alan Rickman's rich voice makes this an absolutely fabulous experience. One of the best narrations I have ever heard. Highly highly recommended!!!!


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 09-02-12
    Cariola Chambersburg, PA USA 09-02-12 Member Since 2005

    malfi

    HELPFUL VOTES
    703
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    "Two Words: Alan Rickman!"

    While this isn't my favorite Hardy novel (and I do love Hardy), what could be better than having the voice of Alan Rickman in your ears for more than 15 hours? The man has the sexiest voice on the planet, AND he's a great narrator for this rather melancholy story.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Varuhas Ohio, USA 01-14-13
    Linda Varuhas Ohio, USA 01-14-13
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    "Brilliant performance of a great story"

    Except for having my children read aloud to me, this was my first experience listening to a novel, and who better to lose my audiobook virginity to than Alan Rickman! Though I could be happy listening to his gorgeous voice reading a phone book, what I actually heard was worlds better. Mr. Rickman is, after all, an extremely talented actor, who narrates Hardy's story and performs the characters' voices with every nuance of feeling, expression and-- where appropriate-- in the dialect of the story's locale. It is a tender, atmospheric tale whose sympathetic characters are very much a product of the place in which they live. Mr. Rickman's performance makes this a very moving and memorable listening experience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms Highton, Australia 04-03-13
    Ms Highton, Australia 04-03-13
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    "Alan reads Hardy"

    Listening to Alan Rickman read a classic text is a fabulous experience. Recommended. I look forward to revisiting this audiobook.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey MOUNT LAUREL, NJ, United States 02-01-13
    Casey MOUNT LAUREL, NJ, United States 02-01-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Listened for Rickman, Enjoyed Story Too"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The story was similar to something from Jane Austin (but more tragic) with Alan Rickman reading.


    What did you like best about this story?

    .


    Which scene was your favorite?

    .


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    .


    Any additional comments?

    .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy W. Boucher Independence, Virginia 10-02-12
    Amy W. Boucher Independence, Virginia 10-02-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dark and beautiful"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Fro the writing, and the incredible narration by Alan Rickman.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Diggory Venn, of course, because he takes things to heart in an honest way, works things out in his mind, and persists in his beliefs and his love.


    What does Alan Rickman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He can drip with irony, and this is a book where such ironic depth brings out the author's intent.


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

    A fire that kindles hotly burns out quickly.


    Any additional comments?

    Egdon Heath is a full character in The Return of the Native, which is a dark and brooding book. From page one, Hardy draws us in: "A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Edgon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment. Overhead the hollow stretch of whitish cloud shutting out the sky was as a tent which had the whole heath for its floor.The heaven being spread with this pallid screen and the earth with the darkest vegetation, their meeting-line at the horizon was clearly marked. In such contrast the heath wore the appearance of an installment of night which had taken up its place before its astronomical hour was come: darkness had to a great extent arrived hereon, while day stood distinct in the sky….The somber stretch of rounds and hollows seemed to rise and meet the evening gloom in pure sympathy, the heath exhaling darkness as rapidly as the heavens precipitated it. And so the obscurity in the air and the obscurity in the land closed together in a black fraternization towards which each advanced half-way."Just wait till you hear Alan Rickman read that.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 12 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Pauline
    Bromyard, United Kingdom
    8/17/11
    Overall
    "Marvellous."

    I could listen to Alan Rickman read the blurb off a tin of paint, but he is wonderful reading this, and the story itself is a gem of plotting and pathos to rival any moden storyline, and the touches of humour are typical Hardy. As soon as I'd finished it, I listened to it again.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Filey, United Kingdom
    1/11/10
    Overall
    "That was a surprise"

    As ever Thomas Hardy uses the English language with beauty and restraint. Alan Rickman reads well, with confidence and within the limits of characterisation.
    Surprisingly the end of the story did not leave me feeling that fate was bound to leave everyone in complete desparation.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • JUDITH
    Corwen, United Kingdom
    12/19/12
    Overall
    "Has made me love Hardy"

    To be honest I only chose this because I wanted to wallow in Alan Rickman's mellifluous tones, and reviews said it was not as depressing as some other Hardy (I had bad school memories of Tess & Jude). I am so glad I chose this. Not only is the Rickman reading highly skilled, a great pleasure to listen to and one which makes meaning crystal clear, but the plot (love, betrayal, gambling) is gripping. I had not realised how well Hardy understood human feelings, nor had I appreciated his true sympathy for a threatened environment. A great discovery.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lucie
    Brentford, United Kingdom
    7/16/13
    Overall
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    Story
    "A great writer and a great performer = pure magic"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Return of the Native to be better than the print version?

    I would never have read the printed version as there are too many long, descriptive passages. I would have been bored and put the book down before the end of chapter one. However, Alan Rickman raises my interest with his consumate performance.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story has many overly romantic characters. I find them interesting to try and decifer. Ultimately it is a tragic tale. I am still pondering the book after several weeks. The quality of the writing is exquisite. Hardy obviously loves the countryside and makes me understand how beautiful and timeless it can be.


    What does Alan Rickman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Alan Rickman switches between characters expertly. He has a different voice for each and you can easily tell their social standing and personality. That makes it easier for me to understand.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Clem finds his mother dying on the heath. Later when he finds out she died thinking he had forsaken her.


    Any additional comments?

    No. Thank you

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Oxfordshire
    10/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "New to Hardy"
    What did you like most about The Return of the Native?

    I have always found Hardy difficult to read but listening to the mellow tones of Alan Rickman read this beautiful narrative, I feel inspired to listen to more of Hardy's books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Whereas the main characters were well drawn, I found myself getting cross with them, especially Clym. Why was he always waiting for others to do something when he could have acted upon it himself? I waited for the reappearance of Diggory Venn who, like a superhero, seemed to show up when needed most.
    I did enjoy this book but, in truth, the story is a soap opera! As I suspect all of Hardy's books are but I'll listen to more because of his beautifully descriptive writing.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    7/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Classic Hardy love story"
    Would you listen to The Return of the Native again? Why?

    Yes. I enjoyed the story and particularly Alan Rickman's interpretation.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Diggery Venn because he has such a great name, is a good and 'colourful' character.


    What does Alan Rickman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Wonderful regional accents and singing!


    Any additional comments?

    Wonderful descriptions of the heath throughout the year and the local people brought to life by Alan Rickman's narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roderic
    Victoria Park, Australia
    4/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Return to Hardy is always rewarding"
    If you could sum up The Return of the Native in three words, what would they be?

    simple country life


    What other book might you compare The Return of the Native to, and why?

    The Return of the Native is not as intense in its main characters nor as rich in its imagery as The Major of Casterbridge, but it reinforces Hardy's poetic message that the countryside is central to the lives of his characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christine Hargreaves
    4/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    What did you like most about The Return of the Native?

    A true classic and having the story told by Alan Rickman was a joy


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narrator


    Which character – as performed by Alan Rickman – was your favourite?

    Gem the redman


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes whilst decorating


    Any additional comments?

    Took 3 days to listen to was a joy. Has Alan narrated any more?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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