©2001 BBC Audiobooks; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
This is an inspiring and beautifully written book and one I will probably re-read, as fresh today as when it was written over 150 years ago; English prose at it's height. The narration is as well superb. This ranks with Jane Eyre as one of my all-time favourites.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
Despite being lesser known than her sisters' works, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" may be the best of the Bronte books. Anne is a good writer; terrific at description, and there is humor here and richness of character development. I really loved this listen. The story is long and, I will admit, tedious at times (it's a Victorian novel after all!), but this edition of the audio book has handled the strange structure of the book very well. Both Alex Jennings and Jenny Agutter render their portions of the narrative beautifully.
A word of warning, however. This claims to be an Unabridged version, but it is not so. Because I was listening to the book as a book club assignment, I followed along with the written version and found some puzzling omissions. Just why they chose to abridge some parts -- especially in the central, diary portion of the book -- I can't imagine. The cuts are small and not terribly important, but nevertheless are there. Anyone wishing to experience the entire work should be aware of the abridgment.
But it's a fine trip! I'm very pleased to have learned that there is more to the Brontes than "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights".
This under-the-radar Bronte book is a cautionary tale. It is wonderfully narrated by both narrators.
It is an important book and stands easily with Wuthering Heights as a study in unfortunate marriage. It makes one long to read the definitive Bronte biographies.
Don't miss it.
I never read this book as a teen or twenty-something. Enjoyed it so much, I just read (listened to)it twice - back to back.
Was a little slow starting out the first time around, but then I was hooked.
Beautiful story-telling, surprises, romance, folly of youth, good vs evil, mystery, feminism, spousal abuse, double standards are all elements found in the remarkable book.
Some of the themes must have been shocking when it was published in 1848.
This book was alot of fun. I loved the characters. Both narrators did a great job, but I especially liked Jenny Agutter. Her voice is beautiful and she did the characters very nicely. The story is lovely.
The best thing is that the original book is excellent.
The reading is missing a number of chunks of the book. I became extremely annoyed and just read the book. I feel cheated.
Chaper 30 is missing the sixth-last paragraph:
I was perfectly willing to avail myself of this permission,....for I had not much that was pleasant to communicate.
Chapter 37 has been excised almost in its entirety. At this point, I gave up on the Audible book, feeling quite cheated.
Certainly, if more Audible books are trimmed in this way, I will announce this fact widely.
Yes. The narration was so compelling--Alex Jennings and Jenny Agutter complimented one another perfectly. That alone will bring me back to this rendition. But the story itself is also very compelling. It is a shame that it is often overlooked by modern audiences. Ironically, the issues it addresses are more relevant today than many other highly praised gothic novels.
In my mind, it is on equal footing with the more highly touted books of her sisters, Emily & Charlotte Bronte (Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre).
Gilbert Markham, a very human hero, for his acceptance and support of Mrs. Graham and her young son in spite of the community's turning against her, and for his patience.
Alex Jennings as Gilbert Markham. Mr. Jennings was a wonderful narrator. Until The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, I had only listened to books with female narrators, and, I have to admit, I wasn't sure if I would like a male narrator speaking the female dialogue. But his voicing of the female roles, even Helen Graham, was subtle and well-done.
Jenny Agutter's narration of Helen Graham's letters in the middle of the book was just fine, but she didn't distinguish between the characters as much as Mr. Jennings, and sometimes her narration was just slightly clunky, thought still very fine once I got used to it and when I was immersed in the story. If just Mr. Jennings had narrated, I would have given the performance 5 stars.
No - too long for that!
I've read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and the BBC adaptation is one of my favorites, so I looked forward to listening. I hadn't remembered the way the BBC series departed from the original story, and not having read the novel for a number of years, the audiobook was almost new to me in parts! This is another great audiobook - recommend it to fans of the Bronte's novels.
Say something about yourself!
I do like to revisit that classics but this one was a first visit. And . . . I liked it! Good characters, pleasant times, and good writing. If you do not expect too much and you like classic victorian England, you will enjoy this one.
This marks my first endeavor with Anne Bronte. The performance was nicely done. The voices are pleasant and clear and assist in the magic that is literature. The story itself was unfortunately both predictable and monotonous at times. The husband is an alcoholic tyrant wreaking evil upon his Christian wife. That the wife escapes the husband's clutches is miraculous and worthy of a true heroine; that she returns to him when he is injured is her penultimate martyrdom and is rather the last straw in ones ability to admire her and bear up to the relentless hardship of her marriage--her self appointed martyrdom is a stomach turner. Still, it does shed light on 19th century upper class marriage. And while a bit lengthy, it does give a harrowing account of alcoholism and the hell of living with one so afflicted.
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall"
Another book I studied for English Literature. I liked this one! I liked the fact that two different narrators were used: one for Markham and one for Helen. Jenny Agutter excels. Very enjoyable.
My only criticisms are you can hear a tiny bit of background noise very briefly, but it is acceptable. Also, at the part where Markham starts to narrate again, one has just got used to J.A's reading which is superior, and I don't feel he did justice to their agonising meeting. This rather spoilt it for me. I think it would have been better to dramatise it with the two readers at that point.
Other than that this is a fine narration.
"Performance better than the material"
This book has been on my read/listen list for many years. I have recently been using Audible to get me through some 'classics' that I've avoided in the past so this was one of these books.
I enjoyed it just enough to give it 3 stars, a low score for me, though I rate the reading as 4 star value.
I understand that it was a ground-breaking work when it was written and I did listen to it in that context, but I simply didn't enjoy it as much as many of the classics I've been catching up on recently. It lacks the humour of Dickens and the depth of Trollope, for example. I wasn't fully engaged by any of the characters and the plot is weak - even halting.
There is too much moody striding about on the moors for my taste, but without the compensating Wuthering passion - the drama fizzles out. The end is trite and far from feminist even by the contemporary standards of the day.
The narration by Alex Jennings is faultless and lifts those parts of the recording. That by Jenny Agutta is perhaps not as good but her reading did somehow suit the subdued - borderline boring - persona of her character. So I think they both made the most of what they had to work with. This narration saves the book from being too dull to go on with.
I am quite glad I listened to it, though once or twice I considered just starting something new. It has filled that 'gap' in my reading history. My mind tended to wander off here and there but it didn't matter - I didn't miss any crucial action.
I would not really recommend this listen - but it's not terrible.
Yes. It's a good story.
Unfortunately several parts of the narration were inaudible due to low volume. When Alex Jennings was speaking some of Helen's dialogue he did it in a whisper. No doubt this was for dramatic effect, however without increasing the volume it is inaudible. This is irritating and inconvenient. This is by no means a criticism of Alex Jennings narration, it is a criticism of direction/production.
"Plenty of drama!"
An old favourite, beautifully rendered. Thank you so much, I really enjoyed listening. I am sure you will too.
"The Tenant of Wildfell Hall"
Almost as good as Wuthering heights
I'm fairly satisfied with this novel and may listen again when I have the time.
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