©2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I have to admit to buying this audiobook solely for the reason that I wanted an author I'd never read before, and a story that would last a while. At 32 hours it did that, BUT, I really enjoyed it. It took a few chapters to get into the scenery as there was a plethora of character's names to remember, but Timothy West convinced me that there was treasure to come. He does an awesome job with the accents and different voices for each character. It really seemed like a a full cast performing a perfectly timed dialogue. As for the storyline, I'll leave that to the publisher's description because my review would go way over the 2000 letters allowed. Put it this way, - hearing this book made me look up and watch the entire new BBC film version on youTube at 10 min intervals because the DVD was unavailable in my area. I look forward to more Anthony Trollope, and definately more Timothy West.
I bought this book because I had been listening to Victorian literature, familiarizing myself with some works that I had neglected earlier in my life, and the reviews were so positive I decided to give The Way We Live Now a try. I had not even heard of Anthony Trollope until now. To say that I am pleasantly surprised would be a terrible understatement. Trollope skewers the money and status-obsessed upper class of late 19th century London in a manner that surpasses Dickens or any other author I am familiar with from that time. He relentlessly exposes the neuroticism, betrayal, greed, jealousy and lack of authenticity that characterize humanity in general, but were especially salient in that highly constrained society.
Unlike Dickens, Trollope does not give the reader any syrupy and lovable characters. He exposes everyone as self-obsessed and challenges the reader to love them in spite of their flaws, and God help us, we do. We empathize with Trollope's rogues and victims because we see a bit of ourselves in them and appreciate the fact that that at bottom each of them is vulnerable.
Much has been said of Timothy West's narration. It is, as previously reviewed, pitch perfect in every way. I particularly liked his take on Mrs. Carberry and her insufferable whining. Also, the narrator's voice had just the right blend of intelligence, wit and irony. I can easily see how this work might be tepid in less skilled hands.
Highly recommend. It's more cynical than Dickens, but also more intelligent, and that is what gives it its tremendous satirical bite.
Anthony Trollope just possibly could not find a better reader for any of his wonderful books. Timothy West makes the stories come to life. He is wonderful.
I've listened to all of Trollope's Chronicles of Barsetshire on audiobook (I recommend the Simon Vance-narrated versions), and I've been longing to read his most famous novel this way, too. However, for the longest time Audible only had a version narrated by the awful Flo Gibson, who sounds like she's 90 years old. So hooray for this new narration by Timothy West of one of Trollope's fabulously entertaining and relevant masterpiece! I was spellbound. Considering that one of the main plot elements is the rise and fall of a Bernard Madoff-style pyramid stock scheme, some of this novel rings painfully true. But there's also love, money, marriage and literary gossip -- something for everyone. Bravo to Audible for finally getting a decent version of this great book.
Painter, musician, bibliophile...
As others have rightly said, Trollope may be better than Dickens. And if not better, then he certainly can give him a run for his money every time!
Both share a genius for choosing the perfect names, and both provide social commentary and satirical wit. Both stage-manage a breathtaking cast of characters, and provide unforgettable stories. But there are differences. For one thing, I find Trollope's female characters, while still Victorian, to be far more fully developed and interesting. At times one begins to feel that the women in Dickens are either angels or demons, with some close to caricatures. Not so with Trollope. And his wit is so dry and crisp that he doesn't lapse into the preaching tone into which Dickens sometimes falls.
One couldn't find a better illustration of Trollope's considerable talents than this book. It begins simply: Auguste Melmotte has lately come to London. If one is well-born, one certainly does not wish to know this man, but one cannot afford to ignore anyone this rich, nor the daughter who is his sole heir. The vultures begin to circle, to highly entertaining effect, and we meet dozens of characters whose lives will be affected by the parvenu.
We may not be corseted, nor driving four-in-hand in the park these days, but this is still the way we live 138 years later. Money "expects money," and those who do not have money scheme to get it, some legally, some not. And as ever, greed and social climbing are the very soul of modern satire.
For those who watched the wonderful BBC miniseries with David Suchet you may find the book to be even better. It ends in a far more interesting way, I think, with all the loose ends tied up, and the characters are fully developed over the long course of the reading. Timothy West is incredible at bringing the characters to life.
It is said that this is the best of the author's books and I very much agree. It is also one of the best audiobook performances I have heard and even though Trollope's longest book,100 chapters,
it kept me into it all the way. After I started listening I remembered watching the film on PBS and imediately went to BBC and bought it.
I was a little hesistant about getting this book as it is so long! I wasn't sure that I had the patience to sit through it all, but I can now say, I've enjoyed every minute of it. Apart from the wonderful writing of Trollope, I must say that Timothy West did a marvellous job reading the tome. It wasn't reading, in fact. It was acting. I feel like I was listening to a very well-performed audio play.
What a great book this has been. The story is consistently interesting, with interesting characters who are well fleshed-out. Very Tolstoy-esque. The reader is also, fortunately, excellent. A very long book which I wish could have been longer!
I've listened to six of Trollope's novels. I love them ll but I'd rate this the finest. It explore's with merciless humour the struggle between the bankrupt gentry who need to marry new money they despise, and the nouveau riche who want to buy themselves higher rank. At the centre of it is a great crook running a Ponzi scheme. The novel remains totally relevant to our times. The reading is excellent.
A fantastic read. Timothy West does a masterful job of interpreting the many characters. Anthony Trollope never gets old. Amazingly relevant plot.
"A Victorian Masterpiece"
Whilst Anthony Trollope will be forever remembered as the author of the excellent Chronicles of Barchester, one of his greatest novels is "The Way we Live Now". A world of characters drawn from London and Suffolk driven by honour, cupidity, vanity and passion inter-react with each other often to their mutual disadvantage. All this is related by a trusted guide in Timothy West who by subtle means points the finer details of each character with a degree of sympathy that even the worst sinner is not without some redemptive qualities.
A fine book very well told and strongly recommended
This is a Fantastic novel, Timothy West is a one man master class in narration. Highly recommended.
The Story was not rushed, one had time to absorb the era and characters.
Mrs Hurdle. I felt an empathy with her. She was kind but life was not kind to her.
As in any audio book, many of the narrators are actors. Therefore they bring the story to a life that just cannot be done in reading to one's self alone.
A story of Greed, Unrequited Love, and Lies.
I would have liked Sir Felix Carver get more of a downfall.
Timothy West is a great narrator and the accents he uses for the different characters are very good. I loved this book as he brought it to life so well.
"Nothing new under the sun..."
Timothy West's performance of course, which kept my Ipod glued to my body and my buds in my ears throughout boring household chores, cooking and when just putting my feet up. However dear old Trollope also deserves some praise for providing such entertaining prose.
There are too many to mention, but, as I am just about to listen to part three I hope it will be seeing Felix Carberry brought low
Not as far as I recall but he' a sure bet for future listenings.
No, but it isn't meant to move I think. It made me smile many a time and I found myself thinking quite a lot about the fact that human nature never really changes. Avarice and greed prevail today just as they did then and money continues to make more money for those who already have too much, men continue to deceive and women continue to believe in them against all odds.
Thank you Timothy West, for hours of beautiful contact with my native language - I live in an Italian speaking part of the world (Ticino, Switzerland).
This is a wonderful novel, wonderfully read. I shall miss all the characters very much.
"The way we live now"
A very long book, beautifully written and still relevant today. Brought to life by the best narration (along with the Palliser novels) I have ever experienced in an audiobook. Timothy West is fabulous.
loved it and beautifully read
by timothy west.. more read by timithy west please. Flashman?
Loved this book, I laughed so much. Amazing performance by Timothy West. Feel sad now I have finished listening....... As for the Solicitors name of Slow and Bideawhile......little has changed today!
"way better than expected!"
Brilliantly read & an entertaining and compelling story. Looking for now Trollope to add to my library.
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