(P)1999, 2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"The foremost novelist of his time." (Geoffrey Harvey, The Complete Critical Guide to Thomas Hardy)
Michael Kitchen did a magnificent job of narrating Thomas Hardy's heart breaking love story. For any guy, or non-perfumed and non-powered male who happens to read my first sentence, I hasten to add, this is a guy's book, a real man's book. It is about astronomy and gadgets and stuff. Old Tom knew a great deal about the science. OK they fall in love looking at the stars, this older unhappily married woman and the young single man with a single minded devotion to astronomy. They got married in secret because of the difference in their status which changes occasionally. Then, it turns out their marriage wasn't quite valid due to some odd or another husband being still alive at the time. Thomas Harding wrote a delicious book which if you do not like says a great deal more about yourself than about Thomas Harding.
Finally, I want to say something about Micheal Kitchen. He made this book live! I have read this book many times but Mr. Kitchen made me understand things I have overlooked before. There are things which can only be brought out by the human voice. Perhaps a story can only be truly told around a campfire 30,000 years ago. Mr. Kitchen and Mr. Harding were at that campfire. I was there also and I am very thankful to them both.
Thomas Hardy writes melodrama like nobody else ever and that's a good thing .I have never "read" any Hardy until this year but I am becoming a big fan .This is the second of his books I've heard this year and have a third in my library ready to listen to . His wording while at times lenghty is beautiful .He sets excellent moods and you can see the story play out in your mind.Michael Kitchen perfectly captures the mood and emotions of every character . I hope there's a BBC miniseries filmed for this one day .
This book has many of Thomas Hardy's usual themes--literally star-crossed lovers--but it is more condensed than his longer novels. Aside from a rushed, unsatisfying ending, I really enjoyed it. And Michael Kitchen is an amazing reader.
almost classic... almost
The final scene
Not quite, the narration was spot on but the story had some slow points
This is generally regarded as a minor work of Hardy's. If that's true then it's still better than most famous authors' masterpieces. I fell in love with the heroine and the setting and Hardy had a lot to say from which he did not shy away.
It wasn't a perfect book. The hero Swithin, never quite materialized for me and I'm not sure how much I felt the romance. I loved her but not really 'them'. There were a few slow spots too and the very last sentence of the book was for me a huge disappointment and a mistake on Hardy's part in my humble opinion.
Still, the book is very much worth reading. 3.5 stars for the book. 5 stars for Michael Kitchen's performance
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