Witty, snobbish, sweet, and evocative, Mrs. Thirkell's Barsetshire novels provide a bemused scrutiny of British manners in the most delightfully entertaining doses.
©1936 Angela Thirkell; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"It is the essence of her humor that her people mean well even when they are exposed at their most insufferable." (Times Literary Supplement)
Early adopter, longtime listener, bookhungry.
Funnier than Mitford, less pessimistic than Evelyn Waugh, Angela Thirkell's Barsetshire novels are a genre all their own: set in Trollope's invented English county, an innumerable cast of eccentrics and ordinary people intermarry and interweave in about twenty-five hilarious novels over a span of thirty years. This is the only title yet available on Audible but I hope to see more. Nadia May's sense of humour makes her the ideal reader for this series.
With this book, I have downloaded and reviewed all of Thirkell's audio books at Audible to date. She is a habit forming author. One should not look for answers to the great mysteries of life in her stories; she not does presume to have answers but she is witty, clever, absolutely entertaining, totally engaging and I trust her. Her stories are researched to the max and if a reference about manners, attitudes, dress, fads, facts, customs, even jokes, etc. is made in her stories, I believe her until she is proven wrong. If you, like me have an affectionate affinity for the kind of quirky characters found in works by Austen, Hardy and Trollope, (Dickens too but I admit to neglecting him in the last dozen years), then you will find Thirkell endearing. Her stories are softly domestic; her romances mild; her crisis' are funny and situations often ridiculous. At the same time, after the fashion of the above authors, there is a strand of light but serious social commentary interwoven into her stories. She is amusing and a fun read but can be thought provoking. In this book, she plays off Jane Austen in the same fashion that Austen played off Sir Walter Scott, Elizabeth Inchbald, Ann Radcliffe, the various writers of the Northanger Cannon, et al. Like Austen, she had fun writing. One can envision her wry, mischievous grin as she wrote "August Folly". I absolutely love her anthropomorphized cat, donkey and bull who play pivotal roles. Wanda McCaddon did a great job narrating. She made me feel like an insider and get the jokes. I recently listened to her performance of "Vanity Fair" and have several of her cd's and mp3's so maybe I am not impartial. As a matter of fact, I have a score or so of her audio books under one of her nom de plumes.
OH, what a pleasure! The reader (I don't think it was my beloved Nadia May, but it was someone equally good) was wonderful, and the story was sheer pleasure: the plot had a bit more direction than hers sometimes do, but still kept a wonderful sense of the community and people of Barsetshire. I truly didn't know who would end up with whom, or what people's secrets were, until everything was calmly, charmingly, deliberately revealed. A genuine delight.
Tell us about yourself! Attorney/Rancher - eclectic taste in books in both fiction and non-fiction. Preference for British authors in mysteries, love well written dialogue and hate historical fiction.
A humorous tale about a small village in Great Britain, talking animals, heroes, lovers who do not know love when they see it. A serpent's tooth of a son, with a small s and little venom - and a Greek Chorus - sometime or other.
Lovely to hear accompanied with tea and a biscuit.
This book truely gets painful. It drones on and on and I found myself drifting away from the story qiute often. Don't spend your money!
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