(P)2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
Eileen Atkin gives a profoundly moving, flawless, and deeply intelligent reading of Eliot's great novel. Atkins is not a ventriloquist who tortures out different voices for each character (her men and women have subtly different inflections, but there is no trilling for the girls or hurrumphing for the men -- as there is with some narrators), but nonetheless you always understand the different souls behind each utterance as you overhear this masterful reading. This reading is a close as it gets to a sensitive movement of eyes on a page by a mature reader. One of the five or six greatest novels I have read (to my mind superior to MIDDLEMARCH), and yes Eliot takes some wild chances and, to my mind, gets away with them. Some find the initial part, on the childhood of Maggie, somewhat drawn out -- but give it a chance as her moral consciousness grows.
This is a great novel and Eileen Atkins gives a superb reading of it. She gets the accent and tone exactly right, and she is both moving in the serious sections and hilarious when dealing with the comedy aunts. She also reads at a brisk pace. This is a very polished and engaging audiobook.
This reading is excellent, with characterization shown through the use of different voices with realistic accents.
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in spite of the audio quality loved eileen atkins reading. story was almost great - it took too long to grip but then when it did it was outstanding.
If it weren't for Audible I'd never get any reading done.
Middlemarch is one of my favorite novels and I just loved Adam Bede when I Audible'd it, but I have to say this one was a disappointment. The reader is fantastic and brings out many of Eliot's amusing touches of dialect and quasi-philosophy. Also, the Victorian feminism expressed is fascinating. Yet for all that the story is really rather aimless, and the ending a real let-down.
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