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Publisher's Summary

Exclusively from Audible

Barchester Towers is the second of six in the series known as Chronicles of Barsetshire. Narrator Timothy West brings life to the story, begun in The Warden, of Mr. Harding and his daughter Eleanor. It chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester after one Bishop dies and a new one is selected.

The rather incompetent new Bishop, Dr. Proudie, led by his formidable wife, and ambitious chaplain, Mr. Slope, begin to create turmoil with their desire to shake up the church establishment in Barchester with new policies and practices. However, the established clergy of Barchester, led by Archdeacon Grantly, the son of the previous Bishop, are equally determined to keep things just as they've always been. Archdeacon Grantly declares 'War, war, internecine war!' on Bishop Proudie, but who will win the battle between the archdeacon, the bishop, Mr. Slope, and Mrs. Proudie?

The Guardian included Barchester Towers in its list of '1000 novels everyone must read'. Full of humour and extraordinary characters, it is no wonder it continues to be Trollope's best-loved work.

Narrator Biography

Timothy West is prolific in film, television, theatre and audiobooks. He has narrated a number of Anthony Trollope’s classics, including the six Chronicles of Barsetshire and The Pallisers series. He has also narrated volumes of Simon Schama’s A History of Britain and John Mortimer’s Rumpole on Trial. Timothy West’s theatre roles include King Lear, The Vote, Uncle Vanya, A Number, Quarter, and Coriolanus. His films include Ever After, Joan Of Arc, Endgame, Iris, The Day of the Jackal. On television, Timothy has appeared in Great Canal Journeys, Last Tango in Halifax and Bleak House.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"It was in [Trollope's] fifth book, Barchester Towers, in which he blended his satirical gifts with disdain for evangelical puritanism, that he found himself." (Washington Post)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Just plain delightful.

Timothy West was the perfect narrator for this charming and witty novel. He drew out the delicious wordplay and the biting satire. I love the way the narrator breaks the fourth wall, speaking to the reader about the conventions of novelistic form he's about to either break or grudgingly adhere to. I loved The Warden as well, but I think this is a fuller, more fleshed out story. Top notch and sparkling all the way through.

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great story, excellently narrated

I love Anthony Trollope. His stories are impelled by character and relationship. Timothy West's superlative actor's voice brings characters to life. Like Juliet Stevenson reading Jane Austen, Timothy West's Barchester series is a must have for my library.

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A wonderful book and a great performance

Timothy West brings out all of the humor and poignancy of Trollope, and this has to be the best of all of Trollope's books. I did something I never do: simply sat at my kitchen table listening. A compelling page turner, with wonderful characters, brilliant witty comentary and the, even romance.

West is a brilliant reader.

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What larks!

Wicked and satisfying portrait of human nature. Will not be understood by anyone under 40.

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Timothy West is the best reader ever.

Where does Barchester Towers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Timothy West is pitch perfect in reading the Barchester and Palliser novels.

Have you listened to any of Timothy West’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, they are all incomparable.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Long for one sitting but would if I could

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Trollope is great

What did you love best about Barchester Towers?

Wonderful story, beautifully plotted, distinct and memorable characters, a wise and ironic narrator, and a reader who catches all the nuances of the text and voices.

What other book might you compare Barchester Towers to and why?

There's something of Austen, Dickens, and even an anticipation of Oscar Wilde in Trollope

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  • Sue
  • 02-16-16

Wonderful!

A wonderful book, beautifully written and beautifully read by Timothy West. I can't recommend it highly enough!!!

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  • Roman Clodia
  • 01-16-16

Entertaining

Where does Barchester Towers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is an excellent listen and West has a good sense of comic timing while not obscuring the quiver moments. The cockney tinge to Slope's voice, though, felt a bit wrong - not enough to spoil my enjoyment but unexpected. Overall, wonderfully entertaining.

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  • eatough1999
  • 01-09-16

Wonderful

Absolutely loved it. Timothy West is perfection in this narration. The story is quite wonderful, the language used an absolute delight


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  • P. J. Ormrod
  • 09-11-15

Barchester brought alive

Timothy West reads the novel with intelligence and warmth, allowing Trollope's humour to gently shine through.

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  • Joe
  • 08-05-15

Impossible to fault - Story and Reader

Thoroughly enjoyed, the story and authorship plus the superb reading - Excellent
(I dislike the Review requirements and unlikely to review again. Let the listener decide what he wants to say, not Amazon head office)

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  • Ivory200
  • 07-24-15

I was sorry when it ended!

What did you like most about Barchester Towers?

Timothy West has to be the best narrator ever. He really made all the characters into individuals, and brought the story properly to life. Brilliant.

What other book might you compare Barchester Towers to, and why?

The others in the series are all equally great. Timothy West again!

Which character – as performed by Timothy West – was your favourite?

The Archdeacon.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Beneath the surplice - an intimate portrait of church life in England.

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  • Nicola
  • 07-23-15

Brilliant!

Trollope has an understanding of women quite unique in classical writers - and gives them depth of character. This is such great narration which catches all the characters exactly with the wit, charm and pathos we can expect from this series.

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  • Joanne
  • 06-10-15

Timothy West strikes gold again.

Delivered with such precise and charming narration by Timothy West. His ability to inject the necessary humour and characterisation with such apparent ease is a sheer wonder. I look forward to the next instalment of the Barchester Chronicles.

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  • Sophie Wills
  • 05-05-15

Pure delight

Highly recommended....Beautiful writing perfectly read by Timothy West. Faultless! No more to say but I have to write enough words to post this!

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  • Mary
  • 10-26-14

A tour de force for Timothy West

Where does Barchester Towers rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This story is effectively a moral argument, and Timothy West is fantastically good at making the story clear and the characters lively.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Barchester Towers?

The argument between Mr Bold and the Archdeacon.