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Middlemarch Audiobook

Middlemarch

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Publisher's Summary

Middlemarch is a recognized masterpiece that explores the complex social world of 19th century England. It is concerned with the lives of several ordinary people, albeit ones with high social standing. The novel explores the very fabric of Victorian society in the 1800s, showing how various human passions, heroism, egotism, love, and lust, interrelate within this society.

The novel is set in the small town of Middlemarch and follows the inter-related lives of several characters. At the heart of the book is Dorothea, a kind-hearted and honest woman, who longs to find some way to improve the world. She marries an older academic, Casaubon, against the advice of her friends and family. Casaubon tries to assert his influence over Dorothea, but she refuses to succumb to Casaubon's will. Casaubon soon dies of a heart attack, and Dorothea marries his cousin, Will. But, in a last attempt to control Dorothea's life, Casaubon's will states that if Dorothea marries Will, she will lose her claim to Casaubon's estate.

Other unforgettable characters in Middlemarch include the young doctor, Lydgate, who come to the town to start his own practice. He soon falls in love with Rosamund, a woman who has spent her life in Middlemarch, and they eventually marry. Fred Vincey, used to a lavish lifestyle but also a gambler, falls into debt as he waits to inherit money from a rich neighbor. He drifts toward the clergy, and longs to marry Mary Garth. But until he proves himself worthy, Mary will have nothing to do with him.

(P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (647 )
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4.3 (293 )
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4.4 (291 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Akbar Zaliko Stinson Beach, CA USA 10-26-09
    Akbar Zaliko Stinson Beach, CA USA 10-26-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Best"

    This book is full of psychological insight; the characters are memorable, and the narrator does a superb job. I loved listening to this!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine 08-11-09
    Christine 08-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "worth the time investment"

    I listened to this book during my commute. It helped pass a very tedious drive. The reading did not disappoint. The novel is very long, but this gave the writer enough time to develop the characters through the course of the story. I especially enjoyed the preludes to each chapter and will use some of them to look for future readings. The themes are universal and thought-provoking. I may take the initiative now to read the book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe K. 10-18-08
    Joe K. 10-18-08
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    "Worth the time it takes to read!"

    "Middlemarch" is a worthwhile albeit lengthy read. Eliot is excellent at detailing personality traits, giving you a familiarity with each character and there are quite a few that you get to know in "Middlemarch". It's easy to recognize people similar to those in the story.
    This novel deals wide range of issues including selflessness, selfishness, greed, malevolence, benevolence, love, unsavory pasts, murder(or not?), and more.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Anderson, SC, United States 09-21-08
    Kim Anderson, SC, United States 09-21-08 Member Since 2017
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    "Delightful listening"

    I enjoyed this wonderful book. I never tired of listening to the fate of its heroine Dorothea and the inhabitants of Middlemarch. The reader's voice was excellent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John P. Anders 05-15-08 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Middlemarch, Kate Reading"

    The books itself is a reflection on the transition from the ancient world to the modern society, with a characteristically modern emphasis on individual characters and their circumstances. The narrator is great! Her reading is fluid and nuanced. Kate Reading is able to bring the novel's characters to life in subtle ways. I highly recommend this.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Winvayren 08-29-07
    Winvayren 08-29-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    Beautifully written, beautifully read, beautiful and witty novel! I highly reccommend this to anyone. Elliot's humor is subtle but hilarious and the narration perfectly fits her writing stlye. Very enjoyable!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Alexis Denver, CO 07-02-07
    C. Alexis Denver, CO 07-02-07 Listener Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "engrossing & fabulously read"

    I had already seen the BBC miniseries before listening to this book, and still, I was completely engrossed in it. The reader, Kate Reading, is fabulous. She understands George Eliot's wit as much as her deft characterization, which gives her reading a lot of life. I would not hesitate because of the book's length; you will be sad when the book ends!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GH Sherborn, MA, United States 01-29-17
    GH Sherborn, MA, United States 01-29-17 Member Since 2017

    I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.

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    "Published 146 years ago and still fabulous!"

    Middlemarch is set in a town in England in the early 1800's. The book is written by George Eliot, a pen name for a woman (Mary Ann Evans). She wrote under a male pen name in order to be taken seriously in the time and escape stereotyping. For our benefit, I am glad she did, or this work of art might be lost to us for all time. This work is beautifully written with description stuffed into every sentence like a delicious, decadent confection. The the language is 150 years old, listening to it performed made it accessible and very enjoyable. I especially love Kate Reading's narration. She is a master and it is fit, that a woman of her talent convey this work with some much passion.

    The story's heroine is Dorothea Brook. Secondary heroes and heroines include Tertius Lydgatye, Will Laidislaw, Mary Garth, and Fred Vincy. You are especially close to these characters as circumstances change around them and they grow in your imagination and good wishes. Eliot is careful to fully develop those characters evolving around the hero/heroine set and show their full colors.

    The town's political and social ecosystem is the protagonist throughout the entire work. Unlike many works that foreshadow way too much, Eliot uses this device sparingly so you may only peer a bit ahead with a guess, which may likely be as inaccurate. This story is so believable, touching so many varied emotions that it must be underscored to take ones time. Eliot wraps up the work's loose ends into a nice package which Hollywood should take note of.

    I want to especially encourage followers to listen to this book. It's on many of the best 100 books of all times and in many, it is in the top ten for most. My literary soul is better for it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven J Rowe Warwick, NY United States 12-04-11
    Steven J Rowe Warwick, NY United States 12-04-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Wonderful Book!"

    I decided to listen to this book because it was a classic and because the reviews on Audible were overall very good. For the first hour or two of listening, I had my doubts about whether it was worth listening to the rest. However, once I started to get the characters straight the book became more and more enjoyable. I listened to the book in the car and couldn't wait to drive more so that I could listen to more of the book. The narrator is wonderful and breathes life into the characters. I would highly recommend this book.
    One piece of advice that might make the first hour or two easier is to look up Middlemarch on Wikipedia. This article gives a nice overview of the main characters and will get you up to speed on who's who much faster than just listening to the book though I wouldn't look at this article if you don't want to find out where the characters end up in the end.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Murray 03-29-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why did I wait so long? And Kate Reading rules."

    At the age of 67 I finally got to Middlemarch, grumbled to myself through the first 45 minutes, and then was gradually, completely hooked. I guess there's a reason everyone says it is a great novel. And the narrator! I have been listening to audio books for more than 20 years, and Kate Reading has supplanted Barbara Rosenblatt in my pantheon. Her ability to differentiate among a few dozen characters is astonishing, and the personality of each of those characters is captured beautifully.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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