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Middlemarch Audiobook

Middlemarch

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Publisher's Summary

Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon’s mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.

Dorothea Brooke is an outstanding heroine; Middlemarch is filled with characters that are vivid and true, comic and moving. It is one of the greatest novels in the English language.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

Public Domain (P)2011 Naxos AudioBooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (2398 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Pamela 05-25-13
    Pamela 05-25-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Still relevant in so many ways."

    Sometimes a book can have a stronger impact on a reader because of where that reader happens to be in their life at the time that they read it. Had I read 'Middlemarch' when I was younger, I don't think I would have been as moved. I love a writer who creates complex characters who are forced to choose between following their own innate sense of right and wrong or live their lives bound by the demands of societal/religious dogma. The fact that Ms. Evans had to write under the pen name George Eliot because she was considered "too intellectual" speaks volumes.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. 02-04-15
    S. 02-04-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Holy Moose ~ !"

    Delicious, eloquent writing with deep characters and a very satisfying ending. The performance, above all, was spectacular. Worth every minute.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Auckland, New Zealand 09-20-12
    Mike Auckland, New Zealand 09-20-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Masterpiece of English literature read perfectly"

    Never cease to be amazed and enamored with Juliet Stevenson's reading...and with such exquisitely crafted prose it brought tears to my eyes during even the most mundane parts of the story. Not the most quest-filled adventure of all time to say the least, more of a dramatic slice of life, but it did have a beginning, middle and end that were most enjoyable ;-)

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny 08-27-12
    Jenny 08-27-12
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    "Kick-ass 19th century love story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Indeed I would. It's entertaining, it's funny, it's engaging, and informative. There is a reason that this is the classic of classics. It kept me in a daze for a week, couldn't go anywhere without it!


    What other book might you compare Middlemarch to and why?

    Everything by Jane Austen and the Brontës of course, the dry humor is akin to that in E.M.Forster's works, and it also reminds me of the drama of Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg. But this is not only great literature - it's incredibly funny too.


    What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

    Juliet Stevenson is just perfect. All the sociolects and dialects of the characters, the understated humour and the hyperboles fit perfectly into her way of performing this story. Brilliant.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    All the hilarious dialogues between members of the rural community speculating on this and that, one character sillier than the next, and Juliet Stevenson's fantastic dialect interpretations of the Middlemarchers.


    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greenlake DD Seattle, WA, United States 07-01-12
    Greenlake DD Seattle, WA, United States 07-01-12 Member Since 2017
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    "19th century masterpiece read by a superb actress"

    I read Middlemarch for the first time twenty-five years ago. I remember the first 100 pages were a bit of a slog, but after that I was hooked. Since then I have read it again twice and listened to it twice. Juliet Stevenson is the only reader I have ever heard whose performance adds, rather than takes away from, the profound insights expressed by the omnipotent narrator into the minds of her characters and the vivid portrayal of time and place, (1830's England). To quote Virginia Woolf, Middlemarch is "the magnificent book that, with all its imperfections, is one of the few English novels written for grown-up people."

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison 10-04-12
    Alison 10-04-12
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    "Best narration ever"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes--but only to those who find 19th century England a great place to visit. The characters are engaging and the narration is superb. As far as England stories set in the 1800's it is more serious than Dickens (less sarcasm) and the characters are as interesting but less annoying than in Trollope.


    What other book might you compare Middlemarch to and why?

    I recently read "Can You Forgive Her?" by Trollope so I can't help but compare since they both covered young women/men in the 19th century, touching on class differences and politics. I did enjoy Trollope but I found the characters less annoying and the narration even better. And the plot was more interesting. How can you not love lines like "He was as genuine in character as any ruminant animal." ?!


    What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

    The best of the narrators I've come across in my 2 years with Audible. Ms Stevenson creates a unique voice for every character and you can even tell who's talking in rapid pub conversations (an Eliot favorite).


    If you could take any character from Middlemarch out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The whole Garth family because they are fun, honest, and loving. Or maybe Dr Lydgate because the poor, noble man needs a break from his wretched wife. Though if I had him out for dinner I'd try to steal him away from her.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Osborne 10-01-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Didn't want it to finish"

    George Eliot's story of human frailties still captivates after well over a century. Juliet Stevenson brought Middlemarch to life consistently. Her crisp enunciation and brilliant characterisation made listening to this other world a wonderful experience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raul Bacigaluppi Argentina 07-10-12
    Raul Bacigaluppi Argentina 07-10-12

    Raoul

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    "excelente performance"
    What did you love best about Middlemarch?

    Middlemarch is a real masterpiece of victorian England. Sometimes you may find it slowpaced, but if you take your time, patience, and close reading, it is a great experience. Even after more than a hundred years, it remains one of the best novel of that, and all periods.
    The perfomance of Juliet Stevenson is excellent. I specially like the way she impersonates the different characters of the story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Middlemarch?

    I like chapter 12, when Rosamund Vincy is introduced in the novel.


    What does Juliet Stevenson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    listening to an audiobook read by an excellent narrator is always a different and rewarding experience. After reading each chapter, I listened to the audiobook, and I had a more thorough understanding of what is going on in the book


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

    definitely not


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Stern Cleveland, OH 03-21-12
    E. Stern Cleveland, OH 03-21-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Best Ever, and I mean EVER"
    If you could sum up Middlemarch in three words, what would they be?

    Exquisite x 3


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story is wonderful, multi-layered, intriguing. But what's best is the writing and the observations on human nature and instinct. Completely on-target, relevant in today's world, profoundly insightful and sophisticated. I wanted to quote this book all the time.


    Which character ??? as performed by Juliet Stevenson ??? was your favorite?

    I'd have to say Mr. Brooks and Rosamund were brilliantly captured as comic roles.


    Who was the most memorable character of Middlemarch and why?

    Of course, the hero, Dorothea. A thoroughly modern woman; intellectually and emotionally open and generous.


    Any additional comments?

    I resisted reading this all my life because it

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CAM 11-29-11
    CAM 11-29-11
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    "I guess I'm too Middlebrow for Middlemarch."

    While I could appreciate the exquisite turns of phrase and skillful use of the English language, I couldn't get into the story. I found my mind wandering, and I'd snap out of it and start listening again and wonder what happened while I'd "dozed off." Juliet Stevenson is an excellent reader, but even she couldn't keep me involved. I struggled along for several hours, but surrendered about a third of the way through.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
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  • KathrynS
    Beijing, China
    1/9/15
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    "One of the most brilliant books I've ever re-read"

    One of my favourite books of all time, and another wonderful performance by Juliet Stevenson. Highly recommended to all readers.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • J. Roadnight
    UK
    7/29/14
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    "Juliet Stevenson is extraordinary"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've known and loved the book for years, so no surprises there. But the narration by Juliet Stevenson is just amazing - the range of accents, the different voices for various characters and her beautifully modulated delivery of the narrative blew me away. What an exceptional talent. I sometimes wonder what actors are paid so much for: now I know.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/6/14
    Overall
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    "Classic soap opera"
    What would have made Middlemarch better?

    For the women characters to be stronger and more assertive. Dorothea was clearly an intelligent woman but she just gave in all the time to the men around her. I liked Mary much better. She knew what she wanted, said so and in the end got her way.


    What will your next listen be?

    Return of the Native b Thomas Hardy


    Which character – as performed by Juliet Stevenson – was your favourite?

    Juliet Stevenson gave all the characters individuality and she was my favourite thing about this book. The bumbling, stuttering uncle was the best.


    Any additional comments?

    A host of characters all with different stories, which to me appeared to be like a period soap opera.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • John
    10/15/16
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    "Resistance is, eventually, futile."

    Posh society in nineteenth century rural England is not really my thing. Classic stories of reputation, honour and doomed love... Nah. not for me, I thought. But Middlemarch is supposed to be one the greatest novels.

    Quite a claim. So when i had some work to do that meant I had some serious listening time ahead of me I begrudgingly thought i would do my duty. At first all was as I expected; an archaic story about stuffy and privileged people who need a kick up the backside... Where are the working people? Where are the servants and tenants?

    But in time I put away my modern self and began to understand that the attraction is in characters that are so well drawn you understand them perfectly, and so believable are their actions and yearnings that listening to Middlemarch got steadily less and less tiresome. It became a quiet pleasure, and eventually a whole-hearted and peculiarly innocent JOY.

    I may even have cried a little, though this seldom occurs to me and I would not tell anyone i know... ;-)

    An absolutely superb reading by Juliet Stevenson too. Top of the class.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Caryl
    Port Louis, Mauritius
    10/6/11
    Overall
    "Perfect"

    I have read the novel at least 5 times over the years but hearing the words read in Juliet Stevensons beautiful and flexible voice has added a unique new pleasure to the enjoyment of this great story. I found it perfect!

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  • Stephanie
    11/17/14
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    "4.75 stars for story"

    Glad I listened, Juliet Stevenson reads beautifully. It's a classic tale of thwarted love coming right and all the heartbreak and decision making in between. There are some great characters, and well observed understanding of human behaviour.
    Had to stop myself using words and sentence structure that I managed to absorb while listening to it though, I went all Eliot/Austen.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • P A WRIGHT
    10/12/14
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    "What amazing insight into the human condition."
    Would you listen to Middlemarch again? Why?

    Yes, as it is such a rich story and I probably missed some of this in hurrying to get to the end


    What did you like best about this story?

    Eliot's ability to show each character from their own authentic view. I also was impressed at the building and interweaving of all the characters into an overall plot that was believable and rich indepth.


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No, but think she is a great narrator


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    Harold's Cross, Ireland
    8/25/14
    Overall
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    Story
    "Best Victorian Novel."
    What made the experience of listening to Middlemarch the most enjoyable?

    The writing was beautiful and the narration was wonderful. What kept me most enthralled though was the ability of the author to deal with the essential human condition in its many diverse manifestations in a way that transcended the time in which it was written.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The novel was realistic and honest and not just 'happy ever after'. I loved Eliot's philosophical reflections on what was happening in the text.


    What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

    Stevenson's range of voices was excellent.


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

    'There are so many way to be in the world - dare to be different'.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommended. I downloaded a character chart of the relationships which was very useful to keep track of who's who.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Jennifer
    beara. co.corkIreland
    7/29/14
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    "Is this the best novel ever written?"

    I have read it and loved it over the years. Wonderful performance by Juliet Stephenson. It is long but well worth the effort.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Blueguitar
    London
    5/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Juliet Stevenson makes the reading magnificent."
    Would you listen to Middlemarch again? Why?

    Not again - this is probably a once in a lifetime listen, but not to be missed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The slow progression, as the characters in Middlemarch are introduced, developed, and inter-act.


    Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    no.


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

    At over 30 hours, I think not.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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