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Under the Greenwood Tree

The Mellstock Choir - A Rural Painting of the Dutch School
Narrated by: Jamie Parker
Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
4 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Under the Greenwood Tree is an affectionate and youthful portrait of a world Hardy knew well - village life in 'Wessex' - in which a romantic tale is set against changing circumstances. The traditional feature of local music making performed by the village band and choir is challenged by the modern innovation of organ and organist providing music in the church. Fancy Day, the new, comely school mistress is also an accomplished organist, and these qualities create conflict in the village, especially when the unmarried young vicar and Dick Dewy, a member of the Mellstock parish choir vie for her attention. In this, only his second novel, Hardy presents one of his most gentle and charming pictures.

Public Domain (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks

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I'm a Hardy fan but...

This is by far his weakest work. Great narrator though. If you want to read Hardy I would stick to Tess and Two on a Tower and the like.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I love Tom Hardy Novels...

This one is a bit milder than what Im used to in his novels, but for an early novel it is well wriiten. I loved the voices and the story teller was superb. It played out in my mind like a movie@

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  • Carpenter
  • 12-05-18

Superbly read

Jamie Parker has got to the essence of this very funny book. His voices are superb.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J. G.
  • 07-17-19

Jamie Parker's narration is one of the best ...

I had tried (and failed) to complete this book with another audible reader, but am delighted to have found Parker's version. His characters have consistent voices, he never mixes them up and, what is more, their voices closely reflect their personality, age and tone (e.g. Parker's gentle Grandfather William is someone I'd have loved to meet!)

The novel interweaves two themes: the "love square" of Fancy Day and her three suitors, and the ushering out of old traditions in rural England. Hardy does this with reference to the natural landscape and the seasons (this shapes the novel's structure) while keeping the narrative tone light with plenty of humour. Because rustic dialogue forms a substantial portion of the book, it takes a good narrator to bring this aspect to life and give it its due. I would have missed so much if I had not had this audio version of "Under the Greenwood Tree"!