- Narrated by: Timothy West
- Series: Audible Exclusive - Chronicles of Barsetshire, read by Timothy West, Book 2, Chronicles of Barsetshire, Book 2
- Length: 19 hrs and 5 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 10-09-08
- Language: English
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Whispersync for Voice-ready
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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.
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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Janet on 12-30-08
Read The Warden first
I would urge the reader to consider reading the first book in the Barchester series --The Warden--before reading this one. Although one could read Barchester Towers alone and enjoy it immensely, I think the relationships between the central characters are better enjoyed and savored more fully if one has read about them first in The Warden. (It's relatively short and very enjoyable.)
Still BT is an enjoyable read all by itself and the wonderfully amusing wry asides by the author truly made me laugh out loud. If you yearn for a simpler time, or delight in the very best novels of English country life from Austen to Pym, or simply love an English sentence well-turned, you will enjoy this book. The reader is excellent.
39 of 39 people found this review helpful
By Vicente on 09-11-09
The book itself, of course, is a perennial classic for its elegance and wit. Timothy West has comprehended the book magnificently and his reading of it is a triumph. Listening is sheer, unadulterated pleasure.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Francis on 10-28-08
West is best
Barchester Towers is perhaps the most enjoyable novel of an author whom it is almost always a delight to read. Perhaps the novel does not scale the heights and social criticism is mild and muted in comparison with other Victorian novelists.But there are few readers who will not enjoy the portrayal of the Archdeacon, Mrs Proudie ,the egregious Mr Slope and many other characters.
When in addition the novel is superbly read by Timothy West, this becomes an outstanding audio book. He judges the varied tone of the narration to perfection and differentiates and portrays the various characters so well that listening one forgets that there is just one single reader. I'm sure that I will not be alone in finding that listening to these novels read by Timothy West is more rewarding and enjoyable than reading the book for oneself. Strongly recommended as are all of Timothy West's readings of Trollope.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful
By AReader on 06-22-14
Superb reading makes story come alive
I have always enjoyed reading Trollope but of course he is not as dramatic - or melodramatic - as Dickens. This reading brings out the light and shade in his writing. With the subtlest of accents or voices Timothy West breathes fascination into the whole book. Perhaps one of the features that make some readers find Trollope dull is that the commentary by the narrator is so understated. Giving each character his or her own distinctive voice keeps the attention of the listener. It's a virtuoso performance.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful