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This is a review of the audiobook narrated by Timothy West, not a review of the novel per se. (I would advise new readers/listeners to Trollope to start with Barchester Towers.)
This is an superb performance of Trollope's speaking narrative. Trollope, I think, would love it; it is entirely in Trollope's service. Trollope's style, syntax, and voice are all excellently rendered throughout the 28 hours of storytelling. The acoustic quality is consistently perfect throughout all 28 hours. If West made any mistakes, they were edited out perfectly. The microphone was placed perfectly. I listened to the Audible enhanced MP3 format, which is 800 MB for the unabridged novel. The recording is so good that the lighter MP3 formats are sure to be of the highest quality also.
West's differentiation of individual characters is excellent, as each narrative voice is specific and recognizable and yet not delivered with extravagance. West's aim is to be expressive yet subtle. (Perhaps the subplot with Mrs. Greenow and her two suitors is a bit extravagant, but that is as Trollope wishes.) West renders sustained dramatic dialogue perfectly (very important for one of Trollope's greatest strengths), with just the right timing and nuances of tone. Glencora's quick, witty, passionate voice comes through very well.
In short: The narrator is performed as a speaking voice, and the characters are acted through the narrative voice. Trollope provided the score, and West is a great musician.
28 of 28 people found this review helpful
Great listen - I'm working my way through the audio collection of Trollope and having read this book 20 years ago really enjoyed the wonderful narration by Timothy West. I'm a huge fan of his work - especially the female voices. The great aunts etc. Boy were the old girls bossy back then. I do love it when they feel the need to tell some distant relative how to run their lives. What happened to these people - Did the First World War knock them all off!
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Gloomily, I searched yet again (probably for the 20th time) to see if audible.co.uk had got this title and they have now!!! Trollope is my favourite male author and Timothy West is my favourite reader of his work, ably bringing to life the many personalities in Trollope's novels.
As stated in the description, this is the first of the political Palliser Books but the insights of his era are just as pertinent today as is his insightful portrayal of his characters' motives and behaviour in their personal lives. Listeners will be introduced to (and come to fall in love with Glencora and Plantagenet Palliser - the focal persons in the series); will relish the cynicism of the Duke of Omnium and Glencora's snobbish relatives; and come to actively hate the villian of this novel! And that's just for starters. These novels predate the formal study of psychology but are expert little gems of analysis that can well stand repeated readings/listenings with fresh points to ponder coming out each time.
So if you like good involved plots well delineated, you are in safe hands with this author and reader combination and are in for a long-lasting treat!
34 of 35 people found this review helpful
Twenty hours! I think the great beauty of this audio-book lies in its bulk- and the knowledge that the rest of the Pallisers- each equally bulky- can follow behind it- like a warm ocean of Trollope stretching out with no further shore in sight.
It's a sort of gentle relief from boredom on an epic scale- and Timothy West's voice assures us that it will all be very moderate, very reasonable, very English... and there is no need at all to hurry...
I listened to it in about a week, while lambing sheep, as a kind of backround music.
In the whole thing only one mistake springs to mind- He pronounced 'Shoreditch' once with too much emphasis on the last syllable. And the pauses between chapters are too long.
31 of 32 people found this review helpful
The story is long and detailed in Trollope style - and could use some abridging to improve the pace and cut down on outdated philosophy. Still, it’s a fine study of character. The reading is somewhat condescending in tone to the women, who are the most complex and entertaining of the novel, but even so, I lived with the book and will miss it.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Helps to understand UK politics
What does Timothy West bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
He reads with meaning and an understanding of the 'sense of the words written'
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
No too long for one sitting, but very enjoyable