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A wonderful reading by Nadia May of George Eliot's complex novel. For me, this was a far more absorbing and emotionally resonant tale than "Middlemarch"; Eliot's ability to portray the London Jewish community sympathetically seems unique among Victorian authors, at least the ones I've read. That portrayal is not just sympathetic but (at times) immersive: this is no cursory glance but a deep exploration. I can't quite give it five stars though, for two reasons: one is that Eliot's writing tends to be humorless, even though her characters are brilliantly drawn; and May, even though she gives wonderful voice to those characters, can't make up her mind how to pronounce the name "Mordecai."
If you liked "Middlemarch," this one is certainly worth listening to. If you didn't, the greater dramatic intensity in this novel may still be worth a try.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
After reading/listening to Middlemarch and Adam Bede, I embarked on the 4 volume Deronda. I was happy that I enlisted Nadia May whose spectacular voice rendition of charcters pulled me through all 4 volumes. I enjoyed it all and was particularly captivated by the ugly experience of British prejudice so prevalent in cultured British society. The love story as with all George Eliot's books was tender and romantic.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I was surprised to find, when I checked, that this book had only been rated with two stars, as I actually found it very rewarding. There were some difficult bits in it (theories concerning Jewish ideas in the 19 century etc) which I'm afraid did tend to go in one ear and out the other, but the theme of the book in general was, I thought, very powerful. Despite the fact that it was written about 130 years ago, some of the characters experienced thoughts and emotions which wouldn't have been out of place in a modern novel, and although obviously the story can't help being dated, it is no less absorbing for that.
I would have struggled to get through a novel of this size in book form, and I am glad to have had the opportunity to discover it this way instead - any effort I had to make was definitely rewarded.
My only real quibble is that the reader seemed to have trouble in being consistent with her pronunciation of the name 'Mordecai', which she kept varying rather irritatingly, sometimes even in the same phrase. However, other than that I thought she read it with expression and I found it a reasonable quality.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Daniel Deronda again? Why?
Because it is a great story, good escapism and satisfying to listen to.
What other book might you compare Daniel Deronda to, and why?
'Adam Bede' and perhaps Elizabeth Gaskell's 'Mary Barton'
What about Nadia May’s performance did you like?
Hurray for unaffected narrators such as Nadia May, who reads at a sensible pace, instead of dragging it out and detracting from the understanding by silly voices. She does justice to the wonderful writing.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Haven't finished it yet, but I'm sure there will be, good novels usually have experiential realism that draws me in.