Far From the Madding Crowd

  • by Thomas Hardy
  • Narrated by Jill Masters
  • 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Thomas Hardy brings us an England that once existed but no more. It is rural, traditional, pastoral - a society of mannered conduct that flows like a deep river where powerful currents eddy and swirl. In this powerful novel of love and disillusion, Hardy's heroine is torn between the three men in her life. Passionate but capricious, her romantic involvements have fascinated generations of readers.It was as a poet that Hardy wished to be remembered, but today critics regard his novels as an even more memorable contribution to English literature for their psychological insight, their instinctive delineation of English character, and their profound presentation of great tragedy.


Audible Editor Reviews

Author of Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy published his epic account of English rural life, Far From the Madding Crowd, in 1874. Spanning years, this story details Bathsheba Everdene and Gabriel Oak's complex relationship. Jill Master's performance is perfect for this passionate audiobook. Capturing Hardy's romanticism, Master's British voice is airy and sweet yet dramatic. By consistently modulating her pacing and pitch, Masters ensures that this 15-hour saga captivates. Effortlessly, she handles both male and female voices. Fans of Victorian realist literature will certainly enjoy this complicated audiobook.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

respite from the madding crowd

Though there are some audio quirks, they didn't significantly interfere with the listen (at least when formatted for ipod). I suppose the quick transmission to downloadable audio may keep the novel's price cheap?

I fell in love with this novel (and Gabriel Oak) when I was 14 and have re-read the paper version several times over the last 35+ years. I hesitated to download it, thinking such a beloved book would suffer in audio, but I really enjoyed the listen. I loved the narrator. She brought to life Hardy's poetic sections, especially those involving the English countryside and farming practices. As others have pointed out, the novel contains a somewhat misogynist portrait, but of a strong-ish heroine (for a Victorian character). In middle age, I felt the misogyny more deeply than back in the 70s, but I put up with it (and often much stronger) in Hardy's contemporaries and predecessors for the beauty if the prose and old fashioned romanticism and realism. Well, admittedly the ending is "too happy;" as someone pointed out --it wasn't Hardy's original ending; I think he had to tone down his realism to get published, but as a teen and now as an old fart, I love the ending. There's enough angst in the world and contemporary lit to suffice for me!

The listen motivates me to download and reacquaint myself with other Hardy novels and perhaps download his bio.
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- Connie

I Started 10 Times Before Getting Into It

First, I love Thomas Hardy. Next to Proust, he is my favorite author. But every time I started to listen to this title, the narrator seemed too dull. I just couldn't get into it. Finally, after yet another restart, I began to enjoy the readers style---which I now believe ideally suited to this tome.

Stay with it and once the hook is set, you'll enjoy being hauled in.
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- Chris Reich

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-18-2008
  • Publisher: Jimcin Recordings