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The third novel in the Pallisers series, "The Eustace Diamonds" is the least overtly political, though some of the main characters from the series re-appear in the book in minor roles. It could certainly be read independently of the other books in the series.
Lizzie Eustace is in many respects a latter-day Becky Sharp. Though less ruthless and more self-deceiving than Thackeray's anti-heroine, she is shallow, beautiful, manipulative, and without redeeming qualities. After marrying the dying Sir Florian Eustace for his money, she embarks on an expensive career as a society widow, and the story revolves around her possession—and subsequent loss—of a diamond necklace which has been an heirloom in the Eustace family, and which she claims is her personal property.
Though real-life Lizzies are highly unpleasant people, the fictional version is highly entertaining, and after several hundred pages of gripping legal, criminal and shenanigans, it is hard not to feel sorry when the naughty Lady Eustace is finally delivered up to her fate. The reading, by Timothy West, is top-notch. If you are not familiar with Trollope's work, this is as good a place as any to start.
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
What a fantastic listen! Lizzie Eustace is a woman that you learn to hate and also to love. All the characters of this novel are well drawn and delightful.
We listened to this while driving across the country (Canada). It made the trip fly by!
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Timothy West has such subtlety and humourous nuance flowing from his brain to his vocal chords that he could read a train timetable and I would probably be interested for ten minutes at least. It is wonderful to have a reader of such skill to present the various works of Trollope for the first time, for me at least. Now I see where Joanna gets it. An enthralling look at what people of a certain class were up to in England in the 1860's. Flawless reading, and nice and long.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
So entertaining and insightful, beautifully read. I do hope Timothy West records the rest of Anthony Trollope. These are my favourite audio books.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
Unlike the stellar Barchester Towers series this book is populated by characters that are difficult to like , being so flawed as stated by our revered author that it is difficult to care about their final outcomes in the book. The hysterical repititions by one leading character are to use Trollope’s own words, “a story thrice told” and tedious in the extreme. Still there must have been something in the story engaging enough that I struggled to listen to the end which was reached with great relief. Even the dulcet tones of Timothy West , an otherwise extraordinary narrator couldn’t salvage this book. There was enough good listening in Finneas Finn to keep me listening to the series and I can only hope as an avid fan of Trollope’s Barchester Towers series that this story was an aberration.