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Publisher's Summary

From its spectacular opening, the astonishing scene in which drunken Michael Henchard sells his wife and daughter to a passing sailor at a country fair, to the breathtaking series of discoveries at its conclusion, The Mayor of Casterbridge claims a unique place among Thomas Hardy's finest and most powerful novels. Rooted in an actual case of wife-selling in early nineteenth-century England, the story builds into an awesome Sophoclean drama of guilt and revenge, in which the strong, willful Henchard rises to a position of wealth and power, only to achieve a most bitter downfall. Proud, obsessed, ultimately committed to his own destruction, Henchard is, as Albert Guerard has said, "Hardy's Lord Jim...his only tragic hero and one of the greatest tragic heroes in all fiction."
(P)2001 Blackstone Audiobooks. Originally published in Great Britain in 1886.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Biggar Thomas on 01-06-05


This is my first Hardy novel but it is not going to be the last. When I fist saw Jude the Obscure as a film, I was so taken with it that I could not get it out of my mind for months. It is only upon listening to The Mayor of Casterbridge that I have come to understand that in making Jude, the director Michael Winterbottom) had raw material of an unparalleled literary quality. I love English a written and spoken by 19th C writers. This book does not disappoint in any respect. As someone who has listened to audiobooks for some time now, I found the quality of reading to be excellent. Throughout this long book, there were no moments during which I wished it to be over. The work is slow but its drama effects one directly. I find it hard to listen to a work of this sort without becoming personally invested. I am going to be upset about the book ending because I have taken sides. That's life.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By John on 12-01-04

Casterbridge keeps you wanting to read more

Very well narrated. The woman narrating soes a very good job of bringing out the emotions for male and female characters

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ehab on 05-17-09

Great art, narrated by a great artist

This masterpiece, with all its twists and turns of narrative, with its characters revealed to us layer by layer, one gripping bit of detail at a time, requires no effort in recommendation. Yet a pleasant surprise awaits the listeners who, like me, were as yet unacquainted with the voice of Pamela Garelick: That velvety voice will, masterfully, wrap you in the ambience of each scene that the only way out of Casterbridge and its surroundings will be to stop the audio playback?you will ?see? the world Hardy depicts and ?meet? its inhabitants and be moved with whatever stirs them, ready or not! Such is the power of Hardy's and Garelick?s arts combined.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Andy on 12-01-13

terrible narration

What disappointed you about The Mayor of Casterbridge?

The narrator I couldn't bear him especially the Scottish voice he attempted it was awful.

What could Thomas Hardy have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Different narrator and possibly an abridged version.

How could the performance have been better?

With a good narrator you forget that one person is reading several parts but with a poor one you get to dread certain voices they try as they are so poor.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Mayor of Casterbridge?

Its not so much scenes I would cut as the narrator attempting accents that I would have cut, if not done well they jarr to much and detract from the story.

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