The Return of the Native

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

Publisher's Summary

Eustacia Vye is a beautiful, commanding presence on England's Egdon Heath. Her longing for the glamour of city life leaves her dissatisfied with her traditionalist husband, Clym Yeobright, and leads her to take Damon Wildeve as her lover. In a mixing of fate, chance, and human error, Eustacia's marriage smolders and explodes in violent tragedy. Set against the looming presence of the Heath, Hardy's work vividly depicts characters cruelly manipulated by the forces around them, unable to dictate their own fates. This classic story, a forerunner to the 20th-century psychological novel, is presented in unabridged form, revealing all of its poetic compassion and universal themes.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Life on the Heath

Hardy does a marvelous job of portraying life amongst the small hamlets of Egdon Heath. The story line though, is fairly typical and it belies Hardy's status as a literary heavyweight. The physical description of people and place are extraordinary and more than makes up for the somewhat flat plot. Hardy does require something from the reader (listener) and can display near cunning in his use of English.

Hardy's attention to accent and intonation in the dialogue of his characters really set this book apart and help the reader to become immersed. I attempted reading the print version of this book 3 times and the dialogue did me in each time. For this reason an audio version of the book is much appreciated.

The narration does not disappoint but the audio quality is uneven. I might have rated this a 5 star work if the audio was pristine.
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- Frank

worth the effort

I'm new to Hardy, and loved his descriptions and strange romantic sensibility, though I had to listen to the first couple chapters more than once to get a feel for the scene and characters. I am a big fan of Jill Masters--I love her throaty, musical voice. She is a reader rather than a dramatist, allowing the author's work to take precedence over the performance. That said, her recordings are generally not good quality. If this bothers you in the sample audio, you will not enjoy listening to hours of it.
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- beatrice

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Books on Tape