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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.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I looked forward to hearing this, as I read the book many years ago and loved it. Unfortunately the sound quality is so bad it's impossible to listen to in format 3, so it was no good on my mp3 player, and have now downloaded it in format 4 so I can listen to it from my computer. It isn't too bad in format 4, and it's still a good story, but overall a disappointing purchase.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful