• Harvest

  • By: Jim Crace
  • Narrated by: John Keating
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-12-13
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (9 ratings)

Regular price: $20.03

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Publisher's Summary

As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. Over the course of seven days, Walter Thirsk sees his hamlet unmade: the manor house set on fire, the harvest blackened, three new arrivals punished, and his neighbours accused of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of his story, and he will be the only man left to tell it…
©2013 Jim Crace (P)2013 Recorded Books LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Peter Hope-Jones on 12-15-13

A good (maybe great) book poorly read

What made the experience of listening to Harvest the most enjoyable?

This timeless narrative is very well written, with evocative descriptions of a rural English world that is long gone but deeply embedded in our cultural psyche. I enjoyed it while listening to this short book, but have been surprised how much it has stuck with me - I've often found myself thinking back on it.

What didn’t you like about John Keating’s performance?

The reading performance I found distractingly bad - possibly the worst I've experienced yet. I found his voice and some of his pronunciations (e.g. 'manny' instead of 'many') irritating, and whenever he did a voice for a character he seemed to put on the same exaggerated squeeky village simpleton voice. This is clearly a matter of taste though, as others have rated the performance highly.

Any additional comments?

I've read/listened to 3 of the 6 books on the 2013 Booker shortlist so far, and I think this would have been a worthy winner.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By M on 10-30-13

Very good.

I love it when a novel takes me to a place or time that's new and unknown to me, and 'Harvest' certainly did that. The vague impressions I have of that period in British history, around 1800, when the aristocratic landowners were able to clear the common lands of the common people, in order to use the forests for the much more profitable rearing of sheep, were brought to wonderful, brutal life by the author.
What I like about this novel, though, is that there are no innocents. The village is ancient, but not venerable; it's not a bucolic paradise but a closeted little world with harsh justice and a stagnant gene pool. The indigents may be innocent of the crimes they're accused of, but they're unforgiving and vengeful in the end; and the landlord, and his people, are, for better or worse, responsible for preparing the way for the industrial revolution and our modern world ... So we're all found wanting in this tale. It's well narrated (though the narrator's idiosyncratic pronunciation of 'cloth' as 'clorth' was distracting) and I'll definitely be searching out more of Jim Crace's work.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Wordish1 on 08-23-17

Our ancestors' lives

Through the eyes of a partial outsider, Walter Thirsk, Jim Crace captures the moment the feudal cropping way of life in England gives way to the enclosure of land to make way for sheep. (I date the story around 1400, but the year is never stated.) This is a lyrical and elegiac novel which manages to inject poetry into what must have the typical way of life for the vast majority of our ancestors. The plot compresses the dissolution of one estate into a single week, but plot isn't the point of this novel (something that clearly disappointed other reviewers of the audio version). The narrator's delivery is a bit ponderous, but this does suit the novel's reflective tone and keen observations of the texture of life on the land. "Harvest" puts poetry and heart into an aspect of history - the peasantry - that's usually ignored by historical novels.

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