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I thought Simon Vance was a good narrator for Trollope, but Timothy West is better. I could, and did, listen to this one for hours at a time, and then went out and downloaded the rest of the Barset novels with Timothy West as narrator.
Trollope is a fascinating writer. I understand that Stephen King doesn't think much of him. He digresses a lot, and he addresses the reader directly in ways that drove my undergraduate Victorian Novel instructor (a fan of Henry James) up the wall. But his characters are all delightfully alive, his women characters especially full of vinegar, and he is very much grounded in the real world of rural communities, organizational politics, and money. There are many times (especially with Timothy West's narration) that he is laugh-out-loud funny. I only wish there were an equally accomplished audiobook production of the Palliser series, which is a sort of sequel to the Barset novels.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
My goodness, what exquisite writing!
Anthony Trollope is a new discovery for me. His sense of humor and emotional tone are striking and wonderful.
Trollope has an amazing ability to dip a "spoon" into the bowl of life, pull out what comes and remark precisely on what he has found. He at one point is so sensitive about the troubles of Love, and on another occasion is very severe about his characters' character (if I may say).
He does not present us with the usual endings for novels so you have to get to the end of the book and cannot even guess how it will end.
The reader Timothy West is also a very great discovery for me. I read along with him on Gutenberg.org and realized I could never have gotten the characters' "voice" without Timothy West's great artistry. He brings out the emotional element of Trollope's writing masterfully.
Further to Trollope, I am amazed how he draws out life's contradictions in matters of Love. In this character, money does not matter. In the other character, money brings love. I wonder if Trollope was the inventor of every cliche we have ever heard regarding "Love." Money does not bring happiness, we want to believe. On another moment, we see how money breeds love.
Yet we are rewarded with the results of our own integrity towards others, Trollope seems to say.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
Trollope writes the most wonderful women characters - far more varied and three-dimensional than Dickens - and makes them speak with individual voices. Timothy West manages to present each one so sympathetically and distinctively that it seems hard to believe they've been 'dead' for a century and a half or thereabouts. And he does the men just as well...the world-weary Adolphus, the testy and inarticulate Squire, the elderly but enthusiastic Earl and the half-baked but endearing not-hero, Johnny Eames.
This novel is less political and less satirical than the others in the Barchester cycle, and you just surrender to the enjoyment of letting Trollope and West, between them, engage your sympathy and interest in these memorable characters and the drama that flows from them. Wonderful.
26 of 26 people found this review helpful
Where does The Small House At Allington rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I really enjoyed listening to this, Timothy West is a great narrator, I got to know the characters and was upset when I reached the end. They were all real, sharing their emotions and thoughts and didn't want to lose them.
I listened to it while on the bus going to work as I can't read while travelling - it makes me feel sick. The journey passed all too quickly.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Small House At Allington?
Lily's reaction to the news of Adolphus in London. Most people might think it wasn't proper but I could understand how she felt and why.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful