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It was a pleasure to discover a fine Trollope novel in audiobook form, outside of the wonderful Barsetshire and Palliser series, which are well represented as audios. In this novel, which explores forgiveness in many forms -- from personal grudges, to family shame, to broken hearts and the acceptance of a fallen women -- Trollope gives us another view of the clergy. The vicar of Bullhampton himself is at the heart of the story, and he's a man who's quick to action, quick to fight, quick to be offended, quick to do good, but slow to forgive grievances. The other stories that surround him, from Mary Lowther's romantic guilt, to Carrie Brattle's tortured journey to a sort of redemption, are equally vivid.
The narrator Peter Newcombe Joyce imbues the scenes with a vigorous emotion, and you can hear his voice break with real feeling as the characters reveal to each other their conflicted states of mind. I hope that Assembled Stories, which produced this volume, offers us other Trollope gems -- there are many more wonderful novels that we fans of Trollope would love to hear brought to life in this way. Especially if they're narrated with the full-hearted engagement that Peter Joyce has brought to The Vicar of Bullhampton.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
A lovely portrait of a small Wiltshire village in which we meet members of the landed gentry, clergy, and tradesmen of complex character. As always, Trollop refuses to stick to stereotype: the clergyman is an excellent man but does have a proud and stubborn streak, the salt-of-the-earth miller is honest but also proud and stubborn, not to mention an "old pagan" (the last description is something Trollope won't condemn or exalt), and the "heroine" is as frustratingly believable and flawed a person as you'll meet in real life. This is what I love about Trollope. I keep thinking I know what a character will do, based on what a similar character does in another book, and I'm wrong again and again. There are so many lines I "tag" and make a note of because they're such astute observations of human life.
The reader, Mr. Joyce, does an excellent job. I was prepared to hate him because I love Timothy West's readings of Trollope above all, but Joyce nailed it.
I have enjoyed most of the Trollope novels narrated by Timothy West and have listened to them several times. I did not find the narrator as engaging and there seemed to be a thinner plot line than some of the other novel
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Vicar of Bullhampton again? Why?
I will definitely listen to this book again because it is a good story, well read.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I do not have a favourite character.
What about Peter Newcombe Joyce’s performance did you like?
His intonation was excellent with only one error in emphasis that I noticed. He performed the characters well, each with their own easily recognised voice. My only slight reservation is his tendancy to slightly slur his words and the appalling drawl with which he announces the chapters.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Given that this is a 22 hour long recording, it was too long for that.
Any additional comments?
I would highly recommend both author and narrator. I am very pleased with this purchase and would definitely buy more Trollope books read by this narrator. "He Knew He Was Right" could sorely use a good narrator, for instance.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful