Twenty hours! I think the great beauty of this audio-book lies in its bulk- and the knowledge that the rest of the Pallisers- each equally bulky- can follow behind it- like a warm ocean of Trollope stretching out with no further shore in sight.
It's a sort of gentle relief from boredom on an epic scale- and Timothy West's voice assures us that it will all be very moderate, very reasonable, very English... and there is no need at all to hurry...
I listened to it in about a week, while lambing sheep, as a kind of backround music.
In the whole thing only one mistake springs to mind- He pronounced 'Shoreditch' once with too much emphasis on the last syllable. And the pauses between chapters are too long.
I've listened to it right through, twice- with about 18 months in between the two, but I was still surprised how gripping it was on the second outing.
As always, beautifully read.
But spot the mistake! at the meeting of the hunt on Copperstream Common (or wherever it is) a character is said to be talking to Lady Chiltern when she is actually talking to Lord Chiltern. Trollope's mistake or Timothy West's?
This is excellent. admittedly it's rather slow, and not the most exciting play Shakespeare ever wrote- but this audio book has tremendous charm, I've listened to it repeatedly.
It's the BBC, of course- and it shows; excellent cast and superbly produced with all those tiny sound effects- rain, a bird cry, the click of billiard balls- which one barely notices but which make it all seem real.
I remember a critic writing that he found all Samuel West's performances strangely cold. If that is true it suits the role of Richard ii, he really captures the peevish, self-pitying poetry.
I forget who plays Harry of Hereford, but he's excellent, a real feeling of vigor and action with the right degree of temper and coldness. His charismatic brute force carries along the play- and he does very well with some of the doggerel he has to spout.
The only real flaw is the sound effects- symbolic objects, such as crowns, give off a mystical vibration, which is fine for crowns. Unfortuately gauntlets also give off a peculiar sound and in the scene where everyone is throwing down their gauntlets it sounds like a row in a tin-can factory.
The other draw back is that the BBC didn't cast this and the two Henry IVs together.