Margaret Hilton imparts restraint and understatement to her performance of Anthony Trollope's 1857 novel, Barchester Towers.
The second installment in Trollope's "Chronicles of Barsetshire series, this novel takes place in the city of Barchester, where the beloved bishop has died. Bishop Proudie takes his position, accompanied by his intrusive wife, Mrs. Proudie. Meanwhile, the bishop's unlikeable chaplain, Mr. Slope, has ordered clergyman Dr. Stanhope back from Italy. He is accompanied by his scandalous daughter, Madeline. These characters and others add to this satirical story about religious hypocrisy.
Hilton's unabridged performance carries the subtly ironic edge that characterizes Trollope's prose.
First, a warning: If you haven't read any Trollope, start with The Warden; it's the first in a series of which Barchester is second. Next, a rather shocking warning: Trollope may be as addictive as a soap opera. It has plenty of the right ingredients-archly drawn characters and plots that enmesh the listener in the daily ups and downs of those characters' lives. Of course, the great crevasse that divides your average daytime soap from Barchester Towers is the elegance and skill of the writer and the witty invention from which he draws his charming and classic fantasies.
Public Domain (P)1998 Recorded Books
I would like the book to be kinder to its characters - they are all ridiculed and satirised and it's difficult to listen to a book in whose characters the author seems to find no redeeming features.
I haven't listened to the end - I'm going to return it.
The narrator could have altered her tone a little - it was all read in a rather arch, floating tone. I could have done with someone who sounded more interested in conveying a story than reciting lines as if she was a in a play.
Yes - as I think the characters were interesting and I love a good period drama
I have heard so many good things about Anthony Trollope but this book left me feeling frustrated and tired. It may have been the narration or the story itself but I will have to try the text version before I try another Trollope audiobook.
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