Like Tom Jones before him, Barry Lyndon is one of the most lively and roguish characters in English literature. He may now be best known through the colorful Stanley Kubrick film released in 1975, but it is Thackeray who, in true 19th-century style, shows him best.
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Public Domain (P)2013 Naxos AudioBooks
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"A masterful reading"
If you've seen Stanley Kubrick's film of "Barry Lyndon," you know the story but not the character. Ryan O'Neal played Barry Lyndon as a rather tender innocent who becomes spoiled by exposure to cheats and tricksters, but Thackeray's Barry Lyndon was quite a different person. He is boastful, conceited, loud-mouthed, a lecher, a gambler, a blackmailer, a liar, and a drunk. "I never struck my wife but when I was in liquor," he comments at one point, as if it was sufficient justification. In other words, he is one of the great anti-heroes of fiction, a man who manages to insult his mother as pretentious, long-winded and vain in the same moment as he is praising her loyalty. Thackeray was making fun of the so-called Irish nobility, who claimed to be descendants of kings while living in "castles" little better than hovels, and "Barry Lyndon" is a satire painted in broad, comic strokes. Jonathan Keeble's reading is one of the finest I've heard in the course of listen to over a hundred Audible titles. He wrings every comic drop from the text, even getting a good laugh just by his interpretation of Thackeray's blanks ("the Duke of ___"). I can't imagine anyone giving a better performance of this text. Thoroughly enjoyable.
"Keeble really tears it up (Chapter Four ending)"
I saw the Kubrick film 'Barry Lyndon' growing up and always enjoyed the smart narration between scenes. Especially the line at the ending "we are all the same in the end". You'll probably have to listen to the early chapters twice-over to start understanding the prose easily, but after decompressing it's very enjoyable. My favorite chapters so far are on Minden & the Military. Strong anti-war coming from a victorian author, go figure.
Johnathan Keeble is an excellent reader here. Will be keeping an eye out for his other productions.
"A morality tale made great fun."
Yes--the story itself is the well-worn 19th-century story of the ne'er-do-well who finally gets what's coming to him. But the energy of the reader, Jonathan Keeble, keeps you engaged.
It's what's long signaled in the text. Satisfying for the moral purpose.
See above. He takes expressive and interpretive risks that might be overdone in another story but work very well in this one. From my other reading of Thackeray I expect the author would have approved the result, and enjoyed it as much as I did.
Forget the '70s film--this one's much more fun.
"Not entertaining or interesting"
I found the book very boring
More action, maybe
Much too slow and hard to follow
For some readers, possibly
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