Donna Barkman gives a passionate performance of English novelist Charlotte Brontë's classic Victorian gothic romance Jane Eyre. The orphan Jane suffers at the hands of her abusive aunt Reed and spoiled cousins. Despite hardship, she triumphs over her miserable and tumultuous childhood. She later secures work as a governess at the manor Thornfield Hall, where meets its owner, the mysterious Edward Rochester. Just as happiness is within her grasp, she discovers Rochester's dark secret, which is tucked away in the attic.
Jane Eyre is an orphan child who knows only abuse and misery from her mistress. As a young girl, she is sent off to a boarding school where her good character and diligent habits win her friends and respect. In time, Jane herself becomes a teacher at the school.
Seeking a wider horizon, Jane takes employment at Thornfield Hall, where she comes under the spell of Edward Rochester, its owner, a man of savage temperament and desperate unhappiness. The reason for both is linked to a great secret that is kept locked away on the third floor of the mansion. It's final revelation brings an incredible climax to the story and changes both lives forever.
© and (P)1986 Jimcin Recordings
"Charlotte was the most admired of the Bronte sisters....praise[d] for her depth of feeling and her courageous realism." (The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature)
This audiobook is an excellent example that one should listen to the excerpt BEFORE buying it.
Unfortunately, I forgot to do so this time and was disappointed to hear that the reader read in American English. Not that there is anything wrong with American English as such, but it is incongruous with this very British novel. What's worse is that the French sounds decidedly strange and the German is completely unintelligible. I teach German and therefore have a fairly good tolerance of strange pronunciation of the German language. So, it is fairly bad if even I cannot decipher the German being spoken by Diana and Mary Rivers.
Of course, the book is mainly in English, but it does not reflect well on the publisher of this audiobook that they were unable to choose a reader who was able to pronounce the foreign languages used in the book. In the same vein, 'Jane Eyre' is a novel full of different dialects and sociolects. A British reader would probably have been able to give each of these characters their own unique sound. This diversity is sadly entirely lacking in this version.
In short, beware of buying this audiobook. Buy it, at your own peril.
I too forgot to listen to the clip of this before buying. I agree, the French and German is so badly read as to be virtually impossbible to understand, even though I speak both. The recording is of poor quality and I had to force myself to listen to it. A great shame, as this has spoilt one of my favourite books of all time.
"Fine Literature at its best"
Although written over 150 years ago (first published in 1847), this is a timeless story of triumph, love, and strength of character that is at once captivating and heart wrenching in its poignant portrayal of the life of it's heroine Jane Eyre. The English language being much different now as it was then there are times that it is difficult to follow what is being said, however, I think that this is where the audible format makes it possible to finally enjoy stories like this for those of us who would like to be so intellectual as to actually READ a classic like Jane Eyre but who find the written account of it a bit dull. Nay, dear reader, you will not, I daresay, find this book by any means dull if you appreciate a well written book and a good story. I sampled the various readers of Jane Eyre before choosing this one and I also feel that I picked the best one even though she didn't have an English accent--I thought she did a fantastic job of it.
"Sorry to see it end"
I was so sad when this book finally came to an end.
It was a wonderful experience and made the long drives that I take for my job just fly by. I may make this a once a year listen. It's that good.
The reading was very good, as well.
"Don't buy this version"
The Narrator is terrible. Do not buy this version.
"Great story...poor storytelling"
After just finishing the Thirteenth Tale and loving the exceptional storytellers, I found myself not being able to get past the first chapter in listening to this narrator...because she's simply narrating, not storytelling I'm so sorry to say, not to mention the poor quality recording both grainy and tinny. Its a shame that such a wonderful story was not given the quality production it deserves. I'm going to go with the 2-part 2005 version instead even if its a bit more $.
I don't recommend this recording of Jane Eyre. The recording is not the best quality and the narrarator is unexpressive and does not embody the spirit of this classic in my opinion.
"Dreary reader is a drag"
This is a terrific book, at least the story is. Sadly, I feel that this particular reader took away from the enjoyment of the story.
Her voice has good tone, of medium to low range, but her expression was hard, harsh and gloomy even at its lightest.
Her command and pronunciation of the several French and German phrases sprinkled throughout the book was excellent, but as a performance it really was a distraction.
I got this version based on the customer review but the narrator has a raspy, irritating voice. It's a wonderful novel, so get it, but choose a different recorded version.
"British Classic shouldn't be read by an American"
Fantastic, classic book. Can't stand the narrator, not only is she annoying to listen to, she is American? I can't get the whole vibe of the Bronte characters from this women.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.