Sent by her ambitious parents to visit her wealthy D'Urberville cousins, Tess attracts the attention of the unscrupulous Alec. Seduced and discarded by him and alone in the world, she finds work as a milkmaid, and the love of Angel Clare. Yet his love cannot accept the truth about Tess's past.
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I first read Tess many years ago as a teenager and didn't think much of it. Having revisiting through this audiobook I am astounded at how much I missed! This is one of those reads which benefit from a few years of life experience. Wonderfully read, atmospheric and colourful.
The description of milking: a real feast for the senses. Brought the era to life and the imagery is superb.
Well read and very consistent... Believable voices and accents. I am local to this area and found the dialect very believable.
It was very easy to see things through the eyes of the characters and to empathise with them, even given the very different attitudes of the time.
Thomas Hardy at his best....Highly recommended.
A wonderful story that is read beautifully in this audiobook. Peter Firth uses a wide range of voices and accents for the different characters which really brings them to life.
After having read and adored Tess of the D'Urbervilles last year, I thought this audiobook did Hardy's novel justice. HIs rich descriptions of Wessex and his compassionate character portraits are just as alive and vivid in an audiobook format as they were for me when I first read this book.
I've read the book (more than once), I've seen the film, but the story of Tess is always spellbinding, and this audio version is excellent. Peter Firth reads it beautifully; his rustic accents are quite convincing, although he does occasionally lapse into 'Oirish'. Highly recommended.
Calm voice makes for easy listening, it takes a while to get into but well worth it!
Typical of Victorian Literature, not fast paced but evocative and emotionally compelling.
Tess and Angel were both magnificent
This whole book is indescribably sad and hear trenching, but a beautiful experience to read - and to be read to!
Peter Firth has a fundamental understanding of the text (having played Angel in the Polanski film) and this comes across in the sensitivity of his reading. It is a different experience listening rather than reading the novel - the sheer beauty of Hardy's writing is conveyed in a different way. I don't think either reading or listening is superior; both allow you to engage with the novel in different ways.
I'm sorry, us girls love a cad! Alec d'Urbeville is far more interesting than Angel, although all of Hardy's male characters are less well drawn than his female ones.
The scenes that stay in your mind are the most harrowing: the death of the horse and the imagery of the blood on Tess's white dress, Tess burying her still born child, the wedding night confession, the scene in the d'Urbeville vault and the final act at Stonehenge can still chill me, no matter how many times I read/listen to them. Enjoy isn't the right word, however.
If you don't have an emotional reaction to this book, I would be very surprised.
If you have only read the book, I would recommend both listening to the audio book and watching a film version (Polanski, for me, created the best film interpretation, well cast and both gorgeous and chilling). The complexity and the beauty of Hardy's novel mean that mutiple media give different perspectives and emphases on the story and add to your understanding and enjoyment of the text.
"Peter Firth gets this book"
Peter Firth played Angel Clare in Polanski's film version of this novel. His reading demonstrates great affection for Hardy's characters, and an understanding of the many nuances of the story. Don't worry if it seems slow to begin with, if you let the plot unfold, there is plenty of excitement and tragedy in store. Originally published as a serial, each phase builds up to its own climax, which makes for pleasant and interesting listening. Definitely not a "boring 19th century novel."
A heartbreaking story possesses both the clarity of rural life and the confusion of the epic struggles of a human heart. Tess and Angel Clare are so beautifully realized that the frustration one feels with them becomes all-too-real. The narration of this version, by Peter Firth, is among the best in the audible.com catalog that I've encountered so far. Tess is a book to read and re-read with your ears, eyes, mind, and heart.
"Ripples of either holding or releasing a grudge"
Well written and artistically read, this book illustrates in story form the ever-enlarging circles of refusing to forgive a wrong. The beautiful contrast is seen in Tess.
"A wonderful classic!"
I had read this in high school, and, even though I couldn't remember the plot, always remembered it as a story I liked it. This audible version was delightful and I truly enjoyed my listen.
Spent many hours commuting yelling at this book! Excellent narration! Unexpected story! What an interesting window into another time!
Tess, of course.
I enjoyed his narration. Speech was clear. I would listen to his book vocals again.
Yes, I have read "The Mayor of Casterbridge," also by Thomas Hardy, and I really enjoyed that book. "Tess of the D'Urbervilles," though, I found to be a truly depressing story with very little redemption in the ending to overcome that view of the book.
Peter Firth performed the narration well, giving different qualities to each of the characters. His portrayal of Angel Clare was my favorite, for he had a sense of the thoughts and motives of Angel that were evident in his voice and tone.
"I didn't get bored"
I didn't get bored. It was a good listen....good narrator. Too bad the story couldn't have continued with Angel Claire relationship with Tess' younger sister...that might have been a juicy tale.
very boaring narrater hard to listen to didn't like this book at all
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