Socially critical and emotionally complex, Tess of the d'Urbervilles is Hardy's masterpiece. It tells the story of Tess Durbeyfield, forced by her family's poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy d'Urbervilles. Violated by the son, Alec, her hopes of rebuilding her life with the gentle and bookish Angel Clare founder when he learns of her past. Sensitively read by Anna Bentinck.
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Public Domain ©2008 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks
The narration is acceptable - the accents and characterisations are good, though when speaking as the narrator the reader tends a little towards 'intoning' and doesn't sound quite natural. The most annoying thing, though, is that the editing has been done very carelessly and pauses at the end of sentences and paragraphs are sometimes omitted, making it sound odd, and even occasionally the end of a sentence is cut off completely - I've gone back several times to listen again to see if I was mistaken. So far I've been able to work out the missing words, so it hasn't affected the story too much, but if I had paid full price for this I would be making a complaint.
The reader has such talent in changing her voice for each character that you can tell which character is talking without even being told. She can portray all the male voices equally as well as the female characters. The book itself, although a great story and moral tale of double standards can often be a bit depressing. It is a great classic story though.
I wish I could double my five stars. I loved this book. It has such intense emotions, twisting plot, beautiful portraits of country life 200 years ago (almost) and breath-taking sentences. What amazing writing, where one sentence carries you through several philosophical problems that seem to emerge from a simple country observation. And the reader is amazing, she does so many different accents. This is one of my very favorite books.
This is one of the most depressing books I have ever read!! I just don't know what to say. I enjoyed reading most of it. Hardy is a fabulous writer, but I hated the ending. I knew something crazy was coming, but it took me off guard, and knocked the wind out of me. Oh what a sad, depressing tale.
Now I started out saying I hated the ending, but thinking back on it, I realize that it was bittersweet. In fact there was a lot of sweetness in it. She finally got what she wanted and was extremely happy for a short time. But she just couldn't win. Some people just cannot sustain happiness, and of course, under the circumstances, happiness was not going to last for her.
This book wore me out. I felt exhausted when I finished it. It will be on my mind for days.
The narration by Anna Benlinck was top notch.
"Great narrator tragic story"
I had never read the book and was hesitant. But I did enjoy it quite a bit. The narration was excellent. My only complaint is there are several places where the recording skips. Most are short; a sentence or two. But one was long, the entire scene in the d'Urberville vault is missing entirely. Otherwise very enjoyable.
This was the first Audible book that I've ever had trouble with skipping, so the previous reviews are correct. It does has some technical difficulties.
One more classic down. (this book was written in 1891).
Tess of the d'Urbervilles was quite modern and open minded in its day! It was well written and well narrated. However, I will never read it again. The pour heroine never catches a break and the story is incredibly depressing throughout.
A very powerful love story. Quite unforgettable.
"A stirring tale."
this story was good from beginning to end. It was a story about love, youth and the mistakes of short-sightedness. You will truly love test as a person as much as you hate some other of the characters. This is one of the definite classic. A must-read.
Great book and the narrator really brought the characters and story alive. Two thumbs up!! You won't regret listening to this one.
"Beautiful language, excellent narration"
Great story, beautifully narrated, and the writing is gorgeous. I had never even seen the movie, so the ending was an unpleasant shock. Oh well.
"Great Reader, Drawn Out Story"
It's just so damn long!
She's engaging, and makes the longer, more interminable portions of the book much, much more bearable.
I really wanted to like this book, Hardy is widely regarded as an essential author and the premise is fascinating. Furthermore, the book got off to an absolutely fantastic start, and Hardy's characterization really drew me in. But by God this book is INSUFFERABLE during its middle portions, there are just insane stretches where it feels like absolutely nothing is happening. Suffering through seventeen hours to get to maybe five hours worth of plot content is just far too much of a chore, and while the reader does a fantastic job of immersing the listener in the novel, it's just not worth the time. I won't begrudge anyone else for enjoying this but I just found myself growing increasingly impatient the further I got.
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