Cornwall in the 1780s - when powerful forces of revolution and reaction are at large in the world. The first in the riveting Poldark series.
Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has anticipated turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict, and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin. But his sympathy for the destitute miners and farmers of the district leads him to rescue a half-starved urchin girl from a fairground brawl and take her home-an act which alters the whole course of his life....
©1945 Winston Graham (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
I raced through this audio book wallowing in the pleasure of listening to a well loved story about characters I have been familiar with for nearly 40 years now. It is interesting that I picture some as described in the novel whereas others take the appearance of the actors who played the parts in the 70s and more recent BBC adaptation.
I love Poldark and have done since watching the 70s adaptation and then reading the first few books. There is romance in abundance, a brooding Byronic hero in Captain Ross, fiesty, wonderful Demelza who saves him, a complicated love triangle, dastardly deeds and scheming by the rapacious New Men of the Warleggan family, more information about copper mining than you are ever likely to find in fiction, social commentary and historical detail. The writing is excellent, the story told with obvious love and passion for Cornwall and its people, with a deal of humour in the telling. You can practically smell the salt tang, feel the warm summer breezes and wintry blasts. Graham has created characters that live and breathe in your imagination like real people that you care about, or love to hate. I love Ross & Demelza, obviously, but Verity has a special place in my heart, too. Now I am so much older than when I first came to Poldark I find I have more sympathy for poor Francis.
Other listeners have complained about poor reading but I had no problem with the narrator and enjoyed this audio book performance. The various characters had distinctive voices with what sounded to my ear (though I admit I am no expert) passable Cornish accents, better than the new TV adaptation. The female parts were read passably, too, which often is a problem with audio books read by male readers. I wasn't fond of the voice used for Francis, however, which sounded out of character, too old.
I can't wait to listen to the next book, and hope Audible issues the entire series, soon.
If I love this book because of the show or because I love the show because of the book. I love these characters and stories brought to life. I would absolutely recommend.
Winston Graham is a great story teller and I was really looking forward to having this read to me. What a let down! This terrible turgid delivery plodding through the text with all the pauses in the wrong place so that you often lose the thread of the plot. Couldn't Audible have forked out for a decent actor to read it? You're going to make money as there is a TV series on at the moment. I would really like my money back it's so terrible.
It's a great story with lots of memorable moments, just not in this version.
Anyone who doesn't sound like a teenage boy trying to make sense of his first script.
None! It's one of my favourite books.
Please bring out a better version. I would buy it!
Here, here.... the books are FAR preferable to the TV versions..... bring the unabridged versions on PLEASE Audible so that we can hear the full stories.. .
The beginning of the book and setting the scene and the characters
Difficult to choose between the various scenes of horses being ridden over the countryside..... and also the coaches and horses.
Not as good as the book.... although Phil Davies as Judd is worth watching..
Who needs Aidan Turner when we can visualise Winston Graham's characters with his written words.
Having been a fan of the Poldark novels for 40 years, when I became an audible member I was surprised to discover that the only available audio version was abridged. I was really excited when this new version was released recently to coincide with the stunning new adaptation currently showing on BBC. Brilliant, I thought, they will have chosen a really first class narrator who will really do justice to the novel. Ha! How wrong I was! I'm pleased to see that another reviewer shares my opinion that Oliver Hemborough's dreadful, wooden, emotionless, plodding delivery of a wonderfully atmospheric story with a host of excellently drawn characters is SO BAD as to be almost impossible to listen to and not get angry. I could honestly do it better myself! What a waste of a credit. Come on audible, this is utter rubbish..
Complex, believable, enthralling
I like Ross, but I love how gutsy Demelza is
I really think his narration is excellent. I love how he plays certain characters (Prudie for example)
The whole book is quite moving. I find that Ross and his inner turmoil touch something in me. Even though my life isn't as eventful, I do find that I can relate to some things that he feels when he's in certain situations.
Even though the main plot is as far from my reality as it could be, I find that the emotions of the characters are extremely relatable. I Love that certain situations -and the characters' resulting emotions- are not simplified like some other authours may do, things are not always black and white and Graham knew how to work with that.
I will listen to Ross Poldark again, it was thoroughly enjoyable. No doubt like many, I've come to it via the recent TV series; there are a few discrepancies in plot and character presentation between the book and the TV production, but not enough to cause any disappointment, and I found the book gave further details that were not in the series which was like getting bonus material.
I think the most memorable moment was the blossoming romance between Ross and Demelza. If I hadn't known the story in advance I would have been totally surprised by it, I suppose it's the Cinderella / Pygmalion element that I like.
I was nearly put off buying this by the bad reviews for the narration, but I'm glad I wasn't. I briefly found the narrator too slow to begin with, but once I'd settled into the story his pace seemed perfectly fine and I thought he did a great job of managing the wide cast of voices and accents. I'm currently listening to 'Demelza' read by a female narrator, and while she is also very good (especially her wonderfully comic Prudie) I prefer Oliver's voice for Ross.
As most people probably have I watched the first episode on TV earlier this year, I never saw the 70's version so I cannot compare. Having read the books I purchased the amazon/audible link to give me the audio for the car. The man narrating is bloody awful!! His voice is wrong, his characterisations are lack luster and we gave up at chapter 2....sorry
Well narrated yarn!
The real sense of the age. The characters were well described and the writer gives you a real feel of Cornwall with its wonderful colloquial language. You felt like the characters were very familiar and that you really cared about their lives.
A wonderful round voice, which lent itself to all the characters. Highly recommended narrator.
It made me feel warm and comfortable a very emotionally involved with the characters.
I read this book in the 1970's and this audio has reminded me of just how beautifully written it is. I think Ross and Demelza are real heroes and heroines.
With the new BBC & PBS co-production of Poldark in 2015, I was interested to revisit the series of books. It's been about 30 years since I read them, and find it most pleasing to find they still hold up. Brings back my love of Verity, Demelza, Cornwall and of course Ross.
"Excellent Book, Mediocre Narration"
The writing and the story. Hurray for Winston Graham and the ten (?) volumes in the Poldark series!
I much preferred Clare Corbett who narrated the next volume in the series "Demelza". I was hoping that she would continue with the rest, but alas not.
I find Hembrough's narration to be awkward and wooden and barely tolerable.
"Excellent audible book!"
Wow! Excellent on every level! Great story and super narration! Now on to the next book in the series-Demelza. 😊
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