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Johnny Midnight

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  • 19
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  • 3
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  • The Return of the Native

  • By: Thomas Hardy
  • Narrated by: Alan Rickman
  • Length: 15 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 269
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271

Set on Egdon Heath, a fictional barren moor in Wessex, Eustacia Vye longs for the excitement of city life but is cut off from the world in her grandfather's lonely cottage. Clym Yeobright who has returned to the area to become a schoolmaster seems to offer everything she dreams of: passion, excitement and the opportunity to escape. However, Clym's ambitions are quite different, and marriage only increases Eustacia's destructive restlessness, drawing others into a tangled web of deceit and unhappiness.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Marvellous.

  • By Pauline on 17-08-11

Rickman revelation

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-11-14

Any additional comments?

Alan Rickman gives a stunning 'reading' of Hardy's Return of the Native. I know he's a great actor but his range of voices and emotions is entirely unexpected and of course like a true pro diction and delivery is faultless throughout. Definitely the best reading of a novel I've heard on Audible. If you're not a Hardy follower then be prepared for a slower pace than modern writing, but all the richer and more truthful for that. It's not my favourite Hardy (they're Tess and Casterbridge) hence the 4 stars for story, but nevertheless it approaches genius.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The American Civil War

  • By: Gary W. Gallagher, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Gary W. Gallagher
  • Length: 24 hrs and 37 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 158
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159

Between 1861 and 1865, the clash of the greatest armies the Western hemisphere had ever seen turned small towns, little-known streams, and obscure meadows in the American countryside into names we will always remember. In those great battles, those streams ran red with blood-and the United States was truly born.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spectacularly great history.

  • By Johnny Midnight on 19-06-14

Spectacularly great history.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-06-14

Any additional comments?

I bought this because it looked excellent value and my intention was to get through it in about 12 weeks. I've had it a week now and I'm up to lecture 40 of 48 ! It has surpassed all of my expectations. It's compulsively interesting, told with great verve and authority, yet never solemn nor condescending. Every aspect of the war is covered, it's not in any way a succession of battles and skirmishes, although nothing is left out. There is fascinating discussion of politics, slavery, women's roles, social attitudes, economics, technology, you name it and you'll probably find it. Lincoln plays a massive role and it's interesting to get the low down on Grant and Lee. The pace is fast moving but not so fast you don't have time to picture and imagine it, just right in fact. I thoroughly recommend this to anyone who is interested in real history.

P.S. people complaining about the 'pompous' music at the start of each lecture ought to chill out, the one on here is Brandenburg concerto 2 by JS Bach. Get the album, it's sublime.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful