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Barchester Towers

Penguin English Library
Narrated by: David Timson
Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

Penguin Classics presents Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Towers, adapted for listening and now available as a digital audiobook as part of the Penguin English Library series. The text is expertly read by the actor David Timson.

"What to come here a stranger, a young, unknown, and unfriended stranger, and tell us, in the name of the bishop his master, that we are ignorant of our duties, old-fashioned, and useless!"

Trollope's comic masterpiece of plotting and backstabbing opens as the Bishop of Barchester lies on his deathbed. Soon a pitched battle breaks out over who will take power, involving, among others, the zealous reformer Dr Proudie, his fiendish wife, and the unctuous schemer Obadiah Slope.

Barchester Towers is the second (as well as the most loved) book in Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire series, which captures 19th century provincial England with wit, worldly wisdom, and an unparalleled gift for characterization.

Part of a series of vintage recordings taken from the Penguin archives, the Penguin English Library series offers affordable, collectable, quality productions that are perfect for on-the-go listening.

Public Domain (P)2012 Penguin Books Ltd

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    4 out of 5 stars

Classic Trollope

Great bedtime listening - not too exciting or disturbing, so it won't keep you awake or give you nightmares! I enjoy Trollope's dry sense of humour and witty comments on society in general. You would be well advised to read/listen to The Warden before Barchester Towers, as it sets up this story.

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  • Barbara
  • 24-02-13

Always Do What is Right!

If you could sum up Barchester Towers in three words, what would they be?

It is Right and Just!

What other book might you compare Barchester Towers to and why?

Other Trollope books for sure. It is always about morals, ethics and doing what is right no matter the consciousness. Of course in his books there is always a good ending, but the ideas behind the decisions are good to read, good to ponder. Great ideas for discussion in a book group.

Have you listened to any of David Timson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I will. Enjoyed his read.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Oh, the endings of a Trollope novel are always the best moments. I love how they turn out, how doing "The Right Thing" is always the right decision.

Any additional comments?

Many summers ago I read 5 or 6 of Anthony Trollop's novels; this was one of them. But the reader was so entertaining, and the parts of the book that take place in America are so fun to listen to and visualize. I did enjoy every hour of this book.

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  • Mike Langan
  • 27-08-18

Hugely disappointing.

I like to accompany the audio with a hard copy of the book in order to have either or both available as the occasion demands.

It was hugely disappointing to note, as early as the second paragraph of chapter one, that this audio was a ‘clipped’ or edited version of the novel. Chapter one, consisting of more than nine pages, was dispatched in slightly over five minutes of reading. The flow, commentary, observations and circumstances of the novel were consequently destroyed.

It is, in effect, a “Barchester Towers Made Simple” version. Typical of a modern age in a hurry which is not prepared to devote necessary time and attention to read the entire novel.

Moral here is always examine the detail of the audio before purchasing in order to avoid buying a summary instead of the novel.

On the plus side, which is no consolation, the narrative is very clear with good intonation.

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