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Sintesi dell'editore

Exclusively from Audible

Hardy's first major literary success, here brought to life by narrator Nathaniel Parker, is the story of the independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits her uncle's farm, the largest estate in the area. She surprises the villagers of Weatherbury by deciding to run it herself rather than hire a manager. Attracted to this bold young woman are three very different suitors all vying for her affections. They include the lonely gentleman-farmer Boldwood, the young and handsome but inconsiderate Sergeant Troy and the faithful shepherd Gabriel Oak. Serving to unsettle and complicate her life, the three contrasting men show the many facets of love. But Bathsheba's indecision and inability to commit leads to some disastrous consequences.

The first of Hardy's works set in Wessex (south-west England), Far from the Madding Crowd presents evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes.

Thomas Hardy was an English writer and poet in the Romantic era who was greatly influenced by Charles Dickens and William Wordsworth.

Narrator Biography

Screen and stage actor Nathaniel Parker, trained with LAMDA before becoming a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. On stage, he has co-starred alongside actors such as Dustin Hoffman and Dame Helen Mirren. In 2014 he played King Henry VIII in Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies for the Royal Shakespeare Company. This earned him an Olivier Award for the London production and a Tony Award nomination when the show moved on to Broadway.

On screen, Nathaniel Parker is widely known for starring in period dramas but is best known for playing Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley (2001-2007). Most recently he has appeared in the TV series Of Kings and Prophets (2016), and The Outcast (2015). Over the years he has lent his voice to a large number of classic and contemporary audiobooks including John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos in 2016.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • vhuggins
  • 11 06 2013

Does Thomas Hardy justice

Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite authors and this book is probaby my favorite of his books. It has the darkness that a lot of his novels have, but it has some light as well. Bathsheba is a very complex character with very definite faults. Nobody in this novel is too perfect and everyone seems very human. Nathaniel Parker is a great narrator. At first I thought he read a little fast, but either he slowed down or I got used to it because I really enjoyed his reading. He does a wonderful job with the characters, and Bathsheba doesn't have that annoying sound that some male narrators give their female characters. I will definitely be listening to this one again.

13 su 13 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • merydith
  • 13 04 2013

Wonderful story and perfect narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This Thomas Hardy masterpiece is presented with excellent narration. The quality of the production is wonderful. My only question, why doesn't Nathaniel Parker do more of Thomas Hardy?

Who was your favorite character and why?

Gabriel Oak is man of virtue and integrity, a giant in fiction.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I loved this book!

7 su 7 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Bettina
  • 03 08 2012

Nathaniel Parker is PERFECT as narrator

Would you listen to Far From The Madding Crowd again? Why?

yes. The writing of Hardy is worth second third and fourth looks. Beautiful descriptions and keen observations of the human condition, with just the right balance of humor and pathos.

What did you like best about this story?

Nathaniel Parker's narration; Thomas Hardy's exquisite descriptions, observations and character development.

Which character – as performed by Nathaniel Parker – was your favorite?

Gabriel Oak

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes, hard to put down, but it is a long book, and it needed to "breathe" as the story went on.

Any additional comments?

It will be hard to top anything that Nathaniel Parker narrates. He did an excellent job. Only wish there were more books available narrated by him!

11 su 12 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Dean Farwood
  • 03 02 2013

Outstanding Narrator

Would you consider the audio edition of Far From The Madding Crowd to be better than the print version?

Nathaniel Parker's characters are stunning. Accents, toning, even breath sounds make Hardy's world so real as to seem to belong to the listener.

9 su 10 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Ann
  • 19 04 2015

Worth listening to

Where does Far From The Madding Crowd rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Definitely near the top of my list/.

What did you like best about this story?

A great story. I was glad it was a long book and sad to see it end. Really believable characters.

What about Nathaniel Parker’s performance did you like?

I didn't think about the narrator at all, which is how it should be.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I listen when driving. I looked forward to long drives when I was listening to this book.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this book.

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Gail K. Piland
  • 19 04 2015

Far from the maddening crowd

Love the story. Fantastic writing great description . Wonderful character development . I would like to read by Thomas hardy he is brilliant .

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Bj
  • 15 03 2015

Very long listen

I know this book received some excellent reviews, but it was by far the most difficult book for me to listen to. Painfully difficult. I almost stopped numerous times. The narrator did a good job, the story was a good story- but it was the form of literature that made it so difficult to want to finish...I do not take pleasure in giving a poor rating but this is one that was so painfully slow that I will not listen to it again....ever.

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Dennis G
  • 26 02 2015

Loved the book.. Parker is an awesome narrator.

I read this book 30 years ago, it was like visiting an old friend as I lisrened to the book in the background.

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • W Perry Hall
  • 15 10 2016

Snake, Fruitcake and Beefcake; Much Heartache


Bathsheba Everdeen has inherited a sheep farm from her late uncle in the idyllic Victorian farming community, the village of Weatherbury, Wessex County, England. The novel was published in 1874 and reportedly was Hardy's first commercial success (his 4th novel).

Bathsheba is haughty and creates her own set of madding problems by sending a Valentine to the shy, very strange William Boldwood, after turning down a marriage proposal from the heady shepherd/farmer Gabe Oak. Then as giddy as a schoolgirl, she falls head over heels for the cad Sergeant Troy (a distant relative of Major Tom and Captain Jack).

To say more on the story would reveal a spoiler. Hardy deftly focuses on themes of honor, love and betrayal. He took the title from a poem called "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray (1751).

"Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way."

I was quite frustrated by Bathsheba's total infatuation with Sergeant Troy. Have young women always worn blinders to the duplicity of the attractive snakes, going back to the Original Sin? Can nothing be done to save such heartaches, that everyone except the lady can see coming?

Probably so and likely not. In any case, I found this a good, but not great, novel.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Patricia
  • 21 11 2015

Really enjoyable

Nathaniel Parker is amazing. My goodness, what else has he recorded for Audible? Sign me up.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • MRS DS Clark
  • 01 05 2015

Riveting Story, Superb Reading

This compelling classic could not be better served than it is in this reading by Nathaniel Parker. He makes vivid Hardy's majestically poetic narrative and uses subtle yet distinct inflexion to indicate which character is speaking. I did not listen to this book as much as dwell within it.

3 su 3 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Steve
  • 17 04 2011

Far From The Madding Crowd

A well known story thanks to a great film. The film, though, omits many of the great details of Hardy's classic tale. Here is love, commitment, passion, desire and the terrible resut of unfulfilled love. Beautifully read, all the passion is is here. Classic.

3 su 3 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Chloe
  • 01 03 2014

A Pastoral Tale of Love and Loss Read Beautifully

I had read Far From the Madding Crowd several times in my teens when going through a Hardy phase, and though I appreciate that Hardy's later novels often pushed the boundaries far more in challenging society's notions of love and respectability, this has always been my favourite. Although there is no absence of hardship and tragedy for many of the characters in this tale, there is a happy ending; at least for the male protagonist Gabriel Oak if not entirely for Bathsheba who has had to endure many terrible twists and turns in her young womanhood (some admittedly brought on by her own folly) before she finds that what she was looking for was right under her nose.
Hardy has a way of writing even very flawed characters so that we at least partly understand and empathise with them. These are real people, vividly drawn, and when they despair, we despair (in Hardy's last novel Jude the Obscure I was so moved at one point that I was in floods of tears and had to put the book down for weeks to get over it!).
In this audio performance I found myself appreciating the cast of rural workpeople far more than I had when reading the novel. I don't know if this is due to age - I felt I got a lot more from the novel this time around in all regards, perhaps due to the wisdom of experience - or because of the excellent narration. Nathaniel Parker gives each character his own voice, his accents sound authentic and his Gabriel Oak was so good I was prompted to seek out the 1998 television series in which he starred as the character (very well worth a watch too if you get the chance, I have now watched it twice).
Overall, well worth my credit, I know I will be listening to this many times.

6 su 8 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Philip
  • 16 07 2016

Compelling and Beautiful!!

Nathanial Parker's reading of Far From the Madding Crowd is absolutely flawless! I was completely enthralled by this book. Whilst Hardy's language is a little stilted and hard to follow in places, the prose is truly magnificent and the reader makes this story very accessible indeed. This is a tremendous way to experience the classics.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • ms
  • 06 12 2015

Brilliant

It took a while for me to get into the story and more densely descriptive English prose, however I persevered and it was so amazing , I loved every minute and learnt a lot about Harry's England . it's a masterpiece .

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Dawn Hallow
  • 02 12 2015

Beautiful

Would you consider the audio edition of Far From The Madding Crowd to be better than the print version?

I would because the tone and accent of the narrator communicated the story's milieu. Also I think Nathaniel Parker keeps up the momentum of the book and kept it enjoyable from start to finish.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would never change a story! But if I was the editor I may have cut out a few of the sheep scenes, one too many for my taste.

Have you listened to any of Nathaniel Parker’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No I have not, however I was very impressed and I would definitely listen to another of his recordings.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Love and sheep in the time of feminism.

Any additional comments?

This is not one of my favourite Hardy books but I really enjoyed listening to another one of this works. I would definitely recommend it to any Hardy fans.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • kassy4
  • 15 10 2015

Amazing narration!

The reader has different voices for the various characters. It was amazing. Listened over 3 days!

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • s
  • 23 08 2015

Loved it from start to finish!

This had become one of my favourites. Very enjoyable. I expect that I will be playing this again and again.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • G. M. Page
  • 08 08 2015

My lovely revisit of a classic

Where does Far From The Madding Crowd rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As fas the classics go, this is in the upper half of my list of favourites.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Far From The Madding Crowd?

I appreciated the overall listening experience, but I was moved by Gabriel Oak's loyalty, strength and honour despite his personal setbacks.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I appreciated much more now than when I first read it decades ago what an extraordinary position and status Bathsheba had for those times and how hard it was for her to use her status fully. I also appreciated how Hardy, a male author in the second half of the 19th century, captured the essence of that difficulty with sensitivity in a time when women were still very much treated as chattels and had very few rights.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • ORed
  • 16 06 2015

Superb reading by Nathaniel Parker

I'm not a huge fan of Hardy, it has to be said. His opinion and depictions of women leave a lot to be desired. However, Nathaniel Parker brought such life and vitality to the story in his reading that I couldn't help but be captivated and engaged in the story.
Exceptionally well done!

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione