The Mayor of Casterbridge

Letto da: Tony Britton
Durata: 13 ore e 12 min
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Sintesi dell'editore

Exclusively from Audible

This audiobook is about the rise and fall of Michael Henchard. While out-of-work he gets drunk at a fair and impulsively sells his wife and baby for five guineas to a sailor. Eighteen years later he is reunited with his wife and daughter, who discover that he has gained wealth and respect and is now the most prominent man in Casterbridge. Though he attempts to make amends he is no less impulsive and once again loses everything due to bad luck and his violent, selfish and vengeful nature.

In this dramatic audiobook, Hardy sympathetically portrays a deeply flawed tragic hero, searching for love and acceptance from his community. It poses the question: do we shape our own fate or is the outcome inevitable? This tragic tale is played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town.

Thomas Hardy was an English writer and one of the most significant novelists and poets of the 19th and early 20th centuries. He was greatly influenced by Charles Dickens and William Wordsworth.

Narrator Biography

In 1952, Tony Britton came to major attention after his role as Rameses in The Firstborn at London's Winter Garden Theatre. A renowned classical stage star, he has also appeared in numerous British films since the 1950s; most notably Operation Amsterdam (1959), Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) and The Day of the Jackal (1973). In 1975, he won the Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Nearly Man. From 1983-1990, he starred in the long running BBC sitcom Don't Wait Up alongside Nigel Havers and Dinah Sheridan. In 2013 he performed in a Gala Performance of King Lear at the Old Vic, London. Over the years Tony has lent his soothing voice to a huge collection of audio productions including Daphne du Maurier's Jamaica Inn and Anthony Trollope's An Old Man's Love.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Cosa pensano gli ascoltatori di The Mayor of Casterbridge

Valutazione media degli utenti

Non ci sono recensioni disponibili
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  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph R
  • 22/12/2009

Tangled Webs

Tony Britten did a bang-up job as narrator with this book. He has the voice of a crusty old English butler holding forth after work regaling the staff at the kitchen table. Michael Henchard led a rough and tumble life so "The Mayor of Casterbridge" is a rough and tumble story. I hadn't read this book since the seventies so while I knew the story, the details were hazy. Britten's narration refreshed my memory and illuminated details which eluded me when I only read. So I must say, as my eyesight deteriorates, there are compensating benefits in this age of audio books.

Many books written at this time were about the ruling classes, the landed and educated. The characters in this book like many other Hardy works are working folk, tradesmen and farmers...men and women with dirt under their fingernails. There is scarce a member of the gentry to be found. There are enough twists, turns and setbacks in the plot to even satisfy the modern sensibilities. The hero is a man who sold his wife and daughter to a sailor. No lords or ladies here. Yet, the hero is a likable and good man...hard but almost noble...and he pays a price. When the wife and daughter return, the tale becomes complicated with truths told; truths untold; truths at long last revealed; promises made and promises both kept and not kept. At the end the day, Thomas Hardy makes me feel I know these folks; have a kind of understanding of their ways which along with spending several pleasant hours is all that one can demand from a novelist.

13 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • B. Leddy
  • 01/10/2012

powerful novel of pre-idustrial age england

The writing was superlative. The story was a little creepy. The main character was a great tragic figure. And it is a novel regarding place as well - the way in which he refers back to roman times was really fascinating - makes me want to visit the locale. This was a great book and a great production. Thanks.

5 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kenneth
  • 21/11/2011

One of my Favorites

I absolutely adore Thomas Hardy. His story telling is just so real. His characters are multidimensional and so vibrant. He takes a look at the working class with an eye of sincerity that most authors simply lack. This was one of my favorite books. Unlike in many of his other books, Hardy starts right out with the meat of the story and keeps the number of characters to a minimum. The story moves along with many twists and turns and completely kept my attention.

The narrator was delightful as well. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this book and highly recommend it to anyone who has ever liked classical literature.

11 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mari L
  • 27/09/2016

Great story, not the greatest reading

Tony Britton reads with wonderful various accents and voices...of male characters at any rate. However his portrayal of female characters leaves much to be desired. His manner of reading the young heroine, Elizabeth-Jane was annoying to say the least. She sounded by his voice for her to be one of the little old men leaders of the Munchkins on Wizard of Oz. Anything but feminine or young. I would not recommend this version of the story although I love the story itself.

3 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Belvedere
  • 26/04/2016

Great reading

A beautiful narration of a great book. Thoroughly enjoyable. I had forgotten so much since my first reading.

3 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly Donoghue
  • 31/03/2019

Excellent Book

I love Thomas Hardy. Like his others the story is interesting and moves along at a nice pace. not bogged down in excessive dialog or sentimental. The characters are never wholly good or wholly bad and I feel like the entire story is a lesson in human behaviors. How we develop to be our best or worse self. I feel a little wiser somehow, more understanding of human nature. The reader is just wonderful! Every voice different and none annoying. I was sad when it was over and listened to the last chapter twice.

2 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • 24/06/2017

Excellent narration of a beautiful novel

Although not my favourite Hardy novel, I was still as entranced as always by his prose and plot line. This particular narration is fantastic, dramatic and very well executed, as Tony Britton brought considerable life and liveliness to all the characters. I highly recommend this audiobook!

2 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karin Dorsett
  • 10/09/2020

Great storytelling

A classic I really enjoyed. Tony Britton brings the characters to life. Kept my attention throughout.

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 17/12/2019

Brilliant rendering of a masterpiece

I have listened to scores of audiobooks and have established a list of favorite readers. Tony Britton goes straight to the top three or so. His vocal dexterity brings to life the large cast of characters, each with their own unique voices, and his narration is measured and musical without aiming for unnecessary effects. The whole book was wondrously enjoyable, and Hardy’s genius shone out throughout with an impact I was unable to appreciate fully when I read the book many years ago. This is the audiobook experience at its best.

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 26/07/2019

very enjoyable!

I've read that the Mayor of Casterbridge is considered Hardy's masterpiece novel, and while I did enjoy it and it's very complex main character of Michael Henchard, Tess of D'urbervilles was a far superior work than this one. The plot and various events were not as neatly set up as they were in Tess, and maybe the way the story was written, the narrative, was just not as impactful either. There was a great feeling of exhibition throughout that I didnt feel with Tess, and that feeling of exhibition took something away from the story, took me out of the story on some level and diluted the characters, which was a shame because the initial events in The Mayor of Casterbridge were pretty unique as far as I've read from other works of a similar time period. I did find this novel and performance very enjoyable, I'll be adding more Hardy novels to my library, but I am very glad that it was not my first Hardy because it may not have enticed me to read/listen to others.

Ordina per:
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  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 02/09/2011

Excellent reading

Really impressive characterisations - I couldn't follow every word of the countrymen's conversations, so convincing is the accent but it made one feel as if amongst the listeners in the pub or street...really well read and of course a terrific story-telling. I'm now looking for other books by the same reader.

There is a review here that nearly put me off as it refers to trouble with the recording. I can only say that I found the recording quality faultless.

8 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Judy
  • 28/10/2009

Highly recommended

Outstanding narration, particularly the characterisation of Henchard and Farfray - rivetting.

5 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TB
  • 26/05/2016

Top stuff

You can't help getting drawn into the tangle of Michael Henchard's precarious existence, great yarn

2 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Much Read Photographer
  • 20/05/2016

Excellent narration of a classic

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

Yes definitely.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Mayor of Casterbridge?

When the wife is sold off.

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

Yes, it was difficult to stop listening as it was such a wonderful tale.

Any additional comments?

This was one of those books that I had wanted to read for a long time but couldn't spare the time to sit down to read a paper version. I am glad now that I didn't have the time as Tony Britton really brought the characters to life.

2 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alison
  • 18/06/2011

Excellently read!

Tony Britten has an amazing range of voices for all the different characters. This book is excellently read and compelling listening.

5 people found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shapfell
  • 12/11/2019

Riveting story and narration.

I found myself binge listening to this book. Although I had heard of i, and thought I knew the story, it turns out not. Hardy has way of drawing the reader into the story, weaving the characters together like a tapestry. Tony Britton brings those characters to life brilliantly. He takes on the dialect of each character so convincingly that at times I happily floundered in understanding of what had been said. But that added to the atmosphere and authenticity of those times. I have become a real fan of this author and now also of the narrator. Highly recommended to all who love the English prose and classic stories.

1 person found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Liz
  • 24/08/2015

Compelling, Cruel, But Ultimately Redemptive?

What made the experience of listening to The Mayor of Casterbridge the most enjoyable?

The large ensemble of characters - as portrayed by Tony Britton - are all clearly delineated and his choice of accents and way of speaking really bring out the nuances of their personalities, class and position in society, essential to the understanding of the story. Real tour-de-force performance from Mr Britton.

What did you like best about this story?

The story is not as unremittingly bleak as the most famous of Hardy's novels, and the glimpses of possible happiness (Elizabeth-Jane and Farfrae at the end of the novel?) serve to emphasise the tragedy the main story of Michael Henchard. The imagery of the starved goldfinch as the trigger for Elizabeth-Jane's forgiveness (but her step-father's ignorance of that forgiveness) is unbelievably powerful.

Which character – as performed by Tony Britten – was your favourite?

Henchard - complex, proud to the point of stupidity, honourable, emotional and impulsive. One of literature's great characters and portrayed extremely well by Tony Britton. I have to say that it took a few minutes for me to settle to Tony Britton's narration (it was those horrible memories of the dreadful 80s comedies he did), but once I'd got past that his reading was flawless.

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

Beware of what you want, you may get it ...

1 person found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. S. E. Binns
  • 12/05/2015

The Mayor of Casterbridge

What did you like most about The Mayor of Casterbridge?

Thomas Hardy is a Master Story teller

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Mayor (original one) was my favourite as he was really hard working and despite his appalling behaviour early on he tried to put things right

Which character – as performed by Tony Britten – was your favourite?

As above

1 person found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Welsh Mafia
  • 18/07/2009

An old friend?.

Thirty years after first reading The Mayor of Casterbridge, returning to this one is like meeting up with an old friend and appreciating almost for the first time just how wonderful and complete Thomas Hardy?s world is. Locked against the interior monologue of Jane Austen, this is the story of implements and machinery, of farm stock and landscapes and how the bright sunny morning of a heath land and turn into the muddy mire of late afternoon. An easy pleasure from start to finish.

1 person found this helpful

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. Richard Jones
  • 10/10/2020

gripping story

Great story with many twists but the women's voices just didn't sound like women, more like something out of Monty python