Michael Henchard, drunk at a country fair, sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas. The following day, in despair and remorse, he forswears alcohol and sets out to redeem himself. In time, he becomes a respected merchant and eventually the mayor of the town. But Fate is not to be so easily appeased, and Henchard finds his past actions resonate through and destroy his plans for the future.
One of the greatest novels in the English language, The Mayor of Casterbridge sees Thomas Hardy at his best, bringing landscape and richly imagined characters to life, and setting the hope of love against the forces of Providence.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
(P)2010 Naxos Audiobook
I really enjoyed listening to this story far more than I would have reading it. The narrator kept the characters clear with his excellent voices and the beautiful use of language kept me engaged far more than just reading the very descriptive information.
If Anton Lesser ever gets tired of narrating Dickens, he can always do Thomas Hardy. His reading of this (very) sad book is superb: well-paced, resonant, and brimming with voices. He even manages to get some humor in -- not over Hardy's head or behind his back, just bringing out a quality in some of the dialogue that I totally missed when I first read this book many years ago.
Of course, this being Hardy, nothing works out the way you want for the characters you care about. His main character, Henchard -- the Mayor of the title (or one of them, at any rate) -- is a morally complex man, someone who really wants to do the right thing but is often overtaken by his own passions, coincidence, or bad luck. (At one point near the end of the story, he starts out to do something really nasty, then changes his mind and decides to the right thing, but by sheer accident the nasty thing happens anyway.)
You either like Hardy or you don't. If you like him, you'll probably like Anton Lesser's interpretation as well. I really do hope Lesser takes on a few more of Hardy's books.
"Continuing the Hardy Binge, Happily"
Okay, Hardy #2 down, another lovely idyll of beautiful writing and narration. As with Far From the Madding Crowd, this book kept me engaged and engrossed, sort of floating along on the lyrical writing, the interesting plot, and Anton Lesser's narration. This is the portrait of a deeply flawed man, an inherently selfish and boorish businessman and politician (can you say Republican field 2016? There are parallels) who is not without his redemptive qualities. I enjoyed it tremendously. Lesser's narration is marvelous . . . as with the works of Dickens, there is an embarrassment of narrative riches, but you certainly can't go wrong with this one. With the "get the narration for $2.99 when you buy the Kindle book" deal, and the Kindle book costs 99 cents, there really is no excuse for not giving it a try!
A very well-narrated version of a compelling classic about a tragically flawed man who turns out to be his own worst enemy at every turn.
"Hardy has weathered less well than I expected."
This was one of my favourite books as a young man,and I downloaded it expecting to relish it as I did 30 years ago.
Well,although the story still holds the attention,it seems that Hardy and I have grown older.
The portrait of English country life and morals in the early 19th century is as interesting and detailed as ever, but the plot is too predictable.
The narration is excellent,with the narrator switching easily and convincingly between male and female voices,between characters with rustic,rural accents and those with more sophisticated speech.
I still intend to download more of Hardys' books,they are after all,classics.
The reader was excellent. And the story was tight and true to his development of the characters.
Excellent depiction of each character.
Henchard's inevitable return to his beginning.
Hardy is not optimistic about human nature or life but quite realistic. So much of his depiction of us human beings still rings true--a classic.
"The Mayor of Casterbridge"
This was a very pleasant surprise. I have never read Hardy and was expecting a stodgy Victorian sermon. What I got was a powerful, at times overwhelming book. The character of Henchard must be one of the strongest in literature and his fall, rise and fall again is related in a fast moving and sometimes very modern way. The narration of Anton Lesser is as always superb and add's greatly to the enjoyment of this great book. Highly recommended and I will be keen to try more Thomas Hardy.
Anton Lesser brings this classic Hardy tale to life with his intelligent narration and his skilful employment of accent and dialect. A stunning performance. I have played back some of the best passages again and again. As for the story itself, it is a lovely balance of humour and pathos which explores the human condition. Excellent and highly recommended
There's no doubt it , when you listen to something like this, Thomas Hardy was an exceptionally talented writer, his description of henchards character, is so deep and thorough that you can almost feel like you are henchard himself.
if you like your books to have a emotional effect on you, as well as having something significant to say about human nature, then you ought to be impressed by this.
plus Anton lesser narration is awesome, he really does the book justice.
I read this wonderful book 40 years ago, and enjoyed this performance even more. Highly recommended, looking forward to more.
"Absolutely loved this book and the narration"
The language and structure of this book is so pleasing and rich, particularly the varied accents. Anton Lesser did a brilliant job with this.
No. I wanted to savour this, an hour at a time.
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