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Publisher's Summary

Cornwall in the 1780s - when powerful forces of revolution and reaction are at large in the world. The first in the riveting Poldark series.

Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has anticipated turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict, and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin. But his sympathy for the destitute miners and farmers of the district leads him to rescue a half-starved urchin girl from a fairground brawl and take her home-an act which alters the whole course of his life....

©1945 Winston Graham (P)2015 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A pleasant experience of the evolution of a life

I hadn't heard of this before the mini-series started showing on ABC earlier this month. I was intrigued enough to find the book on Audible. I loved how Graham developed the story much as a life unfolds - this step and then this one. Ross Poldark is lovely as a character and the various characters that populate this novel are very human and flawed and enjoyed the gentle step of time. Well worth the read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent

I've really enjoyed this audio book.
Mr Hembrough does an outstanding job of bringing out the different characters. I thought Judd and the comic relief he provides was especially good. I didn't particularly care for Demelza's voice (although I'm sure it was much more realistic that the sanitized TV version voice..), but overall the performance is excellent.
Highly recommended for fans of the TV show. It covers roughly the first 4 episodes of the first series of the current TV Poldark. However, the books are so much richer and subtler in their characterizations. We get Ross' and Demelza's thoughts and impressions that just cannot be conveyed on screen. There is a gentleness and flow to the whole story which draws you in.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely, easy listening.

sweet. simple. easy listening. good sense of Cornish history and dialect. accomplished performance by narrator.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Donna
  • 30-07-2015

Excellent Book, Mediocre Narration

What made the experience of listening to Ross Poldark the most enjoyable?

The writing and the story. Hurray for Winston Graham and the ten (?) volumes in the Poldark series!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Oliver J. Hembrough?

I much preferred Clare Corbett who narrated the next volume in the series "Demelza". I was hoping that she would continue with the rest, but alas not.

I find Hembrough's narration to be awkward and wooden and barely tolerable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 30-05-2017

enjoyable story...

enjoyable to read/listen to while watching the TV series... I don't know how much I would have enjoyed it if I hadn't already watched the show but saying that, doing both together was quite a wonderful experience as this gave the already fantastic TV show some depth that I really enjoyed... would definitely recommend... 😊

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cheryl
  • 18-04-2015

Excellent audible book!

Wow! Excellent on every level! Great story and super narration! Now on to the next book in the series-Demelza. 😊

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda Isbell
  • 13-04-2015

Can't tell...

If I love this book because of the show or because I love the show because of the book. I love these characters and stories brought to life. I would absolutely recommend.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cerisaye
  • 14-04-2015

Entrancing

What made the experience of listening to Ross Poldark the most enjoyable?

I raced through this audio book wallowing in the pleasure of listening to a well loved story about characters I have been familiar with for nearly 40 years now. It is interesting that I picture some as described in the novel whereas others take the appearance of the actors who played the parts in the 70s and more recent BBC adaptation.

What did you like best about this story?

I love Poldark and have done since watching the 70s adaptation and then reading the first few books. There is romance in abundance, a brooding Byronic hero in Captain Ross, fiesty, wonderful Demelza who saves him, a complicated love triangle, dastardly deeds and scheming by the rapacious New Men of the Warleggan family, more information about copper mining than you are ever likely to find in fiction, social commentary and historical detail. The writing is excellent, the story told with obvious love and passion for Cornwall and its people, with a deal of humour in the telling. You can practically smell the salt tang, feel the warm summer breezes and wintry blasts. Graham has created characters that live and breathe in your imagination like real people that you care about, or love to hate. I love Ross & Demelza, obviously, but Verity has a special place in my heart, too. Now I am so much older than when I first came to Poldark I find I have more sympathy for poor Francis.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Other listeners have complained about poor reading but I had no problem with the narrator and enjoyed this audio book performance. The various characters had distinctive voices with what sounded to my ear (though I admit I am no expert) passable Cornish accents, better than the new TV adaptation. The female parts were read passably, too, which often is a problem with audio books read by male readers. I wasn't fond of the voice used for Francis, however, which sounded out of character, too old.

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

Yes, absolutely!

Any additional comments?

I can't wait to listen to the next book, and hope Audible issues the entire series, soon.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • 23-11-2016

Disappointing

The reader did not perform well. He seems to be ill prepared and reads as if seeing the text for the first time and struggles with the text like a child who has just learned to decode but has yet to comprehend the author's intent. Particularly annoying is the way all the females are portrayed as feeble, whining and characterless by the poor reading and simpering tone used. I can't face any more books in this series read in this way. I hope an alternative reader will become available soon.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Celticprincess
  • 09-11-2016

I’m a huge fan of the books and the narrator!

If you could sum up Ross Poldark in three words, what would they be?

Complex, believable, enthralling

Who was your favorite character and why?

I like Ross, but I love how gutsy Demelza is

What does Oliver J. Hembrough bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I really think his narration is excellent. I love how he plays certain characters (Prudie for example)

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

The whole book is quite moving. I find that Ross and his inner turmoil touch something in me. Even though my life isn't as eventful, I do find that I can relate to some things that he feels when he's in certain situations.

Any additional comments?

Even though the main plot is as far from my reality as it could be, I find that the emotions of the characters are extremely relatable. I Love that certain situations -and the characters' resulting emotions- are not simplified like some other authours may do, things are not always black and white and Graham knew how to work with that.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • sue
  • 29-03-2015

What a disappointment

What disappointed you about Ross Poldark?

Winston Graham is a great story teller and I was really looking forward to having this read to me. What a let down! This terrible turgid delivery plodding through the text with all the pauses in the wrong place so that you often lose the thread of the plot. Couldn't Audible have forked out for a decent actor to read it? You're going to make money as there is a TV series on at the moment. I would really like my money back it's so terrible.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ross Poldark?

It's a great story with lots of memorable moments, just not in this version.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Oliver J. Hembrough?

Anyone who doesn't sound like a teenage boy trying to make sense of his first script.

What character would you cut from Ross Poldark?

None! It's one of my favourite books.

Any additional comments?

Please bring out a better version. I would buy it!

26 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Valerie. Martin
  • 25-04-2015

Better than the TV series

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

Here, here.... the books are FAR preferable to the TV versions..... bring the unabridged versions on PLEASE Audible so that we can hear the full stories.. .

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ross Poldark?

The beginning of the book and setting the scene and the characters

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Difficult to choose between the various scenes of horses being ridden over the countryside..... and also the coaches and horses.

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

Not as good as the book.... although Phil Davies as Judd is worth watching..

Any additional comments?

Who needs Aidan Turner when we can visualise Winston Graham's characters with his written words.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs
  • 06-04-2015

Such a wasted opportunity

Having been a fan of the Poldark novels for 40 years, when I became an audible member I was surprised to discover that the only available audio version was abridged. I was really excited when this new version was released recently to coincide with the stunning new adaptation currently showing on BBC. Brilliant, I thought, they will have chosen a really first class narrator who will really do justice to the novel. Ha! How wrong I was! I'm pleased to see that another reviewer shares my opinion that Oliver Hemborough's dreadful, wooden, emotionless, plodding delivery of a wonderfully atmospheric story with a host of excellently drawn characters is SO BAD as to be almost impossible to listen to and not get angry. I could honestly do it better myself! What a waste of a credit. Come on audible, this is utter rubbish..

14 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frances Roche
  • 07-04-2015

I cannot believe how awful the narration is

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

This is a MUCH loved book, I've read it at least five times and was so excited to see it appear on audible's listing as I now find it very difficult to read but the narration is so appalling that I'm sending it back before I've even got half way. I don't understand why a more sympathetic narrator could be found, this is a swashbuckling saga set in brutal hard times in a bleak but beautiful landscape and it is read in the manner of a Home Counties afternoon tea party. I don't know if I can forgive whoever it was to find a narrator for this story. I cannot believe a real Poldark fan would enjoy this audio book.

What did you like best about this story?

Winston Graham's writing

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Oliver J. Hembrough?

SimonVance, Rupert Degas would have been superb, both readers seem to take the time to get to know the characters before they voice them

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

As an audio book, none what so ever!

Any additional comments?

Get your act together audible!

18 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • May
  • 17-04-2015

It does not disappoint!

If you could sum up Ross Poldark in three words, what would they be?

Well narrated yarn!

What did you like best about this story?

The real sense of the age. The characters were well described and the writer gives you a real feel of Cornwall with its wonderful colloquial language. You felt like the characters were very familiar and that you really cared about their lives.

What about Oliver J. Hembrough’s performance did you like?

A wonderful round voice, which lent itself to all the characters. Highly recommended narrator.

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

It made me feel warm and comfortable a very emotionally involved with the characters.

Any additional comments?

I read this book in the 1970's and this audio has reminded me of just how beautifully written it is. I think Ross and Demelza are real heroes and heroines.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Claire
  • 17-04-2015

Returning to my love of Poldark

With the new BBC & PBS co-production of Poldark in 2015, I was interested to revisit the series of books. It's been about 30 years since I read them, and find it most pleasing to find they still hold up. Brings back my love of Verity, Demelza, Cornwall and of course Ross.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful