- helpful votes
superb- and very funny
this would have six stars if I could.
It's a tremendously original and very funny exercise in Royal Biography.
Craig Brown looks at Princess Margaret but (even more) looks at people looking at Princess Margaret
She clearly fascinates him- a woman who's career- in his words- peaked when she was 6 (and 4th in line to the throne) and thereafter she was simply the daughter of a king and the sister of a queen. Brown paints an idiosyncratic portrait of a woman for whom life was always going to be something of an anticlimax.
To an extent we loose a bit on the biography side because it's such a funny book- things too sad (the marriage break-up) or too ordinary (motherhood) are largely passed over- But it is a hilarious listen!
At last a narrator worthy of Barbara Pym!
I can't give away the plot- but the genius of 'Glass of Blessings' is the way it quietly crumbles- it feels calm, chilly- almost a little dull and predictable- but then- wham!- the genius of Pym's narration just hits you-
The scene in the grocer's shop over the streaky bacon is achingly moving in a most extraordinary way.
It's a slow burner- you can't judge it til you've finished it.
it's a fascinating subject- but it doesn't work for audio-
I think it's a perfect storm of not very gripping writing and mediocre narration that leads to an uninteresting listen.
Probably best to skim through a print copy.
(I didn't finish)
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
great- and easy- listening
As someone with Millennial British schooling I knew nothing about the British Empire except that it was very big and ought to give me a feeling of guilt.
This book was absolutely great- informative and interesting.- apparently the Victorians governed India with less civil servants than are currently employed by Ofstead.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
I love this.
I had it on cassette, I bought it on Audible- I'm almost personally affronted that someone has reviewed it with one star.
One star forsooth!
Yes, it's dated- but gloriously so- the lines are 'sung', but sung so well that this could be opera.
The actors throw everything they've got at it- and draw out every last drop of drama,
My spine tingles every time I hear the Lady Macbeth line 'My hands are of your colour- but I shame to wear a heart so white.'
and I literally well up at Mucduff's reaction to news of his family's massacre.
It's rich and full-bodied, a fine example of its type.
Weirdly this works as an audio book. At least it worked for me.
It is read with energy and decision- which suits the rather didactic style of the text and its just, well, interesting...
The story gets lost in the words
I confess I haven't finished this- though I promise you I've tried.
The style is too prolix and colloquial, it bogs down... it has no trouble 'finding the words' the trouble is it finds too many of them.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Of course it was a dead cert that this was going to be good, Timothy West reading Trollope always is.
His Louis Scatcherd voice is particularly good- I think he's described as sounding like a cross between a yankee and a stable groom- Timothy West managed to catch this voice and imbue it with all the right arrogance and pathos.
The plot of the novel is perhaps a little over-stretched... one knows where it is going and it gets there in its own good time- but the leisurely journey is well worth taking.
I had loved the BBC radio version (see another review), watched the film but -to my shame- only ever toyed with the book itself.
So I thought it would try it on audio.
And I got through it- with ease.
It's great stuff- The narration is fine- not Timothy West reading Trollope- but certainly on the 'good' side of acceptable.
The Wings of The Dove is a novel that I have never yet managed to read right through- so I'm possibly not qualified to say that this is a very good dramatisation.
I liked the fact that the writing and dialogue found an idiom of it's own that didn't strive after naturalism and seemed to capture the indirect density of the original. It did have its less happy passages- the dialogue between Milly and Lord Mark, her thoughts and the internal 'electric bell' of her caution did not come together particularly well.
The acting too is superb.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful