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My intro to Trollope's Phineas Finn was through the 1970s TV series, The Pallisers, since watched on video and more recently DVD. The Phineas in Trollope's Palliser series is a mite more macho and naughty - his indecision as to which lovely lady to pursue to promote his political career versus his longing for the lovely pure Mary back home are well drawn by Trollope and one sympathises for his predicament in an era where, without inherited wealth and position within society, aspirations towards political power were hard to realise. The audio book has added a complexity to the character, but at the same time, with the deftness of touch which characterises Trollope's novels, where the human condition and foibles are exposed, but with gentle irony. If the sight of those close printed Trollope novels has put you off, in case of boredom, then try this audio book - it bowls along and takes you with it, effortlessly - I was sorry when it finished.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
If this had been my first Trollope novel, I probably would not have stuck with the read, but overall I liked it. The description of Parliamentary action many be too detailed for some readers, but as a Canadian with a similar system, reading such a portrait set in the period when Canada's own parliament was working for nation status was interesting.
The occasional "recaps" of plot betray that the novel originally appeared as a serial, and I found that bit annoying.
If you're new to Trollope, I'd recommend that you start with one of the Barset Chronicles rather than Phinneas.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
I want to second an opinion expressed in another review. Phineas Finn is not a good introduction to Trollope; read Doctor Thorne or The Little House at Allington first. This is not to detract from this excellent book, it just not the place to start with Trollope. Robert Whitfield turns in a splendid performance as narrator.
Phineas Finn liked women and women liked him. His philosophy could be best stated in the words of that 60's song,"If you can't be with the one you love, then love the one you're with". Restated: maybe a woman, in particular one Miss Mary Flood Jones, the girl back home, out of sight is a woman out of mind. Mr. Finn was a man of flexible principles and attachments. Clever, quick witted and handsome, he was scamp. I like him. He was a happy scamp, even a well meaning scamp. There were no mean bones in his body.
If you like inside politics, this is the book. He was a shooting star, flashing across the night sky suddenly appearing to be remarked upon then as suddenly gone. Elected to parliament without opposition at age twenty-five, the naive young man quickly finds himself at the center of political maneuvers and schemes. Then, suddenly, it was over but there is still the matter of the girl back home.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful