Silas Marner

  • by George Eliot
  • Narrated by Andrew Sachs
  • 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For 15 years the weaver Silas Marner has plied his loom near the village of Raveloe, alone and in exile, cut off from faith and human love, while amassing a hoard of golden guineas.

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More extraordinary insight from George Eliot

Every George Eliot book is a joy and a revelation, and Silas Marner is no exception. It seems like a deliberate reversal of classic motifs - the Prodigal Son, the Lost Princess, the Wicked Hunchback. She deals with her recurring themes of gender and disability / difference with astounding subtlety and complexity. Her radical ideas about the role of religion in society and the upbringing of children are straightforwardly described, yet natural and believable in how they affect the lives of her characters.
Sachs does a good job in the narration, although some of the more peripheral characters can become caricatured, which can belie the integrity of every actor in Eliot's human dramas.
And her description is simply sublime! I particularly like this vignette from Chapter 16:
"The sharp bark was the sign of an excited welcome that was awaiting them from a knowing brown terrier; who, after dancing at their legs in a hysterical manner, rushed with a worrying noise at a tortoiseshell kitten under the loom, and then rushed back with a sharp bark again, as much as to say, 'I have done my duty by this feeble creature you perceive'; while the lady mother of the kitten sat sunning her white bosom in the window, and looked around with a sleepy air of expecting caresses, though she was not going to take any trouble for them."
The observations and loving humour that underlie such passages are, to my mind, part of what makes Eliot a writer for all time.
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- Isolde

The only audio version worth considering

George Eliot is certainly not the most fashionable writer in today's terms. However, she was in fact the biggest literary money earner during her time second only to Charles Dickens. It is said that Eliot was paid ?10k for a 'novel' and Jane Austen ?500. You will need to consult the historical experts to confirm such claims. Putting this aside, this is the only audiobook you need consider should you wish to aquainte yourself with Mary Anne Evans. Andrew Sachs is excellent and Jonathan Woss is completely worthless...
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- nigel p seymour

Book Details

  • Release Date: 29-01-2008
  • Publisher: Audible Studios