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Wonderful story, well read. Audible should be ashamed that seconds after the end is a reminder that you have just listened to Tess of the D'Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy then an advert for Audible.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Jenny Dixon is magnificent in her naration of the story listening to her serene voice made the story flow.
I really enjoyed this version of Tess
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend Tess of the D'urbervilles to your friends? Why or why not?
Not really. Hardy did an admirable job pointing out the hypocrisy of Victorian double standards and the damage they could wreak on a woman's life. But to do so, he apparently felt that he needed to make the heroine a weak, pathetic, simpering, long-suffering little simpleton. Kind of like Victor Hugo's Fantine (who, to be sympathetic, had to be somehow inherently "pure" despite her sins), Hardy made Tess into some sort of uber-victim for the Victorian age. It undoubtedly served a useful rhetorical purpose at the time, but it makes for extremely frustrating reading in the 21st century.
What didn’t you like about Jennifer Dixon’s performance?
There were strange silences at times in this reading -- sometimes it almost felt like the book had accidentally skipped ahead (this might be an editing problem, rather than an issue with Ms. Dixon's performance). For her performance, Ms. Dixon sounded a bit fatigued at times and she placed emphasis in odd places in some sentences. She used a weird voice for most of the female characters that made pretty much all of them sound like blathering idiots or old biddies. She made Tess sound completely pathetic, but that's consistent with the writing at least. I would be curious to see if I enjoyed this book more reading it myself.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
No. But I never go see film adaptations of Victorian novels. Mini-series are a different story.