A compelling drama and a merciless scrutiny of a newly monied upper-middle-class family at the turn of the 20th century, The Forsyte Saga has a sumptuous range of characters:Soames, he of the ‘perpetual sniff’; Old Jolyon, ‘typifying the essential individualism born in the Briton’; the sensuous Bosinney with ‘an air as if he did not quite know on which side his bread was buttered’; Young Jolyon, the free thinker; and, of course, the sexually alluring and impenetrable Irene, catalyst for much dissension within the clan.
The Forsytes believe they will live forever, but the unrelenting, imperturbable façade slowly begins to crumble as Aunt Ann, the oldest Forsyte ever, is interred in the family tomb at the end of this first volume.
The author makes his presence and opinion felt with beautifully subtle pinpricks of wit, which leave one in no doubt what he thought of the accumulation of wealth and property, which typified the materialistic Victorian psyche, at the expense of sensitivity and freedom. As in The Dark Flower (also published by Assembled Stories), Galsworthy demonstrates a fundamental understanding of hidden sexual currents and their ability to change our destinies.
If you have enjoyed The Forsyte Saga on television in the past, you will be familiar with this engrossing story; if not, prepare to be completely captivated and engaged by one of the best tales ever told.
About Assembled Stories: Over the years the national press have reviewed Assembled Stories titles as "excellent", "remarkable", "entrancing", "superb", "agic for sure", "masterly", "wonderful", "a class act", and "a splendid example of audio at its best".
"Peter Joyce is the most remarkable one-man band in audiobook publishing. Joyce, an experienced actor, reads them all himself." (The Independent)
“Family sagas, from Icelandic to Aga, have diverted readers for centuries, but the Forsytes remain the brand leaders. The clever thing about this edition is that it comes in small, easily digestible portions. Peter Joyce, whose rhetorical resonance is perfect for his subject, has divided the saga into nine volumes, each lasting around five hours. Listen for yourselves. It was the dialogue that had me constantly rewinding…. their lives are eminently and endlessly fascinating.” (Sue Arnold, The Guardian)
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Impressive and Enjoyable but a bit short