Cornwall in the 1780s - when powerful forces of revolution and reaction are at large in the world. The first in the riveting Poldark series.
Tired from a grim war in America, Ross Poldark returns to his land and his family. But the joyful homecoming he has anticipated turns sour, for his father is dead, his estate is derelict, and the girl he loves is engaged to his cousin. But his sympathy for the destitute miners and farmers of the district leads him to rescue a half-starved urchin girl from a fairground brawl and take her home-an act which alters the whole course of his life....
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I raced through this audio book wallowing in the pleasure of listening to a well loved story about characters I have been familiar with for nearly 40 years now. It is interesting that I picture some as described in the novel whereas others take the appearance of the actors who played the parts in the 70s and more recent BBC adaptation.
I love Poldark and have done since watching the 70s adaptation and then reading the first few books. There is romance in abundance, a brooding Byronic hero in Captain Ross, fiesty, wonderful Demelza who saves him, a complicated love triangle, dastardly deeds and scheming by the rapacious New Men of the Warleggan family, more information about copper mining than you are ever likely to find in fiction, social commentary and historical detail. The writing is excellent, the story told with obvious love and passion for Cornwall and its people, with a deal of humour in the telling. You can practically smell the salt tang, feel the warm summer breezes and wintry blasts. Graham has created characters that live and breathe in your imagination like real people that you care about, or love to hate. I love Ross & Demelza, obviously, but Verity has a special place in my heart, too. Now I am so much older than when I first came to Poldark I find I have more sympathy for poor Francis.
Other listeners have complained about poor reading but I had no problem with the narrator and enjoyed this audio book performance. The various characters had distinctive voices with what sounded to my ear (though I admit I am no expert) passable Cornish accents, better than the new TV adaptation. The female parts were read passably, too, which often is a problem with audio books read by male readers. I wasn't fond of the voice used for Francis, however, which sounded out of character, too old.
I can't wait to listen to the next book, and hope Audible issues the entire series, soon.
- Amanda Isbell