We are going to Pittsburgh for a wedding, and I am taking Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy on audiobook read by Nathaniel Parker. I enjoyed listening to The Mayor of Casterbridge read by Pamela Garelick last fall and thought I would try another Hardy classic. I started it while watering our drought parched flower beds and have finished five of twelve discs already and am liking it well enough to continue, but I do find some of the scenes with the country folk somewhat annoying. I have not decided yet whether it is the dialogue as Hardy wrote it or the way Parker reads the lines, but there is an excess of bumpkin comedy. The scenes in the alehouse run long without advancing the story much and Hardy pokes too much fun at the farmhands.
What I like most are Hardy’s descriptions of the countryside and the buildings. I am sure my vocabulary will expand just having listened. I am also enjoying the story, which I know from having read the book and seen the BBC adaptation in the past.
I am taking a stack of books on the trip, so there may soon be an outburst of book reviews here soon.
Hardy, Thomas. Far from the Madding Crowd. Hampton, N.H.: BBC Audiobooks America: Chivers CD Audiobooks, [2003?]. ISBN 075408745X