This is a series of simplified stories, designed as an introduction to literature. The series offers classics, best-sellers, film-titles and original stories. Each book has extensive exercises, a detailed introduction and information about the syllabus. They are published at six levels: level 1 - beginner (300 words); level 2 - elementary (500 words); level 3 - pre-intermediate (1050 words); level 4 - intermediate ( 1650 words); level 5 - upper intermediate (2300 words); level 6 - advanced (3000 words). The series is designed to be suitable for students of English as a foreign language, for students of English as a second language and for reluctant readers.
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This early Hardy novel tells the story of a pastoral romance in the small Wessex village of Mellstock. Jamie Parker's friendly, resonant tone adds warmth to a surprisingly cheerful work by an author known for his dour stories. Parker's use of vocal variation in delivering Hardy's descriptive prose guides listeners smoothly through the plot. He also demonstrates mastery in his renderings of local country dialects. The conversations between the choir members, who include an interesting range of ages and characterisations, are especially well performed, and his singing of various songs also enlivens the text. Overall, Parker's charming performance adds much personality to this Hardy classic. --- D.M.W., AudioFileAbout the Author:
Thomas Hardy, OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was an English novelist and poet. While his works typically belong to the Naturalism movement, several poems display elements of the previous Romantic and Enlightenment periods of literature, such as his fascination with the supernatural. While he regarded himself primarily as a poet who composed novels mainly for financial gain, he became and continues to be widely regarded for his novels, such as Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Far from the Madding Crowd. The bulk of his fictional works, initially published as serials in magazines, were set in the semi-fictional county of Wessex (based on the Dorchester region where he grew up) and explored tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances.
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