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Barchester Towers (1857) by Anthony Trollope is one of the charming series of loosely connected novels set in Barsetshire. This is the second book to appear in the series, but may be read as a standalone work, and enjoyed on its own merits.
The residents and clergy of Barchester are faced with the continuation of the wardenship controversy, the tyranny of the controlling Mrs. Proudie (the new bishop's spouse), and the insinuating onslaught of hypocrite and social climber Mr. Obadiah Slope -- to amusing effect, and culminating in rather satisfying circumstances.
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With talk too of a new film of Phineas Finn, Anthony Trollope looks like making a well-deserved comeback. Don t be deceived by the image of a bearded Victorian patriarch that comes to mind: listen to the first two chapters of the magnificent new Naxos recording of Barchester Towers, his most popular novel, and you will understand why John Henry Newman is said to have woken up laughing after falling asleep reading it, and why Alec Guinness never travelled without a Trollope novel. Trollope is one of our greatest comic novelists, as well as having an extraordinary talent for taking you confidentially and irresistibly into the flow of his story. Oblivious of the snail-like pace of Oxford's flood-impeded traffic, I was grinning from ear to ear as David Shaw-Parker explodes into the clerical indignation that follows Obadiah Slope s iconoclastic sermon in Barchester Cathedral. Abominable, groaned the dean. Abominable, muttered the meagre doctor. Abominable, re-echoed the chancellor, uttering a sound from the bottom of his deep chest. I really think it was, said Mr Harding. Proof positive that Trollope wrote with an ear to being read aloud. --Sunday Times 26/1/14
Shaw-Parker follows up his outstanding recording of The Warden (also available from Naxos) with an exceptional reading of the sequel, perhaps Trollope's most beloved novel. Romance vies with church politics as Archbishop Grantly battles against the new bishop and his smarmy assistant for control of religious life in Barsetshire. Shaw-Parker totally embraces his role as narrator, and in delightfully plummy tones, he guides listeners through the twisty plot, witty dialogue, and humorous asides. His animated portrayal of the large cast enlivens characters, from the poor pensioners to elite government officials. The narration highlights the strengths of this charming tale and, despite the novel's size, makes this a compelling listening experience. - --Joyce Saricks, Booklist
Barchester Towers in half the time
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Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0460010301