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Barchester Towers (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Anthony Trollope

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This 1857 sequel to The Warden wryly chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester. The evangelical but not particularly competent new bishop is Dr. Proudie, who with his awful wife and oily curate, Slope, maneuver for power. The Warden and Barchester Towers are part of Trollope's Barsetshire series, in which some of the same characters recur.

From AudioFile

Inspector Scobie Malone is called to investigate the death of a parent with whom he has just endured a tedious school fundraiser. Smug lawyer Will Rockne has been shot to death in his car. Cleary's intense, often amusing, mystery gives Christian Rodska ample opportunity to demonstrate his talents and amaze us with a range of Australian accents, which are a little daunting but never unclear. We "see" the variety of characters: cops and criminals; foreigners and local folks; men and women. His softened voice never undermines the impact of a feminine line. Most poignant is his rendering of the children, who strive to understand the terrible events of the story. S.B.S. © AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 762 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 492 pages
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  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B008478E2C
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  95 commentaires
214 internautes sur 222 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A great volume in a great series of novels 13 décembre 2001
Par Robert Moore - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This is the second of the six Barsetshire novels, and the first great novel in that series. THE WARDEN, while pleasant, primarily serves as a prequel to this novel. To be honest, if Trollope had not gone on to write BARCHESTER TOWERS, there would not be any real reason to read THE WARDEN. But because it introduces us to characters and situations that are crucial to BARCHESTER TOWERS, one really ought to have read THE WARDEN before reading this novel.
Trollope presents a dilemma for most readers. On the one hand, he wrote an enormous number of very good novels. On the other hand, he wrote no masterpieces. None of Trollope's books can stand comparison with the best work of Jane Austen, Flaubert, Dickens, George Eliot, Tolstoy, or Dostoevsky. On the other hand, none of those writers wrote anywhere near as many excellent as Trollope did. He may not have been a very great writer, but he was a very good one, and perhaps the most prolific good novelist who ever lived. Conservatively assessing his output, Trollope wrote at least 20 good novels. Trollope may not have been a genius, but he did possess a genius for consistency.
So, what to read? Trollope's wrote two very good series, two other novels that could be considered minor classics, and several other first rate novels. I recommend to friends that they try the Barsetshire novels, and then, if they find themselves hooked, to go on to read the Political series of novels (sometimes called the Palliser novels, which I feel uncomfortable with, since it exaggerates the role of that family in most of the novels). The two "minor classics" are THE WAY WE LIVE NOW and HE KNEW HE WAS RIGHT. The former is a marvelous portrait of Victorian social life, and the latter is perhaps the finest study of human jealousy since Shakespeare's OTHELLO. BARSETSHIRE TOWERS is, therefore, coupled with THE WARDEN, a magnificent place, and perhaps the best place to enter Trollope's world.
There are many, many reasons to read Trollope. He probably is the great spokesperson for the Victorian Mind. Like most Victorians, he is a bit parochial, with no interest in Europe, and very little interest in the rest of the world. Despite THE AMERICAN SENATOR, he has few American's or colonials in his novels, and close to no foreigners of any type. He is politically liberal in a conservative way, and is focussed almost exclusively on the upper middle class and gentry. He writes a good deal about young men and women needing and hoping to marry, but with a far more complex approach than we find in Jane Austen. His characters are often compelling, with very human problems, subject to morally complex situations that we would not find unfamiliar. Trollope is especially good with female characters, and in his sympathy for and liking of very independent, strong females he is somewhat an exception of the Victorian stereotype.
Anyone wanting to read Trollope, and I heartily believe that anyone who loves Dickens, Austen, Eliot, Hardy, and Thackery will want to, could find no better place to start than with reading the first two books in the Barsetshire Chronicles, beginning first with the rather short THE WARDEN and then progressing to this very, very fun and enjoyable novel.
70 internautes sur 72 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The great Victorian comic novel? 20 décembre 1999
Par Austin Elliott - Publié sur Amazon.com
"Barchester Towers" has proven to be the most popular novel Anthony Trollope ever wrote-despite the fact that most critics would rank higher his later work such as "The Last Chronicle of Barset","He Knew He Was Right" and "The Way We Live Now".While containing much satire those great novels are very powerful and disturbing, and have little of the genial good humor that pervades "Barchester Towers".Indeed after "Barchester Towers",Trollope would never write anything so funny again-as if comedy was something to be eschewed.That is too bad,because the book along with its predecessor "The Warden" are the closest a Victorian novelist ever came to approximating Jane Austen."Barchester Towers" presents many unforgettable characters caught in a storm of religious controversy,political and social power struggles and romantic and sexual imbroglios.All of this done with a light but deft hand that blends realism,idealism and some irresistible comedy.It has one of the greatest endings in all of literature-a long,elaborate party at a country manor(which transpires for about a hundred pages)where all of the plot's threads are inwoven and all of the character's intrigues come to fruition."Barchester Towers" has none of the faults common to Trollope's later works -(such as repetiveness)it is enjoyable from beginning to end.Henry James(one of our best novelists,but not one of our best critics) believed that Trollope peaked with "The Warden"and that the subsequent work showed a falling off as well as proof that Trollope was no more than a second rate Thackeray.For the last fifty years critics have been trying to undo the damage that was done to Trollope's critical reputation."Barchester Towers"proves not only to be a first rate novel but probably the most humorous Victorian novel ever written.
48 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An astonishingly well-written humorous drama 7 mai 2006
Par Ritesh Laud - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Superb. One of the finest novels I've read. Trollope's most popular work and the second in the Chronicles of Barset series. I never read the first one "The Warden" and didn't feel like I needed to, the first couple chapters of Towers supply enough background to know what happened in the first book, at least in a broad sense.

Initially, the backdrop of a looming clerical power struggle in the pastoral English town of Barchester and environs is convincingly weighty. However, as this power struggle plays out it becomes apparent that Trollope is for the most part poking fun at players on both sides of the battle. He reminds us that despite the detachment and solemnity that such a conflict deserves, it's only human to be looking out for one's own interests as most of the characters end up doing. Trollope accomplishes this through brilliant characterization and a rich plot that keeps the reader interested and never bogs down.

Towers is incredibly humorous, both in the dialogue of the characters and in Trollope's third person omniscient narration. There were so many scenes of dumbfoundingly witty humor that if I didn't have other books to move on to I'd go back through and catalog all of the humorous bits for posterity. Dickens' "Pickwick Papers" is just as humorous, but it's more slapstick and deals more with situations. Trollope's humor is in wordplay and hyperbole. For example, when the awkward and unattractive Mr. Slope is soon to declare his love for the stunningly beautiful Signora Neroni, he takes her hand and this is how Trollope describes it:

"Mr. Slope was big, awkward, cumbrous, and having his heart in his pursuit, was ill at ease. The lady was fair, as we have said, and delicate; everything about her was fine and refined; her hand in his looked like a rose lying among carrots, and when he kissed it he looked as a cow might do on finding such a flower among her food."

I will never forget the analogy of a woman's hand in a man's looking like a rose lying among carrots.

Most of my friends aren't readers so I don't often enthuse to them about novels I've enjoyed, but you can bet I'll be recommending this to them as one of many reasons books are far worthier of one's time than TV and movies. This is one of those for which I can be jealous of anyone who'll be reading it for the first time. Don't miss it. Also, Trollope was a prolific writer and I've heard he's got a couple other gems. Based on other reviews, I added "The Last Chronicle of Barset", "The Way We Live Now", and "He Knew He Was Right" to my collection.
20 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is where you start with Trollope 28 décembre 2003
Par Jay Dickson - Publié sur Amazon.com
This is Trollope's funniest and most popular novel, and the one where he really came into his own as a comic novelist. Although it is second in the Chronicles of Barset, I greatly recommend starting here if you have never read Trollope before rather than beginning with the first book in the series, THE WARDEN: you'll quickly pick up everything you needed to know that happened in the first book at the beginning of BARCHESTER TOWERS, and this is a much, much funnier novel (and is more likely to hook you into his way of seeing the world).
BARCHESTER TOWERS is the greatest novel of petty infighting ever written: it anticipates (and surpasses) the many British and American college novels written in the twentieth century. Very little happens in this novel: two old clergymen die in the course of this novel and have replacements chosen for them, and a widow is re-married. But to the inhabitants of Trollope's Barchester it is nothing less than all-out war, waged between the archdeacon's faction (representing the conservative church) on one hand and the new bishop's wife, Mrs. Proudie, and her chaplain Mr. Slope (representing the "Low Church" movement) on the other. Everyone else, including the henpecked bishop, is caught in the middle. There are two absolutely uproarious setpieces in this novel: the reception Mrs. Proudie throws at the bishop's palace, and the hilariously quaint medieval fair held at the country seat of Ullathorne (complete with such ghastly oddities as a quintain for practicing jousting) are as funny as anything Jane Austen ever wrote. Trollope may not have had Austen's genius for presenting ethical quandaries, but he comes second only to her as the great novelist of comic manners in the 19th century.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Victorian "Comédie Humaine" 8 mars 2007
Par Vincent Poirier - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Where Dickens paints memorable characters with wonderful names, Trollope draws characters closer to ourselves then shows us how they think, behave, and interact.

Another difference between characters in Dickens and in Trollope is that Trollope's are more nuanced. The detestable Mrs. Proudie repels us with her prudish haughtiness but when she upholds the cause of Mrs. Quiverful she does so as much out of charity as out of principle. The odious Obadiah Slope suffers pangs of love that made me want to shake him by the collar and tell him to wake up! The good Mr. Harding is clearly in the wrong in thinking ill of his daughter Eleanor's judgment, and yet Eleanor was also at fault in thinking herself above defense. There are no white hats or black hats in Barchester, only various shades of gray.

Trollope delights in describing what all these people think, and how they express themselves. How the tone of voice is intended to undo the work of the words spoken. How truth can be spun into a spider's web as does the wonderful character of the Signora Madeline Neroni. If anyone in the novel can be called evil it is her. She manipulates people like objects for her own amusement; she's like a cat playing with a mouse which it has no intention to eat. And yet even the reader can't help falling in love with la Signora. And yet, and yet, and yet... No one is simple in Trollope's world.

Barchester Towers differs from its predecessor in the Chronicles of Barsetshire. The Warden is a classic romance tainted with a touch of tragedy all brought down to the scale of everyday life. Barchester Towers on the other hand is a sprawling pageant of people, a long chapter in a comédie humaine that follows Balzac's tradition.

Vincent Poirier, Tokyo
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