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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exceptional
In lieu of having time to read Middlemarch before I reached fifty, something I was aware I really should have done as the birthday approached, earlier this year I set about reaching my target through this audiobook and, with a concerted effort, I hit target last night- with 3 hours 40 minutes to spare before the day arrived.
This is an unabridged version of the...
Published on 19 Sept. 2012 by time-less

versus
132 of 139 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT Middlemarch-as-she-was-wrote
I suppose that one cannot complain too much if you don't actually have to pay for something - but this edition is a great disappointment.
Middlemarch, that otherwise hefty tome, is an ideal book to read in e-format to save wear and tear on the wrist. British readers, however, should be aware/beware that this is not Middlemarch-as-she-was-wrote but an American...
Published on 10 Jan. 2012 by Clare S


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132 of 139 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT Middlemarch-as-she-was-wrote, 10 Jan. 2012
By 
Clare S (Angus, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Middlemarch (Kindle Edition)
I suppose that one cannot complain too much if you don't actually have to pay for something - but this edition is a great disappointment.
Middlemarch, that otherwise hefty tome, is an ideal book to read in e-format to save wear and tear on the wrist. British readers, however, should be aware/beware that this is not Middlemarch-as-she-was-wrote but an American translation. As well as the disconcerting and disrupting `or' endings - ardor/ardour - this scanned edition is full of annoying typos and scannos that no one has bothered to correct, to the extent in some places that they actually change the sense of the sentence.
I cannot even suggest that you download the Project Gutenberg version instead (also free, as all their books are) because sadly, rather than offering a transcript of the original Blackwood single volume of 1874, they also have used an American edition, published by H. M. Caldwell Company, New York and Boston. At least, however, the rigorous Gutenberg proof-reading process should have eliminated most of the irritating editorial errors.
Please, someone out there, why can we not have English e-classics in their own language - not translations?!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exceptional, 19 Sept. 2012
In lieu of having time to read Middlemarch before I reached fifty, something I was aware I really should have done as the birthday approached, earlier this year I set about reaching my target through this audiobook and, with a concerted effort, I hit target last night- with 3 hours 40 minutes to spare before the day arrived.
This is an unabridged version of the great work. Every word and character presented with clarity and warmth. It is engaging, intelligent, intelligible, provoking, entertaining and, consistently, properly and seriously very very good. Many thanks to Juliet Stevenson for overturning the omission without leaving me thinking "This was cheating - I really should have read the book myself." Five stars are too few.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for long car journeys, 28 Feb. 2011
This review is from: Middlemarch (Audio CD)
This is an American production, but is read with an almost perfect English accent. There are just a few American pronunciations, but these do not detract from the reading. The pace is good, and the reader brings out both the humour in the novel and the narrator's voice, which is strongly emphasised in the novel itself. I bought these CDs to listen to when I am driving, as I often drive quite long distances. At first, I put two of the CDs at a time in my CD changer, but have now added a third, as I never get bored or distracted and, just as the book is "unputdownable", these CDs keep you listening. They really make long journeys a pleasure. I have recently seen a British set of CDs of Middlemarch at £85, nearly three times as much as this set, so I think this one is excellent value for money. It would be equally good for someone who has never read the novel, and would make them want to read the book. The set includes an e-book, although this was missing from my set. However, I didn't bother to get it as I think the main attraction of this set is being able to listen to it. I would certainly recommend this set.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double-header -- two brilliant novels, 4 Oct. 2013
Mary Ann Evans -- far better known as George Eliot, of course -- was one of that mid-nineteenth crop of great English novelists whose work still grips the reader today. Indeed many critics consider her among the best of them and some regard her as one of the best Western writers of all time.

How good it is then to have two of her seven novels in this well-formatted and beautifully illustrated edition. So interesting to compare the work that is probably her masterpiece, "Middlemarch," with the very different but also brilliant earlier novel "The Mill on the Floss."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Edition, 30 Mar. 2014
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There are a lot of versions of ‘Middlemarch’ on the market and this Enhanced Ebook edition wins my prize for best value and best content. It’s only 99c and includes a revised, error-free text, stunning illustrations and a link to a free audio book. Need I say more?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Edifying rather than entertaining, 12 Sept. 2012
Oh, there are some lovely parts in Middlemarch, such as Dorothea's heartbreaking marriage to Edward Casaubon, a scholar obsessively persuing academic work that had been superceded by current German scholarship. There are even moments of light humour. However George Eliot's prose style is a mixture of Casaubon's dryness and Dorothea's moralising.

Dorothea is our heroine, who ends up being a victim of her own virtues when she marries older scholar Edward Casaubon in the hope that she will be of use to him. Eliot shows us that Dorothea is naive and misguided but she doesn't really answer the obvious problem: that Dorothea's martyrdom is arguably selfish. She never really loves Casaubon, but the idea of being subservient and being able to have some small ray of light in the sunshine of a great man's wisdom. Not exactly a feminist figure. Casaubon's cousin, wayward artist and fervent romantic Will Ladislaw loves Dorothea from afar but this love does not seem to be based on very much. It rather defeats the point Eliot makes with Dorothea's marriage to Casaubon: that pity is not the same as love.

Subplots include Tertius Lydgate's attempts to advance medicine and the burden his marriage causes and gambling Fred Vincy's courtship of childhood sweetheart Mary Garth. There is a very large cast and a long time is spent on minor characters in order to build up the idea that Middlemarch is a stuck in its ways type of community. The only characters you really need to remember are Dorothea Brooke, Edward Casaubon, Will Ladislaw,Tertius Lydgate, Fred Vincy, Rosamond Vincy, Mary Garth and Nicholas Bulstrode (Bulstrode's involvement is not clear until about 500 pages in so try and remember who he is early on). You might want to draw up a little family tree as there's a lot of intrigue about family secrets and inheritance.

Eliot is more like Dickens than Austen. This is not a light read: Eliot has a lot to say about politics and society in the 1830's and she says it. The ending is all a bit too moral and pat. Modern day readers might find the apparant moral of the novel a little dubious: those with ambitions are punished whereas those with no ambitions are rewarded by a humble life. That is what makes this novel feel a little more dated than a Dickens or Hardy novel. If somebody tells you that the novel sounds just like it was written yesterday, they're lying.

When Virginia Woolf said it was a novel "written for grown-ups", she probably meant the elderly or those with a lot of time on their hands. Okay, what she really meant was that the novel wasn't frivolous but it is true that you will need to be patient and persevere if you want to finish this 780+ page novel. Everybody ends up the way you expect- it's a novel that you read for the details rather than for entertainment.

Those who enjoyed Middlemarch might enjoy the superior Vanity Fair and Anna Karenina.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less a weighty tome than a great warm embrace, 11 Sept. 2014
By 
Ms. E. R. Bevin "Llama" (Dorset, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Middlemarch was always one of those great books that I meant to get around to 'at some point.' I'd tried it as an audiobook before, and although I'd been quite captivated by Dorothea, I'd never fallen in love with Middlemarch as a whole. Thanks to the Open University I've had to get on and read it- and I am so grateful that I did. This is a warm, generous, flowing book- it pulls you in and it would take a very hard-hearted and close minded individual who would not spot themselves somewhere on its pages. It's very relevant too- if you have ever been concerned about any of the following: Adolescent passion and evangelism? A crises of business over personal faith? Hubris? Scepticism? How to really live with marriage in the modern world? The difference between ideal love and love in the real world, whether romantic or familial, it is all here. It is not a book to be rushed, although at various points it will overwhelm other demands in your life- it will make you sit up late. It is one of those rare books that makes you feel that you are a different person after you have finished it. Please read it and read it with an open mind; this is not a book of heroes and villains but of the human spirit laid bare and the mean every day things that we do and say are on its pages. But this is not a book that preaches, it is a book that inspires. It also feels like an investment; along with my Shakespeare, I think that this is one I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars faulty printing, 30 Jun. 2011
This is not a review about the worth of the writing, but the binding of the book.

The edition is beautiful and very pleasing to hold. However, I was disappointed to discover, after reading a few hundred pages, that where pages 379-410 should be, pages 347-378 had been reprinted, meaning a sizeable chunk of the story was missing. Very poor quality from so expensive a brand. I don't know whether this fault only occurred in a batch of the books, or whether the whole edition is flawed. Be prepared to send it back and ask for a refund, as I am about to do.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a page-turner, 26 Dec. 1999
By A Customer
The scope of Middlemarch is so broad and includes so many characters, plots and sub-plots that 1000 words would be insufficient to give more than the bare bones of the story, and I would probably make it seem rambling and incoherent. I won't put possible buyers off by doing this. I'll just say that by the end of 'Middlemarch', the reader will be breathless-George Eliot didn't create a few select characters-she created a civilisation. It's like the reader is high above the action, looking down, able to see the complex workings of this civilisation, and further able to focus on the individual. This is a masterpiece. I must also say that the reader who condemned George Eliot for her description of Mary is utterly wrong. She is just describing an unexceptional (looks-wise) person. George Eliot was a moralist. She wrote 'Middlemarch' with a serious purpose in mind. She condemned a lot of evils in her society, and she certainly wasn't racist. After all two men fall in love with Mary, while by the end of the book the reader seriously doubts whether Lydgate (or anyone else for that matter) loves his wife-the very beautiful Rosamund Vincy. Mary is described as a hardworking and honest girl. She refuses a bribe from her employer, even though her family is poor and it would have meant security and comfort for her and them. It is in the hopes of winning her that Fred Vincy turns his life around. Please don't read racism into innocent text. No preface or analysis of George Eliots work (that I've read anyway) has ever found rascist meaning in 'Middlemarch'. I find it insulting that someone who didn't even bother to finish the book-to see if there was any possibility that they were mistaken- can so arrogantly slander an author who acted from the highest moralistic principles in writing this book.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Just for Romance Lovers, 4 Aug. 2009
By 
Sir Furboy (Aberystwyth, UK) - See all my reviews
This story is somewhat off my usual fayre. Ostensibly it is a romance story, or rather three romance stories that are intertwined. As such it is a book I never before bothered to read as I would not want my cool macho image to be dented by the sight of me flicking through a romance! But I managed to get a copy for my e-reader from "Manybooks" and thus read it in secret!

And I am very glad I did so. Of course, this is a classic so the judgement of history is already there as to the worth of this book, and nothing I add here can change that. Without a doubt this is a book that can be read and enjoyed by many many people. What I can add to this is that it can also be enjoyed by people who do not go in for icky romances! And the reason I can say that is that the real strength of this story does not lie in the romances themselves, but in the wonderful observation ad depiction of life in the 1830s of rural England.

From the opening pages where you have people namedropping Wilberforce and other such luminaries in their social circles, you are drawn into experiencing life amongst the tight Victorian social circles. You see how people wish to better not just themselves but others, but are often frustrated by the cages of convention. You see characters reform themselves, and others ruin themselves. You see people who are not evil and yet do evil deeds for human reasons. You see a mirror on the souls of the characters and ultimately ourselves as readers.

George Eliot's characterisations are wonderful. Her writing is still accessible to the modern reader, and whilst she makes some use of techniques where the narrator knows all and can moralise on the reader's behalf - something you would not find in a modern work - these techniques do not wholly detract from the work, and were - of course - quite common in Victorian fiction. One plot element also reminded me of Dickens in the unfolding coincidences in the background of two characters. But whilst the work is therefore clearly Victorian, it remains very readable. The auction scene and some other scenes were very funny, and as you recognise the types of characters being portrayed in real people - past and present - you will be amused by this work.

So if, like me, you don't do romances - don't skip this work. It is well worth reading.
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