- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 33 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 30 Jun. 2009
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ1M1K
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The Barchester Chronicles: The Small House at Allington (Dramatised) Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
In a nutshell, that's all there is to it. But, as also always seems the case with Trollope, out of this simple plot he weaves a beautiful tale that keeps you turning pages although nothing much really happens (definitely not by today's standards). How so? For starters, Trollope is a master at analyzing and describing the thoughts and emotions of his characters (most of them ordinary people like you and me), which makes them leap of the page like real-life people you know in the flesh and, often as not, you find yourself identifying with one or more of the main characters, wishing them well and hoping they'll succeed in their endeavours as if they were your own. In this case too, although you know from the start that nothing will come of it, you cannot help but hope that Lily will give up her stubborn behaviour and accept the man that truly loves her.
Secondly, altough in this case the main plot gives little room for mirth Trollope does introduce quite a lot of humour by means of the various subplots and secondary characters (the head-gardener Hopkins for instance, or earl De Guest). It's rarely the laugh-out-loud kind of humour (although there's a few hilarious scenes) but mostly rather subtle, which makes it none the less effective.
Last but not least, Trollope writes in a very fluent, easy style, describing everything in plain everyday language which makes it all the more 'real' and accessible. And for the odd reference to classical literature or other you can simply refer to the excellent notes at the end.
All in all, a very satisfying experience even though there's no happy end, making me start the sixth and last novel in the series ('The Last Chronicle of Barset') with that most odd mixture of feelings: happy to begin a new book that you know will be good, and simultaneously sad knowing it's the last in the series!
This book is a bit like Jane Austen with sharp teeth and is very readable although a bit too long and drawn out.
There are some very sly and beautifully done scenes mostly centring on the lounge lizard that is crosbie but also some pure slapstick (the bull / Eames episode in particular.
All in all, this is quite an easy book to read and you always feel in the hands of an epert story-teller who knows exactly what he is doing.
love the way that some characters from other books make cameo appearances as this brins back to mind the original story in which they appeared.
Of course Lily Dale must not be forgotten, and she is indeed more than a symbol of simplicity and truthfulness. She reminds us that people make their own experience of love - it is not a "one size fits all" affair, and asks us the question about whether for some people love can only come once.
And of course being Trollope, along the way there are a variety of well fleshed out and engaging other characters (Earl de Guest is a particularly endearing one and Trollope saunters through himself, disguised as Johnny Eames), a few guest turns from old friends (Mr Harding stands as a moral fingerpost to Crosbie as he crosses the line between right (Allington) and wrong (Courcy Castle), and Lady Dumbello enjoys a quasi flirtation with a future hero, Mr Palliser), and lyrical descriptions of the beauties of the scenery.
Every page offers its pleasures and the book is a great joy. Finally, if you read it and like it, do try to get hold of a version with the original illustrations - by Millais- which are simply lovely.