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Extended Audio Sample Barchester Towers Audiobook, by Anthony Trollope Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,203 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anthony Trollope Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Chronicles of Barsetshire Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455186525
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This magnificent sequel to The Warden satirizes the struggle for ascendancy among the clergy of a cathedral city as they contend for each newly vacant post within the archdiocese. The contest for power is between Archdeacon Grantly and his followers, who favor high-church tendencies, and the new bishop and his followers, with their distinctly low-church preferences. Speaking loudly and cleverly for the latter is the ambitious Mr. Obadiah Slope, championed by Mrs. Proudie and the newcomers. Each wishes to become the dominant voice in the quiet diocese of Barchester, but their antics, including romantic ones, reveal that their priorities are more social and political than spiritual or moral. Their intrigues and misunderstandings entwine through the lives of many memorable characters and provide a humorous backdrop for an exploration of the clash between old and new ways in Victorian England.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The subject is so fresh and the representation so vivid...we are left to wonder that more has not long ago been made of such promising materials.”

    Times

  • “The Warden was a remarkable book; Barchester Towers is still more remarkable.”

    Leader

  • Barchester Towers is a very clever book.”

    Saturday Review

  • “Delicious…[filled with] memorable and entertaining people whose exploits listeners will follow with glee…Vance is a highly talented reader, as comfortable with the author’s more subtle use of sarcasm as with his broad sense of the ridiculous. He gives each character a unique voice and sounds like he’s enjoying himself into the bargain. Well done!”

    Kliatt

  • “Trollope once said, ‘In the writing of Barchester Towers I took great delight.’ The listener gathers that, in the reading of it, Simon Vance also takes great delight. Obviously, he relishes impersonating the dramatis personae…he delivers the fustian narrative with particular fluidity, verve, and grace.”

    AudioFile

  • AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 2/19/2014

    " Available at BBC Radio 7. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Huntley Cooney | 2/13/2014

    " Great fun and a nice antidote to the internet and instant communication. Allen and I had a nice conversation about the effects of instant communication on decision making after I finished the book. In this novel the dean of the cathedral dies and there is a period of at least a couple of weeks before the choice of the new dean is made. This is partly because all those who need to participate in the decision making aren't within quick reach. Therefore, there is time for discussion, decisions, reversals of decisions, new decisions, etc. until it all works out satisfactorily in the end. It seems that the time for decision making in our society has shrunk in accordance with the time needed for communicating. In the novel a week or two is not too long to receive news; for us a couple of hours makes us feel out of the loop. I wonder if that's a good thing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 aime | 2/1/2014

    " Hilarious - Trollope at his most comic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 R.A. Spratt | 1/22/2014

    " One day when I was bemoaning the fact that Jane Austen was dead and she had written so few books, all of which I had read many many times, my husband suggested I should try reading Trollope. It was a brilliant suggestion. He is an excellent romance novellist. But because his books are considered classics, you need have not shame and can openly read them on the train (not that I ever catch the train, because I rarely leave the house). I started reading the Barchester Chronicles with this book which was probably a mistake because the first book in the series is 'The Warden', but I found it to be a perfectly good place to start. The subject matter is probably more interesting to me than many people because my family has a long association with bellringing, which is an example of the type of 'popery' that many of the characters are trying to do away with (an issue that is still ongoing today). As an author I was very influenced by the conversation way that Trollope directly addresses the reader. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erneilson | 1/20/2014

    " Victorian love story. What was most interesting was the depiction of the clergy of the Church of England and their politicking and in-fighting, their jockeying for position, power and funds. Very different from my experience in the LDS Church. I'll take a Mormon bishop any day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin | 1/16/2014

    " This 1857 sequel to The Warden wryly chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester. It is interesting to see how some people maneuver for power in any way possible. Some seriously oily characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 1/8/2014

    " I enjoyed this book, although it took me a while to get through it. The story was entertaining and the character development was impressive (I guess as it should be for such a long novel). I also enjoyed the author's wit and sarcasm as it related to the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebekah | 12/8/2013

    " Victorian literature at it's brightest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashley H | 12/6/2013

    " okay, just not great. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nino Frewat | 11/25/2013

    " To be fair, I only read a fifth of the book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerri | 11/4/2013

    " The Barchester series is about preachers and their families and their politics. What more could preacher's kid want. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 9/10/2013

    " Fascinating, thought-provoking, absurd, realistic, sad, funny, gentle, satirical, endlessly quotable, never dull. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eldra | 11/27/2012

    " If you haven't read an Anthony Trollope novel in a while, do so immediately. What an amazing satirical genius. It is a language treat. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Huma Rashid | 8/25/2012

    " God, I hated this book. Also, did you know that in the movie, the Odious Reverend Slope is played by the guy that plays Snape in Harry Potter?! :-O I saw Harry Potter and was like HOLY CRAP REVEREND SLOPE AAAA EVERYONE HIDE! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julie | 7/19/2012

    " Another book from my Literature degree, from the Victorian Literature unit. This was the worst book i read for that unit. It took me 6 weeks to read cos I just didn't want to read it. Hated this book. Way too wordy, in true Victorian style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn | 3/20/2012

    " A delightful book. Enjoyed the memorable characters and particularly the witty narration. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 3/4/2012

    " Too. Many. Footnotes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Haley | 11/14/2011

    " Great soap opera, rather brilliant writing (especially for having been done on the side.) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 10/23/2011

    " Trollope is like a cross between Austen and Dickens, with the social humor of the former and the convolutions and melodrama of the latter. Very enjoyable, even when the finer points of church politics are baffling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelley | 9/6/2011

    " my first eread! Convenient but missed the paper, especially reading a Victorian novel. Trollope is definitely one of my all-time favourite writers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauretta | 8/24/2011

    " I listened to the audiobook. It was my first encounter with Trollope, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I find him much more engaging than Dickens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelley | 7/16/2011

    " my first eread! Convenient but missed the paper, especially reading a Victorian novel. Trollope is definitely one of my all-time favourite writers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melora | 7/11/2011

    " LOVED it! The good are rewarded and the wicked are thwarted (okay, or return to their villa in Italy!). The heroine is naive but not spineless -- actually, All the characters are wonderful! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheryl S. | 7/3/2011

    " Too slow moving, I got bored and didn't finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 7/3/2011

    " Loved it! Think I'm a Trollope fan now. Great story, characters & writing style. I couldn't put it down. There were a couple of places that I thought he went on & on without furthering the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob | 5/14/2011

    " A view into the Church of England in the 1850,s. It is not a pretty picture, but a fascinating one. Some of the theological issues of that day may be lost on the modern reader, but the story of ambition and sacrifice transcend time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Huma | 5/10/2011

    " God, I hated this book. Also, did you know that in the movie, the Odious Reverend Slope is played by the guy that plays Snape in Harry Potter?! :-O I saw Harry Potter and was like HOLY CRAP REVEREND SLOPE AAAA EVERYONE HIDE! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 4/29/2011

    " What a character study! Trollope can certainly invent the most believable characters!! Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 3/19/2011

    " Kind of obsessed with Trollope now. Loved the quirky characters in this book, and the way that, early on, the narrator assures us that the girl we like isn't going to marry either of the men we don't want her to marry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shereese | 2/12/2011

    " Ah to read good writing; it is a splendid thing.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shereese | 2/12/2011

    " I just received a 1st ed. of this book. I love the illustrations. Stay tuned for my review. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 1/28/2011

    " Okay, I'm a fan. But won't be picking up another for a while, because I need a break from dense (albeit funny) prose. Also, I can't go around talking like this, people think I'm weird enough already. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 1/22/2011

    " The funniest of Trollope's books I've read so far. I laughed out loud a lot. "

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About the Author
Author Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope (1815–1882) grew up in London. He inherited his mother’s ambition to write and was famously disciplined in the development of his craft. His first novel was published in 1847 while he was working in Ireland as a surveyor for the General Post Office. He wrote series of books set in the English countryside as well as those set in the political life, works that show great psychological penetration. One of his greatest strengths was his ability to re-create in his fiction his own vision of the social structures of Victorian England. The author of forty-seven novels, he was one of the most prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.