Extended Audio Sample

Download Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Thomas Hardy
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (19,413 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Hardy Narrator: Anton Lesser Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN:
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Michael Henchard, drunk at a country fair, sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas. The following day, in despair and remorse, he forswears alcohol and sets out to redeem himself. In time, he becomes a respected merchant and eventually the mayor of the town. But Fate is not to be so easily appeased, and Henchard finds his past actions resonate through and destroy his plans for the future.

One of the greatest novels in the English language, The Mayor of Casterbridge sees Thomas Hardy at his best, bringing landscape and richly imagined characters to life, and setting the hope of love against the forces of Providence.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alaina Patterson | 2/20/2014

    " For the full review (which, in essence, is the Cliff's Notes version of the plot, because I don't have anything to add at this time), follow the link to That's What She Read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan Winnek | 2/19/2014

    " This is not my favorite Thomas Hardy. The main character is problematic, reminds me of Lear. His step-daughter, Elizabeth Jane, is a modest creature who finds happiness with a shallow man who is not worthy of her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha | 2/9/2014

    " I guess you have to leave it to me to at first rebel against reading an old classic and then find once I start that I become obsessed with it. The narration has a rhythm and a life of its own. You feel like a character in Casterbridge, alternatingly sympathizing with one character and judging another. Feeling like you grew up in the era of a rural English town booming with corn-trade. I was reminded of one of the main reasons why I studied English literature: this language is rich with connotation and meaning and story and emotional depth and human nature! It takes a master to narrate in this language with such depth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Morgan F | 2/3/2014

    " This book was boring for the most part, although there were some odd moments of humor. In a way, I'm looking forward to going over this with my English class. Hopefully, I will get more out of the book that way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 2/2/2014

    " I really like this book. I've read it at least three times at this point, and I still appreciate it. Hardy is one of my favorite authors. Yes, his stories are often depressing, but they are almost always very well written, with compelling characters and storylines. Michael Henchard is a fascinating character. This is a man who is ruled by what he feels at any given time, and his actions often have consequences that are harmful to himself and others. His character is really the driving force behind the narrative, though I find Elizabeth-Jane interesting as well, if a little too good sometimes. I love Hardy for the feel of the setting that he invokes, and for writing style. It is beautiful. I just finished the audiobook, and Anton Lesser does a wonderful job of bringing the novel to life. Thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn Bryant | 1/26/2014

    " This book was at a fairly unimpressive 5-5.5 on the Thomas Hardy bleak-o-meter...until the last 20 pages when it shot up to a strong 8. It's no Jude, but I could still use a drink. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sanchit Sabhlok | 1/24/2014

    " If you want to read a heartbreaking victorian classic, look no further. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anushka | 1/15/2014

    " Kind of struggled to get through this book. I liked Tess a lot better. Found it really hard to sympathise with the main character or feel any kind of reaction when he died...really depressing stuff. I couldn't relate to any of the characters in the novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheryl | 1/6/2014

    " My first Hardy. Always a good place to start as not so intense as his other novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Penny Blanch | 12/26/2013

    " This book is not as depressing as some of Hardy's other novels,but it's still a tragic tale. Tells of a man who sells his wife under the influence of a few meads and then it comes back to haunt him later in life. Well written and gives you that rollercoaster ride that Hardy does so well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 12/23/2013

    " Another wonderful work by Hardy! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sixpacknl | 12/16/2013

    " Quit reading this book about three quarters in. Did not captivate me. I can see why some people may find it interesting but it is not for me I am afraid. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 12/7/2013

    " 'O' level material, started my lifelong love of Mr. Hardy "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nikki | 11/27/2013

    " I had to read this in senior English. It was OK. I'm not looking forward to reading more Hardy, much of which is in the 1000 Novels list along with annotations that detail the gloomy, twisted rural plotlines. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry | 5/3/2013

    " This is a tragic story about how the protagonist's fatal flaws lead to his destruction. I was amazed at what a sympathetic character he was at the novel's end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nimisha | 12/11/2012

    " Oh, Hardy. You always know how to depress me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 11/10/2012

    " Classic Hardy - Fascinating read on how jealousy can ruin a business, town and lives. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sasha Coyle | 8/22/2012

    " I can't stand the shallowness of Victorian life. I'm sure this is very accurate, but I don't like it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louise | 12/22/2011

    " One of my Top 10 Best Books of All Time! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 KristÄ«ne | 12/11/2011

    " How not to live your life... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicqui | 11/28/2011

    " The man sells his wife! Hilarious! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kat Morrison | 11/15/2011

    " Another wonderful example of Hardy's dark work. Love it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 11/9/2011

    " Michael Henchard is a timeless character, a man whose fatal flaws undermined all that he could have achieved. And, Hardy's powers of description are outstanding in the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Margie | 10/28/2011

    " My favorite Thomas Hardy book. Sometimes it's difficult to get past all of Hardy's descriptive scenery, etc., but this book had me from cover to cover. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sophie Wainwright | 10/24/2011

    " amazing book, captivating and beautifully written, "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Landrun01 | 5/23/2011

    " A reading that stays in my mind many years later - I think probably influenced my writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 5/18/2011

    " This is perhaps one of the greatest Victorian novels I have ever read. Hardy is the master of literature. His characters are unforgettable, his storytelling is priceless. More than likely, I will re-read this novel in the near future. A masterful work by a masterful author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deepti | 5/12/2011

    " I think this is Hardy's best novel. Certainly my favourite. Not as pity-inducing as Tess, but equally riveting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Summer | 5/3/2011

    " I really liked this, its a wonderful classic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 4/9/2011

    " After listened to the BBC dramatization, I decided to read this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clive | 3/31/2011

    " I read it at School "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 3/12/2011

    " Rather dark. Tends to lag, but overall an engaging story of a man with great talents and even greater flaws and the havoc he wreaks on those around him. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Maureen | 3/1/2011

    " A bit boring for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/26/2011

    " Amazing book. I will definitely be reading this one twice! "

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About the Author
Author Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), English poet, dramatist, and novelist, was born on the Egdon Heath in Dorset. He studied in Dorchester and apprenticed to an architect before leaving for London, where he began to write. Unable to find a public for his poetry, which idealized the rural life, he turned to the novel and met with success as well as controversy. The strong public reaction against some of his darker themes turned him back to writing verse. Today several of his novels are considered masterpieces of tragedy.

About the Narrator

Anton Lesser has, as an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, played many of Shakespeare’s most demanding roles, including Troilus (Troilus and Cressida), Edgar (King Lear), Petruchio, Romeo, and Richard III. He is a frequent radio contributor and has recorded many audiobooks, including much of the work of Charles Dickens.