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Download The Return of the Native Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Return of the Native Audiobook, by Thomas Hardy
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (11,710 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Hardy Narrator: Steven Pacey Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN:
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Penguin Classics presents Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native, adapted for audio and available as a digital download as part of the Penguin English Library series. Read by the actor Steven Pacey. Do I desire unreasonably much in wanting what is called life - music, poetry, passion, war, and all the beating and pulsing that is going on in the great arteries of the world? Tempestuous Eustacia Vye passes her days dreaming of passionate love and the escape it may bring from the small community of Egdon Heath. Hearing that Clym Yeobright is to return from Paris, she sets her heart on marrying him, believing that through him she can leave rural life and find fulfilment elsewhere. But she is to be disappointed, for Clym has dreams of his own, and they have little in common with Eustacia's.

Their unhappy marriage causes havoc in the lives of those close to them, in particular Damon Wildeve, Eustacia's former lover, Clym's mother and his cousin Thomasin. The Return of the Native illustrates the tragic potential of romantic illusion and how its protagonists fail to recognize their opportunities to control their own destinies. Part of a series of vintage recordings taken from the Penguin Archives. Affordable, collectable, quality productions - perfect for on-the-go listening.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Briynne | 2/14/2014

    " As the World of Wessex Turns. Hardy's books are better than soaps. Love...pentagons? abound and nothing ever ends all that happily. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Craig Evans | 2/13/2014

    " This was an audiobook that I had to return to the library, then two years later took it back out and listened to the whole thing in a single month. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cara | 1/30/2014

    " What surprised me most it that Hardy could take such a small cast of unworldly (and unsympathetic) characters in such a unsophisticated setting and make such a compelling story! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristin | 1/19/2014

    " I don't remember a lot of this book, so it only gets an OK. I remember Eustacia Vye being a rather mean person and the fact that Holden Caulfield liked her in the Catcher in the Rye. That's all I have to say. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jess | 1/13/2014

    " I loved this book. The end is particularly wonderful--if a little farfetched--but it has that classic Hardy sense of doom. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelly | 1/8/2014

    " The audiobook narrated by Alan Rickman is an extremely enjoyable listen. His voice is perfectly suitable to the material. The material is bleak and morose, but the prose is beautiful. Sad story, wonderfully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/7/2014

    " This was a great classic, I really enjoyed the characters and the role each played in the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robert Maier | 12/1/2013

    " Published in 1895, I'm reading the populist Modern Library version c. 1950, picked up by my son Phil at a used bookshop for my birthday, because he knew Hardy is one of my favorites. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hannah | 11/10/2013

    " This book is not what you think. I expected a Heart of Darkness type subject (just from the title), but that's definitely not what this is. Still good, though. Actually, the depictions of the landscape were surprisingly moving (usually I sort of skip those parts). "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Thelonious | 11/9/2013

    " A cliched, long-winded soap opera with predictable plot twists that never seems to end. Any possible literary merits this book might have are completely canceled out by the extent of how boring this story was. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katelyn | 10/20/2013

    " I hated this book when I read it in high school. A decade later- I really enjoyed it and found it quite beautiful in places. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matthew | 10/8/2013

    " Although I remember liking it, I never read another Hardy novel since. Jude the Obscure remains unread. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kari | 10/7/2013

    " Found some interesting new scenes this go-round that I hadn't noticed before... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Moria | 10/4/2013

    " i didn't think i'd ever be able to get into it, but i'd read review that said i should stick it out past the first 100-150 pages, and i'm glad i did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauretta | 7/25/2013

    " I adore Hardy - any Hardy "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mo | 7/21/2013

    " Yeah, I'm morbid. So sue me. And it might have the plot of a soap opera, but it's a really gorgeously written soap opera. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharis | 7/2/2013

    " Read this in highschool and loved it. Love the name Eustacia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 5/15/2013

    " One of my favorite books of all time. Hardy's integration of the heath into the story line is amazing. I love the opening scene of this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna | 5/12/2013

    " One of my all time favorites since developing an interest in Thomas Hardy novels back in High School. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris | 4/10/2013

    " My opinion of this book might be a case of bad timing. I may try it again sometime. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ingrid | 2/25/2013

    " Another good Hardy book. This one takes a few pages for the plot to thicken, but once it does, there is plenty of "action". This may be regarded as his masterpiece. I think The Mayor of Casterbridge is his best....so far. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dennis W. Maloney | 11/21/2012

    " Great depictions of the bucolic life of Hardy's fictional county in England. Hardy is a master story-teller of the self's perseverance and the confluence of external forces that would have otherwise. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Iona-kathryn | 11/6/2012

    " Read this for GCSE, still sticks in my mind. I loved the descriptive nature of Hardy when discussing the Heath. If a book was to signify winter for me - this is it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 9/7/2012

    " Why is it I can only remember Eustacia Vye from this novel? I must have been heavily medicated when I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holdenn | 9/5/2012

    " Old Eustacia Vye. She wasn't too sexy or anything, but even so you can't help wondering what a nun maybe thinks about when she reads old Eustacia. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 8/25/2012

    " Watched the movie in Saratoga, California and found it a good remembrance of the book read in High School. "

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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

Steven Pacey’s extensive work in the West End includes the role of Alec in Dolly West’s Kitchen, Stanley in The Birthday Party, Hamish in Things We Do for Love, and Bertie Wooster in By Jeeves—for which he earned an Olivier Award nomination. He was also directed by Harold Pinter in his successful productions of Celebration and The Room. Pacey has appeared in numerous television roles, including Tarrant in Blake’s 7, and has made over three hundred radio broadcasts. His audiobook narration has won him three AudioFile Earphones Awards.