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Download The Return of the Native Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Return of the Native Audiobook, by Thomas Hardy
3.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 5 3.60 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Hardy Narrator: Michael Redgrave Publisher: Saland Publishing Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2010 ISBN:
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Michael Redgrave presents one of Thomas Hardy's most popular novels, which takes place entirely in the environs of Egdon Heath and covers exactly a year and a day.

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Listener Opinions

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

    " Hardy was one of my favorites, but haven't read anything in years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicki Freitag | 2/1/2014

    " Had to read for a class. It was a bit interesting, but too over dramatic for my tastes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 1/29/2014

    " I loved it and hated it in alternate minutes. I took two pages of notes and kept them for the future. The geography/nodal geometry of the landscape of the heath was wonderful. Are we truly microbes in the larger world? Here is a world of smallness where emotions overrule logic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Perrie | 1/13/2014

    " Though only one character in the novel was at all likeable, I did enjoy this. It was published in 12 parts in 1878 and as the author notes the ending was changed (you get the feeling that it was against his will) due to "certain circumstances of serial publication". I read that as: the publishers wanted a happy ending. Hardy is so descriptive and loves the Heath so much that you feel like you are there...it's a depressing place this Egdon Heath. The characters are unfortunate in circumstance and good sense in most cases. I did enjoy the melodrama. It is what I imagine was the Victorian age's version of a reality TV series. Full of ridiculous characters starved for attention and armed with little sense but much sensibility (apologies to Austen). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl | 1/9/2014

    " I really enjoyed this tragic story by Hardy! I definitely agree with those who say to skip the first 50 pages or so...losts of description of the heath that I cannot figure out how it was so important to the development of the story and characters. The description, itself, is poetic and thorough in its description, so if you are interested in that, you will love the first part of the book. I nearly quit reading, but plowed on because it is listed on one of the lists I have of the best 100 books of all-time. The development of the characters in the novel are fascinating. Descriptions of everything from the people to the locations are so well-done that it is easy to visualize the entire story and feel such a part of it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Colleen | 1/8/2014

    " This is one of the most depressing books I've ever read, ranking with Mill on the Floss as to the futility of outcome. It left me feeling from beginning to end, regardless of Mr. Hardy's amazing descriptions of the surroundings and the portraits of the characters, that I wasted my time starting it, much less re-reading it. I only rated it as high as I did because of those brilliant descriptions. I had thought that re-reading it might provide a softer memory of the story line but it has not. It has cemented a feeling of distrust as to the way Mr. Hardy treated the intelligence of his readers. I am only glad that he is dead and is no longer able to encumber the precious hours saved for repose through reading, especially serious reading, with such obvious tools meant to destroy the peace of his characters, and therefore his readers with such nonsense. When Mrs. Yeobright, Sr, sends off her weak-minded servant with the precious monetary inheritance of her niece and son, and we readers are expected to believe that there is any chance that the intended recipients will actually recieve their bequests in a proper manner is ludicrous. If this were to happen once in the novel it would be excusable but it happens at every turn of the page from beginning to end. It begins with the weak, frivolous Eustacia Vye crushing the sweet hopes of Tamsie Yeobright as Miss Vye weaves her spell over Wildeve, right up until the end when Clem Yeobright tries to dash the hopes of Tamsie as she is desirous of accepting the first man she really loved as he extends yet again a proposal of marriage. It is pathetic and untenable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 1/5/2014

    " Hardy's story is good if fairly depressing. But mostly I just want Alan Rickman to read everything to me now. And this is the only audiobook he's ever done. Now there's the real tragedy, Mr. Hardy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/4/2014

    " Eustacia Vye.....What a pain in the ass. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helynne | 12/28/2013

    " As I had mentioned in my review of Far from the Madding Crowd, I took a course in Thomas Hardy back in the mid-1980s, and loved it. My first experience with The Return of the Native was in this class, although I had wanted to read it long before then because of the recommendation from another literary character--Holden Caulfield (of all people!) in The Catcher in the Rye. For some reason, Holden admired this book, and mentioned more than once that he really liked the heroine (who is actually more of an anti-heroine), Eustacia Vye. The book takes place out on the English heath and is rich with such visuals and sensual images of 19th-century rural English culture as adders and black pudding. Eustacia is the unwitting victim of her own shallow values and ill-advised choices, but she is not a bad character, nor does she really deserve the fate she receives at the book's end, but then, that is just Hardy and his twists and turns of providence at work as usual. Personally, my favorite character is Diggory Venn (and isn't that a great name?!?), the reddleman, who sells red dye and always has a reddish cast to his skin and clothes. He is one of those guys who has the uncanny knack of showing up at the right time and the right place just when he is needed. He moves the story along in a mostly positive way, but since this is a Hardy novel, he also (unwittingly) puts some negative actions in play as well. There is a film version out there somewhere with a young Catherine Zita-Jones as Eustacia, which I also enjoyed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bthomas | 12/26/2013

    " A very good read. Not as strong as Jude the Obscure. "

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

    " This took a while to get into, but eventually became a pretty gripping story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lcooney | 12/3/2013

    " Inspired a lifelong commitment to reading for pleasure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ferris | 11/22/2013

    " Terrible book. I understand that it is fairly autobiographical for Hardy, but it has to be the worst thing he ever wrote! It read like the outline of a bad soap opera. It was shallow and ridiculous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Betsy | 11/4/2013

    " The first six chapters are rough, but it gets better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 8/1/2013

    " I love Eustacia Vye. I can totally relate to her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dane | 7/31/2013

    " Great classic. Such characters! Including the Redman and the Heath. Hardy was quite the progress in his day pushing back hard on the Victorians. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen Stowell | 12/4/2012

    " Almost as good as Tess--forbidden love and tragedy. Absolutely fabulous...Why am I such a glutton for the tragic? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christi | 10/21/2012

    " Forced to read this in high school, I found this classic to be a pleasant surprise. I re-read it a few years ago, and found that it was an extremely enjoyable read, and probably one of my favorite classics of all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lobstergirl | 7/30/2012

    " If you stripped out the characters, the plot, and the dialogue, leaving only the descriptions of Egdon Heath, this would still be worth reading. Hardy is a master of physical scene-setting and the heath is alive and pulsating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lala | 7/17/2012

    " my first classic English book which I read at junior high. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helenb | 7/12/2012

    " On my 'A' Level list. Read it at 16 and still love it now! Thomas Hardy lets us know how hard life was in the 19th century, and he championed women and he let us know that there was still a poetic and romantic side to life "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grettel | 9/1/2011

    " Extraordinary. I was impressed by the modern feel of the situations and the depth to which Hardy went to portray his female characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Victoria | 7/13/2011

    " This book was well writen , but rather depresing. There are to many love affairs for my taste. In the end the ONE good guy finally marrys the girl he has always loved but you have to go threw a lot of stuff to get to that point. :) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christine | 5/23/2011

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

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

    " Read in prep school and all I remember is Clym Yeobright and Eustacia Vye and a
    pretty depressing tale. Tough to rate of course unless I read it again. Date read is a guess. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melanie | 4/27/2011

    " I loved it, as I love most classics. Similar to most classic British novels, this book has a somewhat slow start. It does, however, redeem itself in later chapters. It was a spectacular read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ange | 4/23/2011

    " Takes a long while to get into the story. I didn't care for the people in the story. Nor did I like the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Karen | 4/8/2011

    " Listened on audio in the car. Tough to get started with the long description of the heath. Almost gave up. Love the language of the day. So formal. Turned out to be a good love story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fawn | 3/16/2011

    " My favourite Thomas Hardy book ever! Highly recommended! Thomas Hardy is my favourite author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lcooney | 2/15/2011

    " Inspired a lifelong commitment to reading for pleasure. "

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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

Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave (1908–1985) was a renowned English stage and film actor, director, manager, and author. He began his acting career in Liverpool and London, and over four decades became renowned as an actor, winning several awards for best actor in both Britain and the United States. His first major film role was in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes in 1938. For his services to drama, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1952 and was knighted in 1959. He was also appointed Commander of the Order of the Dannebrog, Denmark, in 1955. Besides being one of the post-WWI English acting pantheon, he was the sire of an acting dynasty. As an author, he wrote four books, including his autobiography, In My Mind’s I, as well as two plays and two stage adaptations.