Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#6Barsets Project: Barchester Towers


Time is running out. We officially begin the third book of our #6Barsets projects, Doctor Thorne, on Friday and I have yet to write anything about Barchester Towers.

But where to begin?

First, you might remember that I experienced a major reading slump earlier this year. Novel after novel was abandoned when I just couldn't get interested in their stories or characters. Some lighter nonfiction finally dragged me from the depths of my reading malaise.

Then on March 1, I began reading Barchester Towers and found myself loving fiction again. Thank you, Anthony Trollope! I have now joined the ranks of Trollope devotees and am definitely hooked on the Barsetshire Chronicles.

Barchester Towers  was my first (and still only) five star read of 2015. Again, it was a print/audio combination and I selected the Simon Vance narration. As far as I'm concerned, he is the  voice of classic British Literature.

 I don't know what else to say other than that I loved everything about Barchester Towers... first and foremost the characters, but also the setting, author's voice, and glimpses into life, love, power, and social structure of the cathedral town.

I was delighted to discover our old friends Mr. Harding, his daughter Eleanor, and the Grantlys had returned in this installment. However,  it was the new characters - Mr. Slope and Mrs. Proudie, in particular - who provided much of the color and drama in Barchester Towers.  I'm already curious to see who turns up in Doctor Thorne.

Barchester Towers was a book I didn't want to end. I was, in fact, slightly bereft upon turning the last page. Audrey's reminder about the BBC adaptation meant my time in Barchester might be prolonged. Happily, the Florida library had a copy available. It was over-acted and slightly melodramatic, but so much fun!


Note to self... I really need to improve my understanding of mythology. Too many references were lost on me. Perhaps a future project?

 And now Doctor Thorne  is ready on my kindle and the audio version (read by Simon Vance) has been downloaded to my phone. Can I wait two more days until May 1 before beginning? I doubt it.

Bottom line: Barchester Towers  has earned a spot on my list of all-time favorites and turned me into a Trollope devotee. I may never read Dickens again.


You're welcome to join us as our #6Barsets project continues with Doctor Thorne.


14 comments:

  1. Will have to add this to my summer list. I find often I have to return to something easy in order to get back in the reading swing. Or a favorite author. Currently reading A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler.

    As for mythology? I rarely remember either except for the big names - and Sisyphus, of course. Feel like him a tad too often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Midlife Roadtripper - I am very grateful to Mr. Trollope for bringing me back to fiction. Anne Tyler has long been a favorite, but I've somehow missed her last couple of books. Hope to read A Spool of Blue Thread this summer. It seems I tuned out every time mythology was mentioned in high school and I've been paying for it ever since. Wonder if there is such a thing as Mythology for Dummies ;-)

      Delete
  2. I haven't written about Barchester Towers yet myself, because I miss those people! I've been meaning to look back at the notes I made from reading the biography to see how certain Trollopisms were used in the book... but I'm also tempted to just bask in my enjoyment. Thank you for holding up the fort. :)

    I'm so glad you're reading along with me, and that we have so much more to look forward to!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Audrey - I still miss those characters... have never had that feeling with Dickens novels. The Trollope biography is languishing on my night stand. Will have to move that up to my main read in order to finish. I don't seem to be doing well reading a few pages here and there.

      I ended up starting the audio version of Doctor Thorne on my walk this morning and it seemed like a relief to be back in a Trollope novel! Can't wait to see what's in store.

      Delete
  3. I've never read Trollope and always had this idea of him being really heavy and overwrought but this sounds delightful. I also definitely need to find one of Simon Vance's audios!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine - You'll get nothing but encouragement from me, both for Trollope and anything narrated by Simon Vance. His credits include much more than classics.

      Delete
  4. I hadn't heard of this author until you started reading his books this year. I've been curious about them since and it looks like this series is super intriguing and well worth it. I should look it up now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Athira - Trollope is my newest favorite author... hope you get a chance to read him sometime :)

      Delete
  5. So glad you loved it! I think Barchester Towers will always be my favourite although still have many more to read. Will be joining in the readalong now and picking up the long neglected Dr Thorne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cat - I'm so glad you'll be joining us for Doctor Thorne! Just listened to the first couple of chapters and I already want more :)

      Delete
  6. I read Barchester Towers three years ago and, like you, completely fell in love. His characters, the amazing dialogue. I looked back at the review and was reminded of Miss Thorne who wished things could have been kept to Saxon customs! Will be joining you in reading Dr. Thorne for the first time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christy - Wasn't BT just wonderful? Ullathorne has already been mentioned in Doctor Thorne (I started a couple days ago), but none of the characters have returned so far. There has been a jump in time, and I'm trying to work out just how much has elapsed. So glad you are joining us!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

I understand commenting has been a challenge lately, so will now allow anonymous comments. However, I will moderate comments on older posts. Sorry for the inconvenience.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails