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The Small House At Allington
- Narrated by: Timothy West
- Series: Chronicles of Barsetshire, Book 5, Audible Exclusive - Chronicles of Barsetshire, read by Timothy West, Book 5
- Length: 23 hrs and 38 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Categories: Literature & Fiction
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The spirited Lily Dale, who longs to be loved, is devastated when her fiancé, the self-interested Adolphus Crosbie, jilts her for the aristocratic Lady Alexandrina. Although heartbroken, Lily still loves Crosbie and believes she must remain single despite him being unworthy of her affections. Even when the more deserving John Eame presents himself, she is still unable to see past her feelings for Crosbie.
Meanwhile, Lily's sister Bell is also under pressure to marry for money, not for love. With an array of wonderful subplots, this audiobook is full of subtle humour as well as heartbreak.
The Small House at Allington is the fifth audiobook in the series known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire and as usual, Trollope shows his skill at analysing the thoughts and emotions of his characters, a craft that makes them appear truly life-like. Each character feels human, even Crosbie who also suffers himself for the mistakes he makes. Trollope possesses the ability to take everyday events and turn them into a gripping tale.
The novel was written at the height of Trollope's popularity and contains one of his most admired heroines, Lily Dale. Former British Prime Minister, John Major, declared it his favourite book, propelling it back into the limelight in the 1990s.
Timothy West is prolific in film, television, theatre, and audiobooks. He has narrated a number of Anthony Trollope's classic audiobooks, including the six Chronicles of Barsetshire and The Pallisers series. He has also narrated volumes of Simon Schama's A History of Britain and John Mortimer's Rumpole on Trial.
Timothy West's theatrical credits include King Lear, The Vote, Uncle Vanya, A Number, Quarter, and Coriolanus and his films include Ever After, Joan Of Arc, Endgame, Iris, and The Day of the Jackal. On television, Timothy has appeared in Broken Biscuits (BBC), Great Canal Journeys (across 3 Series), and the regular role of Stan Carter on EastEnders (BBC).
What listeners say about The Small House At AllingtonAverage Customer Ratings
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- Tad Davis
Timothy West is perfect for Trollope!
I thought Simon Vance was a good narrator for Trollope, but Timothy West is better. I could, and did, listen to this one for hours at a time, and then went out and downloaded the rest of the Barset novels with Timothy West as narrator.
Trollope is a fascinating writer. I understand that Stephen King doesn't think much of him. He digresses a lot, and he addresses the reader directly in ways that drove my undergraduate Victorian Novel instructor (a fan of Henry James) up the wall. But his characters are all delightfully alive, his women characters especially full of vinegar, and he is very much grounded in the real world of rural communities, organizational politics, and money. There are many times (especially with Timothy West's narration) that he is laugh-out-loud funny. I only wish there were an equally accomplished audiobook production of the Palliser series, which is a sort of sequel to the Barset novels.
23 people found this helpful
One of the great novels and great readers
My goodness, what exquisite writing!
Anthony Trollope is a new discovery for me. His sense of humor and emotional tone are striking and wonderful.
Trollope has an amazing ability to dip a "spoon" into the bowl of life, pull out what comes and remark precisely on what he has found. He at one point is so sensitive about the troubles of Love, and on another occasion is very severe about his characters' character (if I may say).
He does not present us with the usual endings for novels so you have to get to the end of the book and cannot even guess how it will end.
The reader Timothy West is also a very great discovery for me. I read along with him on Gutenberg.org and realized I could never have gotten the characters' "voice" without Timothy West's great artistry. He brings out the emotional element of Trollope's writing masterfully.
Further to Trollope, I am amazed how he draws out life's contradictions in matters of Love. In this character, money does not matter. In the other character, money brings love. I wonder if Trollope was the inventor of every cliche we have ever heard regarding "Love." Money does not bring happiness, we want to believe. On another moment, we see how money breeds love.
Yet we are rewarded with the results of our own integrity towards others, Trollope seems to say.
14 people found this helpful
- Joseph R
Lilly Dale, At Times, An Infuriating Heroine
This is a fabulous story, splendidly narrated by Timothy West. Lily Dale is at times an infuriating heroine. She makes me want to jerk Anthony Trollope out of his grave, slap him up side the head, then force him to rewrite a couple of spots in this otherwise perfect story then afterwards dumping his bones in an inglorious heap. But after forgiving George Elliot (Mary Ann Evans) for the ending of The Mill on the Floss, I guess I have to be consistent and let Trollope slide on this one. On the other hand, there is a wonderful awkward moment when Johnny Emes is forced to propose to Lilly Dale in the presence of her mother. Austen, the queen of awkward moments, could not have done better.
Trollope wrote for the daily papers, one episode every day or so, soap opera fashion so there is a leisurely pace to his stories with lots of odd characters who flit in and out of the story according to their wont. Sometimes, it seems as if the author gets sidetracked but he always manages to bring the story back to the main point and be darned if he doesn't shoehorn it altogether into a coherent whole. I shake my head in admiration at a writer who can juggle dozens of characters without flubbing or dropping a single one from the opening word to the final period, a thousand pages later.
Timothy West, the narrator or performer, took this complex work and made it intelligent able and enjoyable to the listener with tremendous talent, skill and obvious understanding.
23 people found this helpful
I really enjoyed the "Small House" as a great example of how to use the English language in a novel. Listening to Trollope takes you back to an earlier time without fear of violence or untoward sexual episodes. You can listen with confidence and a calm heart.
20 people found this helpful
What a lovely experience
Beautifully written, very well spoken, a reminder of times gone by, I will look for other books by this author, and also the narrator (first class) this gentleman is splendid.
9 people found this helpful
Anthony Trollope is usually a delightful read. In this case with Timothy West reading, a delightful listen.
Not so serious, it is a charming story of family and manners .A dash of independence, lovely young women, a gossipy group, a rouge, scandal, a few good fellows, supportive relatives and friends all make for some good hours of listening pleasure. While most 'unbecoming' behavior is referred to, you will find no jarring descriptions of who did what to whom.This is the time and society of glances and a gentle pressure of the hand. All written and read with subtle humour.
8 people found this helpful
- D. Sherick
A great reader reading a great book. As usual, Timothy West captures all the humor and greatness of Trollope in his narration of The Small House At Allington.
8 people found this helpful
I love the author. I love the book. I love this narration. The ending departs from what you might expect from a Trollope resolution, yet it feels right and makes you love the characters even more.
6 people found this helpful
- Ann Zimrin
Great performance of a terrific book!
I loved this book. The characters were interesting, and the plots and sub-plots were engrossing. One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is the portrayal of daily life in another era, both in the higher social circles as well as the lower ones.
I've read and enjoyed a few of Anthony Trollope's books, including several of the previous books in the Barsetshire series, but after listening to Timothy West's performance, I'm going to be a listener from now on. He brings a new depth and level of enjoyment to the story. I'm planning to start at the beginning of the two series (Barsetshire and Palliser) and anticipate many happy hours of listening ahead of me.
3 people found this helpful
getting to really like listening to trollope
this is my second anthony trollope read. his books really grow on you ... they are charming, well written and very relaxing. i appreciated that this book had fewer characters. checking out the reviews for my next trollppe novel.
2 people found this helpful