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Barchester Towers Paperback – March 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews Review

This 1857 sequel to The Warden wryly chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester. The evangelical but not particularly competent new bishop is Dr. Proudie, who with his awful wife and oily curate, Slope, maneuver for power. The Warden and Barchester Towers are part of Trollope's Barsetshire series, in which some of the same characters recur. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


''This delicious sequel to The Warden examines the antics within the Barchester Diocese through a satirical magnifying lens...[with] memorable and entertaining people whose exploits listeners will follow with glee... (audiobook narrator) Vance is a highly talented reader, as comfortable with the author's more subtle use of sarcasm as with his broad sense of the ridiculous. He gives each character a unique voice and sounds like he's enjoying himself into the bargain. Well done!'' --Kliatt

''Trollope once said, 'In the writing of Barchester Towers I took great delight.' The listener gathers that, in the reading of it, (audiobook narrator) Simon Vance also takes great delight. Obviously, he relishes impersonating the dramatis personae . . . He delivers the fustian narrative with particular fluidity, verve, and grace.'' --AudioFile --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482697955
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482697957
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,597,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

217 of 225 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second of the six Barsetshire novels, and the first great novel in that series. THE WARDEN, while pleasant, primarily serves as a prequel to this novel. To be honest, if Trollope had not gone on to write BARCHESTER TOWERS, there would not be any real reason to read THE WARDEN. But because it introduces us to characters and situations that are crucial to BARCHESTER TOWERS, one really ought to have read THE WARDEN before reading this novel.
Trollope presents a dilemma for most readers. On the one hand, he wrote an enormous number of very good novels. On the other hand, he wrote no masterpieces. None of Trollope's books can stand comparison with the best work of Jane Austen, Flaubert, Dickens, George Eliot, Tolstoy, or Dostoevsky. On the other hand, none of those writers wrote anywhere near as many excellent as Trollope did. He may not have been a very great writer, but he was a very good one, and perhaps the most prolific good novelist who ever lived. Conservatively assessing his output, Trollope wrote at least 20 good novels. Trollope may not have been a genius, but he did possess a genius for consistency.
So, what to read? Trollope's wrote two very good series, two other novels that could be considered minor classics, and several other first rate novels. I recommend to friends that they try the Barsetshire novels, and then, if they find themselves hooked, to go on to read the Political series of novels (sometimes called the Palliser novels, which I feel uncomfortable with, since it exaggerates the role of that family in most of the novels). The two "minor classics" are THE WAY WE LIVE NOW and HE KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
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71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Austin Elliott on December 20, 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
"Barchester Towers" has proven to be the most popular novel Anthony Trollope ever wrote-despite the fact that most critics would rank higher his later work such as "The Last Chronicle of Barset","He Knew He Was Right" and "The Way We Live Now".While containing much satire those great novels are very powerful and disturbing, and have little of the genial good humor that pervades "Barchester Towers".Indeed after "Barchester Towers",Trollope would never write anything so funny again-as if comedy was something to be eschewed.That is too bad,because the book along with its predecessor "The Warden" are the closest a Victorian novelist ever came to approximating Jane Austen."Barchester Towers" presents many unforgettable characters caught in a storm of religious controversy,political and social power struggles and romantic and sexual imbroglios.All of this done with a light but deft hand that blends realism,idealism and some irresistible comedy.It has one of the greatest endings in all of literature-a long,elaborate party at a country manor(which transpires for about a hundred pages)where all of the plot's threads are inwoven and all of the character's intrigues come to fruition."Barchester Towers" has none of the faults common to Trollope's later works -(such as repetiveness)it is enjoyable from beginning to end.Henry James(one of our best novelists,but not one of our best critics) believed that Trollope peaked with "The Warden"and that the subsequent work showed a falling off as well as proof that Trollope was no more than a second rate Thackeray.For the last fifty years critics have been trying to undo the damage that was done to Trollope's critical reputation."Barchester Towers"proves not only to be a first rate novel but probably the most humorous Victorian novel ever written.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Ritesh Laud on May 7, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Superb. One of the finest novels I've read. Trollope's most popular work and the second in the Chronicles of Barset series. I never read the first one "The Warden" and didn't feel like I needed to, the first couple chapters of Towers supply enough background to know what happened in the first book, at least in a broad sense.

Initially, the backdrop of a looming clerical power struggle in the pastoral English town of Barchester and environs is convincingly weighty. However, as this power struggle plays out it becomes apparent that Trollope is for the most part poking fun at players on both sides of the battle. He reminds us that despite the detachment and solemnity that such a conflict deserves, it's only human to be looking out for one's own interests as most of the characters end up doing. Trollope accomplishes this through brilliant characterization and a rich plot that keeps the reader interested and never bogs down.

Towers is incredibly humorous, both in the dialogue of the characters and in Trollope's third person omniscient narration. There were so many scenes of dumbfoundingly witty humor that if I didn't have other books to move on to I'd go back through and catalog all of the humorous bits for posterity. Dickens' "Pickwick Papers" is just as humorous, but it's more slapstick and deals more with situations. Trollope's humor is in wordplay and hyperbole. For example, when the awkward and unattractive Mr. Slope is soon to declare his love for the stunningly beautiful Signora Neroni, he takes her hand and this is how Trollope describes it:

"Mr. Slope was big, awkward, cumbrous, and having his heart in his pursuit, was ill at ease.
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