Middlemarch is a model of the modern English novel, but it will never be a personal favorite, and is the first of George Eliot's books that I have struggled to get through. The problem is less with Eliot as writer than it is with me as a reader encountering this book at this point in my life. While I loved the large cast of characters, the finely crafted writing, and the intricacies of plots and themes, those things weren't enough. They failed to sustain me through long and convoluted passages where the author deviates from the story to instruct or enlighten the reader. I found those sections dull, and ultimately defeating.
I found that this book is referred to a lot, either in other books or in articles about literature. So I wanted to read it. Honestly, it took me about 100 pages (it's long) to learn enough about the characters to be interested. But then it really took off for me. The story is unpredictable and went places I could not have guessed. Beautiful writing, obviously, since it's a classic. I highly recommend this book if you love reading and enjoy a classic every now and again.
A very fat book for whomever is interested in a long read.
Well worth the long read.
Readable and enjoyable. There is a reason Middlemarch is a classic.
Read by Harriet Walter, who has an extremely attractive voice.
From the back cover:
Middlemarch is a complex tale of idealism, disillusion, profligacy, loyalty and frustrated love. This penetrating analysis of the life of an English provincial town during the time of social unrest prior to the first Reform Bill of 1832 is told through the lives of Dorothea Brooke and Dr. Tertius Lydate and includes a host of other paradigm characters who illuminate the condition of English life in the mid-nineteenth century. Henry James described Middlemarch as a 'treasure-house of detail' while Virginia Woolf famously endorsed George Eliot's masterpiece as 'one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.'
I had a hard time with all the description in this one. The main story line was good, but I just wanted Elliot to get to the point!
Takes time to get into; but well worth it!
This book is definetly not a quick read. The beginning I found tedious but as I got more into it I found myself connecting with the characters. By the end I was sorry it was over. If you like classics this is a good one.
This is the riverside edition published by houghton mifflin and edited by Gordon Haight.