Barchester Towers is the second of Trollope s Barset novels in all, there are six in the series As the novel opens, in July 185 , the question being asked in the cathedral city of Barchester is who will be the new Bishop The answer is Dr Proudie, the hen pecked husband of Mrs Proudie With the installation of the new Bishop, the scene is set for a battle as to who will control ecclesiatical affairs in the diocese will it be Mrs Proudie or the ambitious chaplain Mr Slope In parallel with the manouevres over the various appointments for positions in the church runs a contest for the hand of Eleanor Bold, a young widow with several suitors, including Mr Slope.Barchester Towers is than twice the length of first volume in the sequence in this audio version, it extends over 19 hours and the leisurely development of the story is perhaps not to modern taste There are wonderful scenes and passages of delightful wit, but also longueurs and stretches in which the forward motion of the plot is barely perceptible Simply due to its length, I enjoyed it rather less than the first of the series.I listened to the recording of Barchester Towers made by Simon Vance for Blackstone Audio in 2006 He has a pleasant voice, but the recording level is rather uneven the effect is of Mr Vance stepping in and out of a partially sound proof room as he reads. Wonderfully constructed Unlike Dickens, Trollope rarely runs to wordiness and his sharp, witty humour is a subtle critique of his age The Church of England, established, hierarchical and a microcosm of Victorian society, is the backdrop for this tale of machievellian intrigue.Religion is never allowed to interfere with the running of a well ordered church or influence the prejudices of the beautifully observed characters. When I read Doctor Thorne for the first time I was so much impressed by the novel and the episodes contained therein that I immediately ordered for four other volumes of Antony Trollope I just now completed reading the barchester towers novel My conclusion is that Trollopee is a master story teller basing his plots purely on the common occurrences of daily life in a rural set up The last few chapters indicate that Trollope was hurrying up fast to close the novel even though opportunities were there to expand the novel for a few pages to accommodate the rapidly approaching climax As admitted by him Longmans had not permitted him to allow the novel to grow into enormous size thereby restricting his ardour and imagination.A nice and enjoyable read This is one of Trollop s best The characterisation of the Archdeacon and the ineffectual hen pecked Bishop Proudie are masterly, each with a wife with views and influence, but with very different approaches and very different spouses There is barely a character there who is not delineated with a precision that would put a modern comic to shame Yes, it was a written a long time ago and the language is that of a previous century, but don t let that put you off these people are real and there is nothing new in human nature There are plenty of slimy Mr Slopes crawling grubbily around the corridors of Westminster today just as there was in the ecclesiastic powerhouse of Barchester then and Tom Towers is surely alive and well in Fleet Street. Exclusively from Audible Barchester Towers is the second of six in the series known as Chronicles of Barsetshire Narrator Timothy West brings life to the story, begun in The Warden, of Mr Harding and his daughter Eleanor It chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester after one Bishop dies and a new one is selected The rather incompetent new Bishop, Dr Proudie, led by his formidable wife, and ambitious chaplain, Mr Slope, begin to create turmoil with their desire to shake up the church establishment in Barchester with new policies and practices However, the established clergy of Barchester, led by Archdeacon Grantly, the son of the previous Bishop, are equally determined to keep things just as they ve always been Archdeacon Grantly declares War, war, internecine war on Bishop Proudie, but who will win the battle between the archdeacon, the bishop, Mr Slope, and Mrs Proudie The Guardian included Barchester Towers in its list ofnovels everyone must read Full of humour and extraordinary characters, it is no wonder it continues to be Trollope s best loved work Narrator Biography Timothy West is prolific in film, television, theatre and audiobooks He has narrated a number of Anthony Trollope s classics, 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 theatre roles include King Lear, The Vote, Uncle Vanya, A Number, Quarter, and Coriolanus His films include Ever After, Joan Of Arc, Endgame, Iris, The Day of the Jackal On television, Timothy has appeared in Great Canal Journeys, Last Tango in Halifax and Bleak House A wonderful, though wordy and old fashioned book It should be remembered that this book was written at a time when to read a novel was most of the entertainment that was available Accordingly that is probably why it has such a lot of dialogue and explanation in it Notwithstanding that I found it to be a truly uplifting book, full of all the human feelings and human vagaries that existed then and now. Was given the first of the Barsetshire Chronicles, The Warden, recently and enjoyed so followed up with Barchester Towers, the second in the series, and enjoyed it even.The external circumstances and social environment may change but human nature, over the ages, does not Their machinations, misunderstandings and misconceptions whether trying to further their own ambitions, thwart those of others, seeking to achieve their own way or simply trying to do the right thing are as they always have been and always will be Trollope captures this perfectly and with humour and the satisfactory resolution to the story is brought about, as happens in real life, despite rather than because of the efforts of the protagonists.An excellent book and, despite its age, easy to read. I have persevered through 14% of this book and cannot continue It is awful It is absolute gibberish Most of it makes no sense at all It reads as if the original English was translated into Greek and then into Japanese and then translated by a computer into American Some words are anachronistic eg web page in a book written in 1857 I have read many books written in this era and they were quite readable This version is a complete waste of money My next task is to get a refund This review is about the unabridged audiobook recording on 15 CDs, read by Simon Vance.In my opinion, Simon Vance reads very well He uses various voices that perfectly fit the different characters I particularly enjoyed his rendering of Mrs Proudie In listening to her voice, I could see her in my mind a stout middle aged lady, full of her own importance, stamping out all opposition Other characters like the beautiful, alluring Signora Nerone are very well done, too This is a particular feat as generally, female voices tend to be a problem for male narrators.My only criticism concerns the quality of the recording itself In several places, there is a sentence that sounds quite different from the sentences before and after muted, as if the voice came from a great distance This imbalance detracts somewhat from the enjoyment of listening it is the reason why I didn t give five stars. Eine beeindruckende Schilderung des Lebens in einer kleinen Gemeinde, wo das Zusammenleben vonallerlei Intrigen bestimmt ist Wie der Autor die Eitelkeiten und Machtinstinkte beschreibt, ist sehrentlarvend und auch humorvoll Empfehlenswert f r alle, die an der viktorianischen Zeit interessiert sind.