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Daniel Deronda [Audiobook] [Audio Cassette]

George Eliot , Eleanor Bron
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Audio, Cassette, Audiobook, April 23 1997 --  
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Book Description

April 23 1997 0140863842 978-0140863840
In this remarkable work, George Eliot explores unconventional ground. Through her hero, Daniel Deronda, she focuses on the lives of English Hews, a society-within-a-society of which her contemporaries were largely oblivious or openly disdainful. Through her heroine, Gwendolen Harleth, who marries for power rather than love, Eliot explores a vein of human relations that leads only to despair. 4 cassettes.

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From Library Journal

Nadia May meets the strenuous demands of Eliot's narration with easy assurance. In this enduring Victorian classic written in 1876, two stories weave in and out of each other: The first is about Gwendolen, one of Eliot's finest creations, who grows from a self-centered young beauty to a thoughtful adult with an expanded vision of the world around her. The second is about Daniel Deronda, adopted son of an aristocratic Englishman who becomes fascinated with Jewish traditions when he meets an ailing Jewish philosopher named Mordecai and his sensitive sister, Mirah. Providentially, Daniel then discovers that he himself is Jewish. Eliot's (Middlemarch, Audio Reviews, LJ 3/15/95) tender portrait of Mordecai is considered by some critics to be one of the most sympathetic treatments of a Jewish character in Victorian literature. Characterizations are strong throughout, except when the author takes center stage and delivers one of her lengthy monologs. Once the compelling drama resumes, it makes incredible demands on the narrator. However, whether May is reading French or German or Italian quotations, or interpreting Mordecai's Zionist speeches, she deserves to share the final applause with George Eliot herself.?Jo Carr, Sarasota, FL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Daniel Deronda is a startling and unexpected novel . . . it is a cosmic myth, a world history, and a morality play.” —A. S. Byatt --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another monument to Eliot's brilliance Feb. 12 2004
By A.J.
Format:Paperback
"Daniel Deronda," the culmination of George Eliot's distinguished career, is a tale of two cultures which explores the themes of concealed heritage, bigotry, and marriages of convenience in a manner never done before or since. Like its predecessor "Middlemarch," it is a long novel of perfectly structured complexity and impressive intellectual exposition, built upon a cast of characters so sharply and meticulously defined that the plot is propelled solely by the power of their presence. This is the novel that Henry James wanted to write, and even he could never match Eliot's passion and linguistic effortlessness.
The forward story in "Daniel Deronda" is that of Gwendolen Harleth, a coquettish, conceited, superficial girl -- in company she often affects a sophistication that is never quite convincing -- who could be called the heroine even though she lacks most heroic attributes. She is from an upper class family, but when misfortune strikes and she is faced with poverty, she consents to marry a man named Mallinger Grandcourt, heir to a large estate, rather than reduce herself to taking a job as a governess, and despite having received a warning from a mysterious lady about Grandcourt's having fathered illegitimate children.
The secondary story is that of Daniel Deronda, the title character, a young man who first sees Gwendolen in a casino in Leubronn at the beginning of the novel. Daniel, who happens to be the ward of Mallinger Grandcourt's uncle, Sir Hugo Mallinger, is inquisitive about his obscure parentage and unsure of his place in the world. One portentous day, he rescues a girl from drowning herself -- this is Mirah Lapidoth, a Jewish girl who has run away from her father in Prague and come to London to look for her long-lost mother and brother.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good look at late Eliot June 28 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the first of Eliot's novels that I read. For being a Victorian women, I must say that it's also one of her most thematically adventurous novels as well. She addresses so much within the pages of this novel that it's amazing that one can still be interested in the plot. For a 500-page novel, it's thick with symbolism and social themes such as womens' rights (or lack thereof in society), Judaism, the difference in social classes, etc... Although the two contrasting stories of Daniel and Gwendolen seem somewhat strangely juxtaposed, they are actually complimentary and intertwining at points in this coming-of-age novel.
Eliot's writing is typical Victorian: winded and the usage of the appendix in the back becomes tiresome, but it also shows intellect behind the pseudonym that one is forced to appreciate. It's hard to find a lovable character in this story because of the purposeful idealism and poorly sketched minor characters, but the portrait she draws of Gwendolen and Daniel's mother (who seemingly parallels Mrs. Havisham in Great Expectations, I think) are memorable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read Middlemarch first Dec 12 2003
Format:Paperback
Middlemarch is perhaps the most near to perfect novel there is, but Deronda is a flawed one. It should certainly not be ignored, but I fear it might discourage some from reading Middlemarch, the novel that made Eliot's reputation what it is.
Deronda is a lot like Anna Karenina in that it focuses on two primary characters almost as if it were two separate novels. The stories do intersect, but the intersections seemed to me to be hindering contrivances. I did not enjoy the Deronda string very much; the Gwendolen string was much more moving. Indeed, Gwendolen Harleth is as memorable a character as Anna Karenina. Deronda, unfortunately, is not nearly as memorable as Levin.
I read the introduction to this edition after finishing the novel and was a little dismayed to find an apologia for the novel focusing precisely on the those same criticisms I owned. There were vague hints of cultural bias suggested as the cause of not finding the Deronda string aesthetically pleasing and I found this quite not to my taste. I would recommend skipping the introduction.
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Format:Paperback
"Daniel Deronda" is George Eliot's last and, perhaps, most ambitious novel. It has great literary merit, but I do not think it is her best work. The novel contrasts the lax moral attitudes of the British aristocracy with the focused dedication of the Jewish Zionists. Given the typical anti-Semitic sentiments in Victorian England, and the little known world of the Jews and the Zionist Movement, Ms. Eliot's made a brave and idealistic effort by writing this book.
Ms. Elliot describes the lives of British Jews, a society-within-a-society, of which most of her contemporaries were oblivious, through her hero Daniel Deronda. Through her heroine, Gwendolyn Harleth, who marries for money and power rather than love, Eliot explores a side of human relations that leads only to despair.
Daniel sees Gwendolyn, for the first time, at a roulette table. He is fascinated by her classical, blonde English beauty, and vivacious, self-assured manner. When Ms. Harleth is forced to sell her necklace to pay gambling debts, Deronda, a disapproving observer, buys back the jewelry, anonymously, and returns it to her. This is not the last time the deeply spiritual and altruistic Deronda will feel a need to rescue Gwendolyn.
Daniel was adopted by an English gentleman at an early age. He has received affection, a good education, and to some extent, position, from his guardian. However, Deronda has never been told the story of his true parentage, and sorely feels this lack of roots and his own identity. Not content to play the gentleman, he always appears to be searching for a purpose in life.
Daniel's and Gwendolyn's lives intersect throughout the novel. They feel a strong mutual attraction initially, but Gwendolyn, with incredible passivity, decides to marry someone she knows is a scoundrel, for his wealth.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books of 2013
I only heard about this as a result of my wife listening to a BBC radio adaptation. I bought the book for her as a Xmas gift two years ago and decided to read it this past year. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Bill Dumoulin
5.0 out of 5 stars I think he is not like young men in general
"Daniel Deronda" was the last novel George Eliot wrote, and it's an appropriate finale to her career -- a lushly-written, heartfelt story about a young man searching for his past... Read more
Published on June 6 2009 by E. A Solinas
4.0 out of 5 stars Victorian Lit at its Height!
This was a wonderful book. The characters are deep and very well developed. Daniel is a little too good to be true, but Gwendolen is the best female character of the time period. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, excellent read.
This novel is well-written and explores many issues of 19th century Victorian England.
Both hero and heroine are magnificent. Each individual and each unique in its own way. Read more
Published on July 2 2003 by "sandys647"
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming soon - "Gwyneth Paltrow as Gwendolen Harleth"?!
George Eliot's last novel is nothing less than extraordinary. The most obvious thing is that most of it is a thumpingly good read, especially the first third - witty,lively and... Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2002 by nick turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Treasure
There is little I can add to the reviews below, all of which are right on the money. What I CAN do is provide those new to George Eliot with some helpful hints. Read more
Published on June 6 2002 by Miss Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for any George Eliot fan
While Middlemarch is a thoroughly Victorian novel, Daniel Deronda looks forward to the modern period in its focus on the individual. Read more
Published on July 3 2001 by Andrea S.
4.0 out of 5 stars an unexpected pleasing read
i am an English student and though my area is American Literature, i cannot help but comment on this book. Read more
Published on May 18 2000 by Kate C.
5.0 out of 5 stars a historic masterpiece
Daniel Deronda is a brave piece of literature. It attempts to chronicle the budding Zionist movement and anti-semitic attitudes of Victorian society, and combine it with a more... Read more
Published on May 15 2000 by lazza
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