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Daniel Deronda Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Apr 23 1997
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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.
“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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Daniel Deronda is the ward (and rumored illegitimate son) of a nobleman, who is unsure of his past (particularly of his mother) catching a glimpse of pretty, reckless, arrogant Gwendolyn Harleth at a casino. Gwendolyn (who boasts that she gets everything she wants) is interested in Daniel, but when her family loses all their money, she marries a rich suitor, a relative of Daniel's -- knowing that his mistress and illegitimate children will be disinherited. But she soon finds that her new husband is a sadistic brute, and sees Daniel as her only help.
Meanwhile, Daniel rescues the despairing Mirah Lapidoth from a suicide attempt in the river, and he helps the young Jewish singer find a home and friends to care for her. As he helps her find her family, he becomes passionately attached to the Jewish population and their plight, embodied by a dying young visionary and a kindly shopkeeping family. Then he receives an important message -- one that will illuminate his roots, and give him a course for the future.
When Eliot published her final novel, it caused a massive stir -- not many novelists tackled the plight of the Jewish population, or how it compared to the gilded upper classes.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on Jan. 4 2014 by Bill Dumoulin
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 morePublished on Nov. 14 2003
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
"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. Read morePublished on June 29 2003 by Jana L.Perskie
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 morePublished on Aug. 1 2002 by nick turner
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 morePublished on June 6 2002 by Miss Jane
While Middlemarch is a thoroughly Victorian novel, Daniel Deronda looks forward to the modern period in its focus on the individual. Read morePublished on July 3 2001 by Andrea S.
i am an English student and though my area is American Literature, i cannot help but comment on this book. Read morePublished on May 18 2000 by Kate C.