**** Excellent *** Good ** Fair * Poor : AUDIOCASSETTES

Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"Far From the Madding Crowd" by Thomas Hardy. Read by Julie Christie. Listen for Pleasure (two cassettes). Christie, who played Bathsheba Everdeen in John Schlesinger's 1967 filming of the Hardy novel, gives a superlative reading, West Country accents in place, of the self-centered Bathsheba's tangled and fateful relationships with three men: the sturdy shepherd, the devoted landowner, the dashing soldier. The excellent abridgment by Serena Helps preserves both the main lines of the plot and the atmosphere of rural life in the West of England a century ago as Hardy captured it. Information: (800) 843-8404. ****

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