• Adam Bede

  • By: George Eliot
  • Narrated by: Nadia May
  • Length: 19 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (262 ratings)

Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Plus plan is $7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Adam Bede  By  cover art

Adam Bede

By: George Eliot
Narrated by: Nadia May
Try for $0.00

$7.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $27.97

Buy for $27.97

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

George Eliot's first full-length novel is the moving, realistic portrait of three people troubled by unwise love.

Adam Bede is a hardy young carpenter who cares for his aging mother. His one weakness is the woman he loves blindly: the trifling town beauty, Hetty Sorrel, delights only in her baubles - and the delusion that the careless Captain Donnithorne may ask for her hand.

Betrayed by their innocence, both Adam and Hetty allow their foolish hearts to trap them in a triangle of seduction, murder, and retribution. Only in the lovely Dinah Morris, a preacher, does Adam find his redemption.

Public Domain (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Adam Bede

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    187
  • 4 Stars
    57
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    190
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    159
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Country tragedy and country humor

I have a kind of love/hate relationship with George Eliot. On one hand, she writes beautifully crafted novels filled with interesting and solid characters. On the other hand, she's always interrupting her narrative to tell me how to think about it. She's forever reaching after generalizations, but many of them ring as false to me as the narrative itself rings true.

Adam Bede is no exception. As a narrator, Eliot annoys me; as a narrative, the book is a graceful and moving story about life and love in a small village as the 18th century slides into the 19th. (Some of the dinner-table conversation revolves around Bony - Napoleon - and the threat he and the armies of France pose.)

Adam is a carpenter who's in love with Hatty; but Hatty's head has been turned by Arthur, the son of the local squire. Arthur and Adam fight; Arthur goes off to join his regiment; Hatty decides to marry Adam after all; but as the day approaches, she discovers (in wonderfully elliptical Victorian prose) that she's pregnant.

In some ways the book could have been written by Thomas Hardy. The ending is less grim than it would have been in Hardy's hands, and there is considerably more country-folkish humor throughout the book; but not everyone makes it through, and there is a kind of autumnal poignancy about the last moments.

One of the more remarkable achievements in the book is the character Dinah, an early Methodist. Until the Conference forbids it, Dinah plays the unusual role of itinerant preacher. She's a gentle, loving, peaceful soul, and one of the few utterly believable persons of faith I've encountered in fiction.

Nadia May is a comfortable narrator, reliable as a rock, and I very much enjoyed her performance.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Consummate reading by Nadia May

There are some audiobook readers whose narrations never fail and among those I would place Nadia May. I have had this audiobook for more than a decade and never got around to listening to it until now but it is still as wonderful as the day I bought it - and now there are so many other readings available but this is still the one I would choose. Nadia May has wonderful tone, pace, diction and an ability to tell a story without drawing attention to herself. That said her ability to appropriately read dialects in a natural tone is an amazing talent.

In this particular text she speaks the dialect of the rural farmers and tradespeople in a way that makes the realism for which George Eliot strives have a much greater impact than reading the book as a text. I have heard many of her other narrations such as 'Anna Karenina' in which her ability to give a subtle Russian accent to words also made the reading a much greater pleasure than would otherwise be the case.

I love the intricacy of the text in 19th century novels and having a reader like Nadia May makes these readings so much richer. I highly recommend this book, particularly as read by such a talented narrator.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Smooth and Enjoyable Listening

After listening to MIddlemarch, I eagerly sought-out another of George Eliot's books. I am satisfied that I selected Adam Bede. As her first book, it is not as polished as Middlemarch; however, it is quite enjoyable. The reader, Nadia May, is superb. She employs every voice mechnization possible to portray the many characters authentically and she succeeds.A good listen.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great plot, great performance

This book kept me listening till 4:30 AM. I thought I knew what would happen, but I was wrong. And the reader was always interesting to listen to. Kudos!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Really good!

So this is a chick book back in the day when chicks were not allow to write and so had to use male pen names. For the time and place in history this was written it is a very good story with excellent character development and plot line.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Wouldn't listen again.

It was OK. It was entirely too long. I nearly gave up when I had 10 hours left, but read the summary again, and decided to give it another try. The summary makes it seem much more exciting than it truly is.There was too much minutia about characters that didn't really matter or that the reader doesn't really care about. Also I found it difficult to care what really happened in the end. I liked Adam Bede, but ultimately did not have strong feelings about the story or the characters.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well done but deserves an upgrade

The story was surprising and insightful. The actors performance was very good. Unfortunately with the better sound quality since the recording in 1995, an acute listener can at times hear the sound of a stopwatch, a gulp of water, the sucking of a cough drop, etc. Please don't let those small things get in the way of the great story and performance. I only mention to hopefully get Audible to invest in either remastering of recording or a new recording.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I think the book should be titled Dinah

The book started a bit slowly, but after the characters are fleshed out, the story certainly takes off and further on I really felt that I wanted to know what happens to the characters. Though the story is generally focused on whatever goes on surrounding Adam Bede, I think the real interesting character is Dinah, and I would have preferred if it were all told from her perspective. A woman Methodist preacher is far more interesting as a character than a working guy, as upstanding as Adam is. Dinah has tremendous influence on everyone and on the development of the story. I don’t want to spoil the end for anyone, so I won’t say what decision Dinah took, but one of her decisions told at the very end might be realistic, but was still disappointing. I am not a religious person, and would not at all be inspired by Dinah’s prayers and belief in how God shows her the way, but she is a compelling character, nevertheless. At times, her prayers and preaching were way too Christian for me, but I reminded myself that it is the character that is being depicted, and she was depicted very well. My favorite character is Mrs Poyser. She is related to in discussions of the book as the comic character, and she is indeed very witty with amazing metaphors whenever she speaks. But in some ways she is far from comic. Rather, she “tells it like it is.” She knows how to tell the rich landowner a thing or two, and she knows how to speak up. I’d be happy to have that woman on my side any time. Eliot’s writing is superb and a pleasure to listen to. The narrator also does a superb job. I have one quibble with her reading - she often pauses a bit too much between sentences. But I got past that (I listed to her read a different book by George Eliot, as well), and enjoyed her accents, voices, and expression of emotion. She does the whiny Mrs Bede so well that she is almost too much - you could imagine her sons becoming exasperated, and yet she is a totally believable character. (Probably everyone knows someone like her.) And, this book is a freebie! I recommend it heartily.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Nadia May delivered a spellbinding performance

What a pleasure to gain such intimate understanding of George Elliot's endearing and u forgettable characters. Bravo!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very satisfying.

Written in a style reminiscent of Austen. Very enjoyable. I shall read more of George Eliot.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for F. Wynn
  • F. Wynn
  • 01-11-15

Ruined by Narrator

Would you try another book written by George Eliot or narrated by Nadia May?

No

What other book might you compare Adam Bede to, and why?

Adam Bede is incomparable to any book. It is a masterpiece as are all Eliot's works.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The whole presentation was flawed by the tenor of her voice and the irritating character studies.

Was Adam Bede worth the listening time?

The story would have been,; I have read the book and loved it. The narrator made the listening tedious. I would never buy a book narrated by her.

Any additional comments?

I hoped to buy Felix Holt by George Eliot but refrained from doing so because of narrator, Nadia May

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Escoffier
  • Escoffier
  • 10-10-14

Wonderful story

Would you consider the audio edition of Adam Bede to be better than the print version?

No, they each have their place.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved Eliot's characterisations and beautiful descriptions.

Which character – as performed by Nadia May – was your favourite?

They were all outstanding, Nadia May is a brilliant mimic and has an amazing voice range.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The whole book is profoundly moving, everything links together, you are aware that anything not understood early on will certainly be explained or developed later.

Any additional comments?

I think George Eliot would have been very pleased with Nadia May's work. A great choice.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for theca
  • theca
  • 10-11-22

Remarkable

Written 1859 but apart from the language used is so relatable to today. Narration was fantastic. All characters distinct and with their native accents was so good. My only criticism was how the story suddenly changed and was truly sad. I don’t know if I missed something somewhere. Not that it was unbelievable but somewhat a surprise with little backing from the writing. Maybe you will agree when you hear it. And little explanation after. Never the less I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K. Bertie
  • K. Bertie
  • 09-26-22

Stick with it and slow narrator down

I found the narration of this way too quick, but when I slowed it down it became absolutely perfect and the narration was wonderful.

The book is rather preachy at times, but the story is good and has good twists and turns so is worth sticking with.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-15-22

A must read classic

I really enjoyed this book. On the whole the narrator read well, though I did find the over long pauses after each sentence spoilt the flow of the book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Neikka
  • Neikka
  • 09-07-22

Fabulous book

This is the best book I’ve listened to in a long time and I also have the paperback version and look forward to reading that as well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for eGJ
  • eGJ
  • 07-09-22

A wonderful rendition

A wonderful unabridged version with enjoyable narration by Nadia May (except for Tottie who is a pain anyway!) the whole saga is slow to set up, but George Elliot needs this to establish the background and develop a fascinating listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Normal Norman
  • Normal Norman
  • 06-04-22

Flawed but Rewarding

Eliot’s first novel has its faults, overly long and overly sentimental, but it’s a great story for all that. A genuinely shocking insight into the customs and beliefs of our forefathers.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lisa
  • Lisa
  • 03-27-22

Superb

excellent in every way a gripping story magnificently read by a very talented narrator

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-26-22

Thank you Narrator

I am not a literary expert, and am relatively new to the classics. When you are trying to navigate the plethora of amazing authors, to learn and gain insight to a time of writing you never had time for previously, having someone read them to you succinctly and without distracting error is amazingly helpful. Thank you Nadia.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-24-22

Wonderful narration

The narrator deserves more than 5 stars. wonderful story brought fully alive. I lived inside the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-16-22

Another good one.

Nadia May is a fabulous narrator. I love Eliot and any book read by Nadia is going to be of great quality. Thoroughly enjoyable.