Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (Book 2 of the Chronicles of Barsetshire): 5*****

OK, I admit that I am an unabashed Trollope fan. I never read his works until about 2 years ago and since then I have discovered his wonderful Chronicles of Barsetshire series. This book, Barchester Towers, is the 2nd book in the series and while we still have some of the same cast of characters as in his first book of the series (The Warden), there are a whole host of new and fascinating characters who join us in the fictional region of Barsetshire. This entire series deals with religious/theological intrigue and politics and in this novel we are dealing with a new Bishop, a new liberal government in London who choose that bishop, a new Bishop’s chaplain, a new Warden and a new Dean of Barchester. Whew! Lots to write about and the stories are simple yet in his telling Trollope takes you into the minds and motives of everyone so that good and evil are easily spotted.

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Told in a remarkably detached and yet completely involved narrator it is a style of writing that has not been seen or use much. Trollope was not quite as popular as Dickens, but his works are much easier on the reader. There is very antiquated language and references to Mythological figures as the narrator equates actions of his characters to the acts in Greek Mythology and one needs to realize that they will have to do some work in order to appreciate these books. For me the best way to read Trollope is on a Kindle or some other e-reader. They have dictionaries that allow you to quickly understand some of words that Trollope uses and which have gone out of use. But this is a minor inconvenience. Give Trollope and his Chronicles a try, and hopefully you, too, will have an wonderfully enjoyable time in the region of Barsetshire.

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