Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £13.49

Buy Now for £13.49

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

The four seasons of the Wessex year form the backdrop for the delightful romance of Dick Dewy and Fancy Day. The ups and downs of their courtship are set alongside the story of the rustics who form the church choir.
Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Under the Greenwood Tree

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    53
  • 4 Stars
    18
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 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
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Memories from youth have rude awaking

I studied this book for English O Level way back in the 1960s. At the time I thought it was the best book I'd ever read! I love the dialogue between members of the "quire" but this was one of Hardy's earlier works and he improved immensely and when he got to "Far From The Madding Crowd" I find the two stories very similar, but the latter work being better. However, Hardy has a superb way of commenting upon nature and people's mood and that is superb. Surprisingly I found Robert Hardy's narration disappointing - I've no idea what accent the inhabitants of this Dorset village might have used, but surely not the one used by Robert Hardy. Having said all of that I enjoyed it, but it is no longer the best book I've ever read.

6 people found this helpful

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

Excellent Narration!

I see the reviews are divided about both the story and the performance so a listener needs to bear in mind that this very much personal preference. For me Robert Hardy gives a wonderful engaging narration. And he gives his all tor not and any a story that certainly gives insight into people's lives but is lacking a depth that brings a reader personal connection. I was indifferent whether people lived or died, got married or not and any outcome I was not engaged. It was Robert Hardy's performance that carried me over the finish line.

3 people found this helpful

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

Vanilla

I enjoyed the narrator's performance immensely. There didn't seem to be a story though, it was just a rather boring recounting of mundane events in a small village involving bland people.
I'm amazed this is considered a classic.
Also, despite the green tree and summer scene on the cover, the story is set around Xmas time!

2 people found this helpful

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

Disappointingly Read!

Thomas Hardy's delightful story disappointingly presented by a top flight reader of whom I had expected much better. Dorset accent? Mmph. not even close Mr Robert Hardy! Actually quite hard to follow!

4 people found this helpful

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

Very hard to understand

Robert Hardy obviously enjoys doing the accent but I found this reading almost incomprehensible I’m sorry to say

1 person found this helpful

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

Hardy rescues Hardy

Under The Greenwood Tree lacks the stirring depths of Hardy’s better known novels, being more akin to a tale of country folk. However what life there is amongst its pages is animated and accelerated whenever possible by the vibrant and energetic voice of the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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

Not his best. A rather pedestrian story.

Newcomers to Hardy will realise fast that the beginning of almost all of his novels contain a sudden array of disposable characters with strange nicknames and strange dialects that will leave you totally confused and baffled as to who's who and what's going on.

invariably however, the early characters are mostly subordinate to the plot, so you have to persevere until he settles down on the main protagonists and those around them.

it's not really necessary to try to remember everyone from the first chapter or so.

Unfortunately being a short novel it is well into the story before you get your bearings with this one which doesn't have the dark subterfuges of his greater texts.

This is far from Tess, Jude and the madding crowd.

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

Perfect!

This is not usually my favourite Hardy and it is ages since I read it but hearing Robert Hardy read not only ‘woke up’ the whole book to me but reminded me how funny it was. I shall remember Fancy being likened to a flower amongst the vegetables of the other young girls and am in pursuit of my copy of the story to see if I heard correctly and Hardy really used wombling as a verb, all those years ago…..

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

A novel overdramatised

This wonderful story,so full of warmth and humour, was disappointingly read at galloping speed

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

Poor audible book

This is one of my favourite Thomas Hardy books but not as read by Robert Hardy. His attempts at Dorset accents is terrible. It was so confusing to listen to, the meaning of the words was lost as I had to concentrate so hard. I gave up after a couple of chapters, what a waste.