Bleak house takes its time to develop the characters.
I liked the humor and irony implicit in the English judicial system.
My favorite scene was Dicken's description of an old couple in their dotage throwing pillows at each other's head to get the other's attention.
The book is filled with wry wit and some full-on humor, but it also is long. It evokes a variety of emotions, all good.
You can't go wrong with Dickens, however I did find it hard to hear and understand the narrator at times. There were times when his voice would go soft it was hard to hear. Also, some of the character voices he did were hard to understand.
The narrator has enhanced my enjoyment of Dickens' words with his well considered, dramatic, but not over-the-top or comic-book like interpretation.
Sometimes you read a book that makes you just a little *better.* Bleak House is one of those books. The plot begins slowly and builds carefully, which will delight a good listener. The characters are memorable, believable, and varied. And what Hugh Dickson does with this reading is astounding: his Mr. Smallwood, his George, his Esther are just amazing. It's not just the perfect accents but the temperament, idiosyncracies and moods he brings out. What a book. Thanks, Mr. Dickens, and thanks, Mr. Dickson.
Maybe Les Miserables, for the rejection of legalistic and heavily moral religious institution in favor of compassionate action. Maybe some of Trollope's more deeply felt books... Phineas Redux, Dr. Thorne. A little Charlotte Bronte.
Hard to say, but I often thought about that as I listened. His brilliantly repulsive Mr. Smallwood I couldn't have created on my own. Likewise the stalwart George.
Fabulous reader with a huge range in voices, each flowing seamlessly from the narrative, breathes life and vitality into an novel famous for its abundance of secondary characters.As with any Dickens novel, the plot of Bleak House bumps and rumbles along (and along and along) presenting not so much one story as a collage of interwoven stories punctuated by long, evocative descriptions. But the writing is excellent and Hugh Dickson's reading carries even the lengthiest description of London Streets and well-situated country views, and the main character, Esther, manages to be both a fascinating portrait of Victorian ideals about womanhood and an interesting person in her own right.
This is the first Hugh Dickson performance I've heard, but I will be looking for more.
The more Dickens I read, the more I appreciate his gift for creating timeless characters whose dreams and heartbreaks are ours. I was particularly touched by his treatment of Jo in Bleak House and then chuckled at his treatment of lawyers; some things never change. Hugh Dickson masterfully brought each character fo life. The book is full of intriguing characters and plot twists so Dickson's ability to create distinctive voices for each character was especially helpful and entertaining. This is a marvelous read and a moving story about humanity and simple goodness.
three favorite words: "This is Audible."
Having loved the BBC film version of this book, I decided to take a chance on all 37 hours of unabridged audio. SO GLAD I DID!!! Dickens truly has a way with words. The way in which he exposes so many social ills of his day, setting them against the gentle unassuming kindnesses of Mr. Jarndyce and Miss Summerson is remarkable. Except for Christmas Carol, this is my first Dickens "read." Now I plan to listen to all of them!
I would also like to say a word about the narrator, Hugh Dickson. This book has so many characters and Mr. Dickson was able to give a unique voice to each and every one. EXCELLENT NARRATOR! I plan to do a search at Audible to look for other works narrated by Mr. Dickson.
Dickens's spellbinding indictment of the 19th Century British legal system and its tragic impact on the people caught up in it is populated with some of his most vividly drawn characters. Hugh Dickson renders them all perfectly, the high and the low and the middle, from the cool Lady Dedlock to the pathetic Jo to the hilarious William Guppy. I found myself laughing out loud and weeping at scenes that never made me weep before. Highly recommended.
I can see why this is considered Dicken's best novel. It is truly a masterpiece. The reader is excellent, brilliant in and of himself, with different voices for each character. This is one of the few books that is better as an audiobook, as his reading really makes the text come alive.
I think Hugh Dickson's narration is off the hook. Had such a great time listening as I commuted! He reads at a pace I enjoy, too. Not too slow, but such precise intonation. Lots of accents from uppercrust to humble (Dedlock to Jo and everything in between. Loved Guppy and Snagsby, Phil Squod --oh, everyone!).
Listen to the sample and make up your mind. :)