Too damned long
Dickens writes a good story but it is a shame that he got paid by the word. Take out about 300 pages and 25 characters and it would be an excellent read.
Hugh Dickson's performance was magnificent. Some how he conjured up a different voice for the myriad of characters and pulled them off. The women even sounded like women!
When I buy a book, even a book on CD, it is available in individual units. Books have chapters and page numbers allowing me to find the part I'd like to read or reread. This enormous book, 35+ hours, is delivered in five big unpaginated, unchaptered lumps of 7 hours each. Imagine receiving a Bible with no page numbers, no books or verses. It's not only user-unfriendly, it's obtuse. And it is crummy of Audible to sell books without indicating how they are portioned. Some I've bought are nicely organized into 3 or 4 minute increments, some are divided into chapters. But I purchased six books today, all of them very long, and all of them are unsorted lumps of unwieldy story, no chapters, no individual bands that can be flipped through. Fast forward to the next chapter? It flips to the end of the book. Miss a passage because the phone rang? You can rewind and hope you can find the spot, but you cannot flip back to the previous chapter. If you bump the FF arrow, the book is done and good luck finding where you were. This is really stupid. Publishers invented chapters and page numbers and bookmarks for a reason.
Good voice. Voices and accents matter. Nice work.
Anger. Sadness. Disappointment. I love this novel, but prefer to re-read it in a way that I can find the chapter I want to re-read. This package hands it to you in unpaginated 7 hour lumps. Really insulting.
Audible has known about this problem because I've complained about it before. And for several months I have found my purchases arrive in neatly banded segments, easily navigated. Today I bought six books and all of them are big fat unnavigable unpaginated unchaptered lumps of material. Very unfriendly packaging. I feel defrauded. Of course the lesson of Bleak House is "good luck trying to gain satisfaction from any smug unhelpful monopolistic system."
i just finished this remarkable journey. i had read the book, seen the BBC miniseries (OK, so i can't stop seeing lady Deadlock a Diana rigg) and now have heard the audiobook. As a previous reviewer noted, Dickens is perfect for audiobook format, probably because Dickens in his day read his works aloud in performance, so likely wrote partly for performance. So combining text imminentlt written for speaking with the brilliant work of Hugh Dickson and you have something special. The reading was masterful, the characters well delineated, the tone always appropriate, the feelings strong. i have been listening to audiobooks for several years now, hooked on audibles monthly credits, so i have istened to a fair number. this is by far my favorite. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Yes, absolutely! The many characters, each with distinct qualities, came alive in this audio version, thanks to Dickson's brilliant narration.
There were several: the coming of Esther to Bleak House, her subsequent illness, the chance meeting in the woods between Lady D. and Esther, the capture and release of Trooper George, the moment when the relationship between Alan W. and Esther crystallized.
He is the most fabulous narrator I have yet heard on any audible book. His English accent was perfectly suited to this story, as was his ability constantly to change voices between characters and to maintain consistency in those characters over time, especially so given te length of this book.
The length of this book, the vast array of characters, and the many interwoven threads of story are the main challenges to overcome. You have to listen to it in multiple sittings, but in so doing it is easy to forget what just happened in the prior sitting or who a certain character is who suddenly reappears after an absence of sometimes many chapters. I recommend that the listener have a print version of the book handy simply to use as a backup reference. I found it invaluable.
Funny profound wonderful
The writing caustic wit and narration.
Too long but otherwise, yes.
This narrator is phenomenal. Such a talent.
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.
The reader, with a master thespian British accent, actually rrrrrolls his "r" as though he were speaking Spanish. Worse, instead of reading at an even pace, he skims a few words and pauses, skims and pauses, like an old slide show going black between each slide - which makes it tedious to follow.
Idea: The novel would be better read by 2 readers, since half is in Dickens' voice and half in the voice of the character Esther.
Obviously, my review has nothing to do with the greatness of the novel. I was just hoping to hear a great book that I'd already enjoyed.
Oh it was so wonderful to wallow in the words and to brood over the characters so marvelously portrayed by Mr. Hugh Dickson. (Paticularly the character's of Smallweed, Bucket, Guppy and of course the Bagnets) Dickens has set me down in London in the middle of the 1800s and invited my mind's eye to see the extremes of that society, and amid the tragedy of its epidemics, the incredible goodness that is to be found in the souls of those who are bound to be the great counterweight to those whose hearts are nourished only by their own avarice.
I hope to share joy with everyone I meet. I love volunteering for people and organizations that make this world a little more heavenly!
I'm still struggling through it, but like the story line so far. It's a bit confusing to tie it all together, but that may come yet.
Since I'm not through yet, I really can't say. Mostly I am having trouble keeping up with the numerous characters, as I listen for an hour or so at a time. This may be an easier book to read than listen to because of the number of characters and their unusual names.
The reader gives great drama to the different voices; however, many of those voices are extremely difficult to understand. Also, with the different voices, he goes from whispering to screaming, so that I seem to be constantly turning the volume up or down in order to hear at a normal level.