I listened to this performance as an audio cassette about two years ago. It was the best recorded book I listened to that year. Patrick Tull has a wonderful sense of the rhythm, variety and force of Dickens' prose. The book itself is wonderfully full of life and humor. I never understood Dickens' humor until I listened to Pickwick Papers. I've never known Tull to give less than a superlative reading.
I re-downloaded the Pickwick Papers at level 3 after suffering through the low resolution version a few years back, and was delighted with the sound quality this time around.
The Pickwick Papers is one of the funniest books I have ever read and really showcased Dickens' immense talents. My previous readings of Dickens were of the more serious variety--Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, Christmas Carol--which are wonderful themselves, but this was a treat.
I don't think it could have been read better than by Patrick Tull (of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin fame). He proves that sometimes a book is better in audible than read off the page. His enthusiasm and accents really bring the words to life. Brilliant! His loss is greatly felt.
Hi.This is my first Audible reveiw.I felt the need to write a review on this fabulous recording.Reading the previous reviews rightfully negative about the abysmal sound quality of this program when it was a 2,I'm ecstatic to be the first person to review it now that it is rightfully been presented in the far superior 4 format.This program now sounds as good as anything I've heard on Audible.I only hope that some if not all of the previous reviewers have already or will retry this program.It truly is one of the greatest audiobooks ever made.Mr.Tull's energy and talent for humour are second to none.I agree that the story only really kicks into gear with appearence of Samival Veller but it never waivers after that and neither does the good Mr. Tull.The three Christmas chapters are a particular joy(I listen to them every year around this time).Sorry for the lengthy review but I truly love this book and especially this recording of it.
still tilting at windmills, after all of these years.
as i come to the end of 'the pickwick papers' i recall that there are some books whose end i dread because of a relationship i have developed with its characters that i don't want to end. i first read this book about twenty years ago and remember the same feeling then. less of a page-turner than, say, 'a tale of two cities,' and lighter than his social commentaries (just about everything else!), the p.p. are, i suppose, 'enchanting.' i am already thinking ahead to the time in the future when i will see fit to read/listen to the misadventures of pickwick, tupman, snodgrass and winkle again.
the audio quality (recorded in format 1, converted to format 2 ) was acceptable, i listened to the first half to two-thirds in my car while driving across canada (windows up, volume moderate) and am finishing up on bose headphones.
the reader is very good to excellent. occasionally, i had some trouble understanding him by some combination of accent and or sound quality, but there were not enough of these moments to take away from my over-all enjoyment of his expressive voice and characterizations.
that's about it ... should i have offended anyone, i would like to point out that my comments should be understood in their 'pickwickian sense' and all, i trust, will be well again with the world.
Patrick Tull is a perfect narrator for this book: his bluff, blustery, energetic style matches Dickens' comic prose to a T. It's an episodic book, with a very thin overarching framework: travels and adventures (mostly misadventures) of Mr Pickwick, his fellow club members, and the manservant to end all manservants, Sam Weller (or Veller as he would say). Every so often Dickens adds a tale, usually a ghost story or some other macabre event, related verbally or on paper by one of the participants. It's Dickens at his absolute comic best: high spirits, wacky characters, impossible misunderstandings all around; and it all ends well in this best of all possible worlds. Tull's many voices, giving brisk life to every character, are astonishing.
Really looking forward to this one. But a big mistake. Quality of this recording is really really bad. I gave this more than an hours listen, then I stopped and gave up.
I have actually listened to this book from Recordedbooks.com on cassette several years ago and enjoyed it. The sound quality with the original cassettes was never great but the audible.com sound quality is very disappointing. While making the book available in format 3 or 4 might provide only modest gains in sound quality, any improvement would be worth the increase in file size. The poor sound quality makes me wonder how audible.com digitizes the original recordings: does recordedbooks.com provide high quality master tapes or does audible.com simply take any old consumer cassette and digitize that.
The story is a great one (although it doesn't really take off until a few chapters after Sam Weller joins the story) and Patrick Tull is a great reader. If you can stand the poor sound quality this is a great (although uneven in parts) Dickens book and one of my favorites.
The Pickwick Papers chronicles the adventures of the kindly English gentleman, Samuel Pickwick, in the early 1800's. The book is as charming as it is humorous. Dickens had the extraordinary ability to take the commonplace follies of people and describe them with insight into human nature and elegance in writing. Funny, touching, and uplifting. Cheers to Samuel Pickwick, Esq.