The story is just what you expect from Dickens: some memorable characters (the villainous ones are especially memorable); a somewhat complex interweaving of plots leading to surprising discoveries about birth and parentage; some good women who are rather insipid; some sickly sentimentality, especially regarding a brother-sister relationship; a poignant young death; justice to the villains; a happy ending; and much wonderful prose. The reading is excellent. My only complaint is that the plaintiveness of Smyke and the Yorkshire accent of John B. is a little overdone. But this is minor. Dickens is a very great writer, and Simon Vance does him justice.
This novel is a gem. Well written and beautifully constructed, with human, pathos and drama all thrown in.
This is a wonderful novel, funny and poignant, imaginative yet grounded in history. One of the best contemporary novels I've ever read. The narration is excellent.
I love Dickens, so I enjoyed this novel. The historical account of the riots is interesting and graphic. As usual, there's some wonderful writing and characterization--and the reading is excellent. As a work of art, though, it is not one of Dicken's highest achievements.
I view this as one of Sayers' weaker stories. Much of the mystery hinges on something that is presumably supposed to be a surprise when it is revealed but seems to me to be pretty obvious. My wife and I listening in the car twigged it very early on.
Maybe this is a good book, but we just became too impatient with the first part to find out. We started listening to it on a long drive; but after two or three hours we gave up on it because we just got bored with a seemingly interminable preamble in which the author vaguely indicates what is to come but talks much of the time in bland generalities.
I was a little disappointed in Villette. The narration is fine. But the novel is almost painfully lacking in any real events. The best thing about it is the subtle representation in Lucy Snowe, the narrator, of desires that she is not fully aware of. But she is a frustratingly cold and uncurious personality. She's so turned in on herself, so reluctant to actually do anything, that the novel becomes boring at times.
It's amazing that this is Eliot's first novel. The story telling, the dialogue, and the reflections are all so assured. The narration is truly wonderful. I'm originally from the part of England where Eliot grew up and where I imagine it to be set, and she gets the accents dead on.
I wouldn't call this Great Literature: I doubt if I'd consider reading it again, for instance. But it is still first rate literary entertainment. I especially like Irving's wry humour. The narration is very good.
A well-written and interesting dystopian novel. Given how famous it is, I was a bit disappointed. But I tend to be a little impatient with the method of narration that keeps many things mysterious and leaks out what's going on bit by bit. Still, it's an impressive feat of imagination. The narration was decent, but somewhat lacking in variety of voice or tone.
I love Dickens and have read all his main works. I'd rank Chuzzlewit about in the middle. Some memorable characters and great dialogue--I especially like Mrs. Gamp. But also the usual flaws-- e.g. authorial coyness that gets tiresome; sentimentality; uninteresting good guys. Sean Barrrett's narration is absolutely excellent: the voices he gives the characters sound perfect.
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