This was the first audiobook I have ever listened to, and I am so glad I chose this one for my initiation. Martin Jarvis is simply amazing; a truly talented man. I never tired of listening to his voice-- his accent is perfect. He performs all of the voices of the characters (which are numerous) with such skill, it almost felt like I was listening to a whole cast rather than this one amazing actor. The book itself is wonderful. I was never fond of reading Dickens, but hearing it "performed" in this manner has made me a Dickens fan. You won't regret listening to this one.
Well, I can't say I found this book as easy to follow, as humorous, or the characters as enchanting as the same narrator's performance of "David Copperfield," but I certainly am glad I listened. Dickens' mastery of the English language is equally abundant and skillful here. There were certain descriptions that simply left me breathless, such as the scene describing the storming of the Bastille. This has been described as Dickens's most serious work, and rightfully so. A good portion of the characters may not be as dynamic as I would have liked, but the themes of oppressors vs. the oppressed, life and death, and redemption are powerfully illustrated and thoughtfully conveyed. I found the ending particularly moving.
As to the narration, once again, Martin Jarvis has spoilt me on hearing anyone else perform Dickens. His range of character voices seems endless; I sometimes have to remind myself that it's only him speaking. I'll simply have to read the Dickens that he hasn't narrated; I refuse to listen to anyone else.
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