We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
Barnaby Rudge | [Charles Dickens]

Barnaby Rudge

For the background to this historical novel, a tale of mystery, suspense and unsolved murder, Dickens chose the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780. Mayhem reigns in the streets of London, vividly described by Dickens, and the innocent Barnaby Rudge is drawn into the thick of it.
Regular Price:$24.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

For the background to this historical novel, a tale of mystery, suspense and unsolved murder, Dickens chose the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780. Mayhem reigns in the streets of London, vividly described by Dickens, and the innocent Barnaby Rudge is drawn into the thick of it. Against the public disorder, Dickens tells of the private discord within families - with fathers and sons at loggerheads - and creates a wealth of colourful characters: the sinuously evil Lord Chester; the pretty and vivacious Dolly Varden; and the host and regulars at the Maypole Inn - a symbol of security in those uncertain and violent times.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

Public Domain (P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (42 )
5 star
 (22)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.4 (36 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.6 (38 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 12-23-13
    Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA 12-23-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3138
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1548
    242
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2532
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful"

    This is a wonderful novel - how did I manage to avoid it for so long? (I've been working my way through all of Dickens' novels over the last couple of years. I would almost say I've been "working them off," but if you listen to this one - and I strongly recommend that you do - you'll understand that working things off is not always a good thing.)

    Dickens is at his morally outraged best in Barnaby Rudge: the story centers around the anti-Catholic riots in London in 1780. I'd read a little bit about the riots before - they show up in biographies of Samuel Johnson, who was in London at the time - but nothing like the real horror of it. Tens of thousands of rioters marched through the streets. Hundreds of people were killed, many by the soldiers called in (finally) to restore order; houses, churches, and carriages were burned by the score. Newgate Prison itself was destroyed and all the prisoners set free. In the aftermath, dozens of rioters were hanged.

    Moving through this gripping slice of history are the simple-minded Barnaby Rudge; his mother; a brace of loving couples; a heroic locksmith; and a chilling assortment of villains. Barnaby, in his simplicity, is coaxed into carrying a banner for the rioters, and thinks he's being a brave warrior in a noble cause, until he comes face to face with the gallows.

    It's not all grim. Dickens' comic invention is in evidence throughout. The dialogue sparkles, and at least three of the four main villains have brilliant star turns that are wickedly funny. (The fourth villain is a brutal, frightening concoction - one of the most unredeemed, and unredeemable, parents Dickens ever invented.)

    Sean Barrett's narration is brilliant. Every character has a unique voice, and all are utterly convincing, even the almost too-good-to-be-true Barnaby. Most of the villains have coarse, gravelly voices, but one has a voice as smooth as silk and is all the scarier because of it. This is going down as one of my three or four favorite audiobooks of Dickens. For me, it was infinitely more interesting and rewarding than his other historical novel, A Tale of Two Cities. It's a rip-roaring tale, and I loved it.

    20 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 03-20-12
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 03-20-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    325
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    149
    66
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    59
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating historical story"

    Reading (knd of) Dickens has been one of the gifts that Audible has introduced me too. As a historical novel this is a bit of a departure from Dickens normal period and I needed to remind myself of that change of era at times through the story.

    Before this book I knew that there had been "Gordon Riots" but I had no idea what or who Grodon was and what the riots were about. Dickens sets out the story clearly and using the kind of characters and storylines that he seems to create better than anybody else. By the end of the work all the threads have been drawn together for a satisfying story but also the history has been told in a clear and memorable way.

    The narration is good and clear, characterisation is useful rather than intrusive. Recommended.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew Little Rock, AR, United States 10-06-11
    Drew Little Rock, AR, United States 10-06-11 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great historical novel with an excellent narrator"

    I have read most of Dickens, but somehow passed over this book until recently. If you are interested in British history, the Gordon Riots will certainly hold your interest. I know that I would not have enjoyed this book nearly as much if I had read it instead of listening to this audio book. The narration is amazing.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Brown Greer, SC 04-30-12
    D. Brown Greer, SC 04-30-12

    Bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely spellbinding!"
    If you could sum up Barnaby Rudge in three words, what would they be?

    Mesmerizing
    Gripping
    Beautiful


    What did you like best about this story?

    Charles Dickens's ability to bring out human nature at its darkest and finest. These characters are like every day people we all know.


    What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Barrett's ability to make the characters come alive and to give them their own voice was truly remarkable.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, yes, and yes!


    Any additional comments?

    My wife and I thouroughly enjoyed listening to this with the book open in front of us each night this past week. We'll definitely be making this a regular practice.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SHARON San Pedro, CA, United States 04-21-13
    SHARON San Pedro, CA, United States 04-21-13 Member Since 2011

    rubyvern

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant performance, strong historical plot"
    What did you love best about Barnaby Rudge?

    It's a Dickens thriller, if there is such a thing. As a historical novel it has some fact-based characters and a full complement of Dickens inventions, read superbly by Sean Barrett. It amazes how easy it is to tell which character is speaking by the thoroughly enjoyable delivery. Can't say enough about how well Barrett brings the troupe to life.


    What other book might you compare Barnaby Rudge to and why?

    I listened to the Old Curiosity Shoppe just before Rudge and it wasn't nearly as good - this has a large purport, and could better be compared to Little Dorrit which is also somewhat factual. However Rudge is better paced and frankly more interesting. I also saw the film The Duchess recently, based on Amanda Foreman's nonfiction book on Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, which is set at the same time - the late 18th century. This great book helps inform Dickens' subject, and made the Rudge experience even richer.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favorite?

    Haredale was good - steady. But I love the locksmith, and John Willett was a lot of fun.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The ill-informed riots that might have felled the British empire.


    Any additional comments?

    Get it. Someday I'll buy the book and read along as I listen. Sean Barrett deserves a fancy award for this work.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 07-27-14
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 07-27-14 Member Since 2002

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2813
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1377
    387
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    853
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pleasant but not Great Dickens"

    This is an early Dickens’ historical novel about the anti-Catholic Gordon riots of 1780 and the doings and loves of a host of country characters. There are some great Dickens characters and moments in this novel; the raven, the villains, Hugh and his dog and, of course, Barnaby. Yet this is not Dickens best work. The novel lacks focus; it is a historical chronical, a mystery, a romance, an adventure and a parable. In each aspect it foreshadows later and better Dickens novels. The novel winds up too predictably and too cleanly. In his later works there is more focus and nuance.

    The narration is quite good throughout, but the voice of Miggs was too annoying even for Miggs (an annoying housemaid). Although this is not Great Dickens, it is still Dickens, which is still quite good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 05-29-14
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 05-29-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    98
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    83
    40
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not his best, but it's still Dickens"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen San Francisco, CA, United States 05-18-12
    Stephen San Francisco, CA, United States 05-18-12 Member Since 2004

    Fictional characters in narrative

    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    240
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rudge is a tall poppy"

    My followers may also enjoy this classic novel. It is historical soap I guess but Dickens has charm and social observation skills

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
Sort by:
  • N. Bowring
    Sussex
    11/1/11
    Overall
    "Fine performances of Dicken's characters"

    The listening of this interminably long book is eased by Dicken’s fine prose and Sean Barrett’s superb performance (rather than mere narration) making it impossible for me to give anything under a 5 star rating. It is also very interesting historically and rather chilling, to compare these riots which occurred in 1780 with those of 2011 and find that there is virtually no difference in the mindless rule of the mob.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Greg
    ELY, United Kingdom
    10/18/11
    Overall
    "Barrett's Great Reading"

    I read Barnaby Rudge many years ago and I remember struggling with it a little. In Sean Barrett's hands everything is made clear, all the characters brilliantly delineated. It is a great Dickens novel, one of his early ones, and it is masterfully brought to life in this rendition. Highly recommended.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Ms
    United Kingdom
    2/24/12
    Overall
    "A revelation"

    Barnaby Rudge was one of Dickens' books I had not read, and I knew next to nothing about the Gordon Riots. I have now been so captured by the story that I have explored books and the internet to find out more about the history of the times. The book is read superbly by Sean Barrett and he brought to life the many characters in the book - not least, Grip the raven! The riots were done with such drama that I felt like I was listening to Dickens when he read to his audiences and they screamed with terror! I think that high quality audio books can bring a story to life in a way even one's imagination can fail to.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    Kendal, United Kingdom
    1/6/12
    Overall
    "Great story, beautfully read."

    Although a Dickens fan, I knew nothing about this story and found it unexpectedly moving as well as exciting. Beautifully read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Pat
    Torquay, United Kingdom
    11/5/11
    Overall
    "Barnaby Rudge read by Sean Barratt"

    What a fantastic experience - Dickens read by Sean Barratt - not just read but narrated in a truly wonderful way. I had not read this book but was thoroughly caught up in the characters lives and the horrendous rioting. How relevant Dickens is to what has recently happened in London. But it was the reading by Sean that made the experience so memorable, thrilling and moving.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Colchester, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "What the Dickens"

    I had been put off reading this because of the length but when I heard that Sean Barrett's narration was nothing less than brilliant I just had to start listening. I was delighted at his rendering of this book, his voices seemed to take on each character perfectly and it was just such a pleasure to use the new app I'd downloaded and transport myself to Dickensian England peopled by Sean's wonderful cast of characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • P A WRIGHT
    7/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful tale about the power of the mob"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, as it teaches so much about how people get pulled along in the wave of the mob. I had little knowledge of this terrible time in England's history, and felt that Dickens captured the mood. As always, his characters have the weakness of being caricatures and seem a bit 2 dimensional, but the story telling and tension building was superb. I felt like boo-ing and hissing every time John Chester was mentioned, as he was so sublimely horrid.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Barnaby Rudge?

    The immediate lead up to the hanging of Hugh and Dennis. Brilliant writing.


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I enjoyed Sean's voices but felt that his 'female' voice was very same-y.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • elizabeth
    ALFORD, United Kingdom
    1/30/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't bear ridge a grudge"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Barnaby Rudge to be better than the print version?

    haven't read the print version as I find Dickens quite hard work and thought the audio might be easier. Indeed it was.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Sean Barrett is by far the best narrator I have listened to so far. How does he find all those different voices? His excellent story telling was a joy. I particularly liked Miss Mimms


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    it the beginning it's a bit slow, but stick with it, it gets really brilliant. Barnaby is a great character.


    Any additional comments?

    All the characters are fab. You grow to dislike some, my husband and I listened to this together and so have had daily book discussions. Worth every penny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • rl
    lavenham, United Kingdom
    6/20/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Classic Brought to Life"


    A remarkable journey through eighteenth century life showing both the horrors of poverty, and the exploitation of power and wealth, in a society ripe for change.
    Sean Barrett's performance is outstanding,breathing life into every character.
    A must listen!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.