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Bleak House Audiobook

Bleak House

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Publisher's Summary

A complex plot of love and inheritance is set against the English legal system of the mid-19th century. As the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, it becomes an obsession to everyone involved. And the issue on an inheritance ultimately becomes a question of murder.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2006 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2006 Naxos Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (588 )
5 star
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Overall
4.6 (525 )
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Story
4.7 (526 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Judith Pennington, NJ, United States 05-17-13
    Judith Pennington, NJ, United States 05-17-13 Member Since 2013
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    "A great version of this classic tale"
    What did you love best about Bleak House?

    The two narrators worked really well. It really felt like reading the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bleak House?

    Dickens always has such varied and interesting characters. This book is particularly filled with them.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Esther and Mr. Bucket chase after Lady Dedlock was very exciting, and ultimately sad.


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

    What a wonderful man John Jandyce is, but some of the characters take advantage of them.


    Any additional comments?

    I would say that this is an excellent version of Bleak House, and I would highly recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 03-25-13
    Linda NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 03-25-13
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    "Superb novel superby read"
    If you could sum up Bleak House in three words, what would they be?

    Massive, complex and heartrending, Bleak House is one of the greatest novels every written.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Too hard a question! I love Esther's narrative for the way she both undervalues herself in her humility but at the same time always follows her instincts, which are always sound. So she is both very modest and very strong. I also love the character of Tulkinghorn, as evil and secretive and meddlesome and smarmy a lawyer as the world has ever seen. Then too, Mr Jarndyce and his Growlery is a wonderful thing. And poor Joe, certainly the most heartrending character in the novel. Mr Bucket is pretty fabulous too, with his relentless detectiving joined to a kind and gentle heart. Who can choose???


    What about Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher ’s performance did you like?

    They are both very gifted readers. They are not showy nor do they draw attention to themselves. but they manage to capture each voice and each dialect perfectly, a pretty amazing feat given Dickens' penchant for creating a huge cast of characters from across the entire spectrum of English society.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both, on almost every page.


    Any additional comments?

    I am two thirds through (27 hours and counting) and I dread finishing the novel. Maybe I'll just start all over again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharey 08-25-16
    Sharey 08-25-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Not My Favorite Dickens"

    I am a big Dickens fan but not of this one. It started out okay but soon became very tedious and I found myself bored and my mind wandering. I think Dickens' strength is writing about the underclass from a male point of view. This was neither and though the writing itself is always good, this story failed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre Hercules, California, United States 12-31-15
    Andre Hercules, California, United States 12-31-15 Member Since 2013

    I am a live storyteller who devours huge amounts of audio books to study classics and new books so I can tell new stories.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Writing shines in Bleak House"
    Where does Bleak House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Bleak House is one of the best and most complex audiobooks I have listened to so far. Dickens is in top form here.


    What other book might you compare Bleak House to and why?

    Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, strangely enough. The Jarndyce and Jarndyce chancery suit has a corrupting influence on everybody. Nobody, particularly Richard, escapes unscathed. Every time a character said, "My precious," I thought of Gollum and wondered if Tolkien read this book


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

    Inspector Bucket is the first investigator in English literature. He cast a long shadow over Sherlock Holmes and other detectives that followed in his wake. I thrilled at his juicy dialogue and keen intellect. He made the later half of the book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The only extreme reaction I had was over how good it was. I kept saying, "I can't believe Dickens wrote that." His writing reached its peak in this book.


    Any additional comments?

    A long book, but well worth it. I can see why critics state that Bleak House is Dickens best book. This is a must read if you hope to appreciate his writings beyond Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. He adds a few twists to this novel and made them work. You will be rewarded if you read this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia 11-03-15
    Julia 11-03-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Exceptional Readers!!"
    Would you listen to Bleak House again? Why?

    Yes, again and again. Like all Dickens' novels, the characters are well developed and the story is never predictable.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    The readers of this version were the best I have ever heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eccles19 08-05-15
    Eccles19 08-05-15
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    "A Dickens novel with competent narration."

    Sean Barrett always does quite well and Teresa Gallagher is quite excellent in her portrayal of Esther Summerson but it takes a bit of time to get used to her portrayal of the other characters, and is particular jarring when she takes up characters we have only head in Barrett's voice. grade: B.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryen C. Schimerman BROOMFIELD, CO, US 05-05-15
    Ryen C. Schimerman BROOMFIELD, CO, US 05-05-15 Member Since 2017
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    "The quintessential book about law.."

    Simply one of the best books ever written.. and Sean Barrett makes this one of the best audio books ever narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.B. 11-30-14
    J.B. 11-30-14

    Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ailmenet for Attorneys - The Queen of Hearts"

    Its cadence is so very Romantic Age. All works out somewhat well – and the full bodied words that Dickens uses to take you along for his tale are enchanting. Yet, be forewarned, after the initial tale begins, it tends to dull out for a while. Forebear!

    The tale picks up in the second half and Dickens is at his best demonstrating the hypocrisy of the judicial system. The system, of justice, is built to right wrongs. In fact, Dickens teaches us it is a mere theater-place for the diabolical to take advantage of those in need. Woe to those in need. Like all Dickens novels: its there to demonstrate a societal injustice and hope the reading society now knows what needs to be corrected and in a Hegelian way it will come about.

    Dickens works, always seem to introduce us to evil men who turn out to be great men, and established men that do not deserve their wealth and status. Yet, the book, for all its worth, is only secondary to meeting the most wonderful of people – our heroine, Ester Summerson. A wonderful person to meet - and have in one’s own life. She is at the center of most of the little side stories that keep the major tale going and one never tires of her kindness and perfect outlook on the world. There are better Romantic pieces but, if you are addicted to 19th century England; this a worthwhile read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Moore Knightdale, NC United States 09-14-14
    Denise Moore Knightdale, NC United States 09-14-14
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    "Great way to complement reading."
    Would you try another book from Charles Dickens and/or Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher ?

    Since Dickens can be difficult to read because the books are very 'wordy', having the audio to listen to and reading the book at the same time was a joy. Hearing the different voices of the characters, accents and all, and listening to the flow of Dickens' beautiful writing was wonderful.


    What could Charles Dickens have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    nothing


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    no detractions


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bleak House?

    none


    Any additional comments?

    I will definitely do this again, especially for more difficult texts. And the price was right. If these were priced any higher, it would limit my ability to but both the book and the audio.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 05-26-14
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 05-26-14 Member Since 2016

    Rob Thomas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I know this is a classic, but I couldn't finish."

    Sometimes I'm okay with the pacing of classics like this one. Sometimes I'm not. And I just could get into the young characters or their problems. Maybe I'm getting too crusty...

    This book was apparently the prototype for all subsequent whodunnits and I really loved another Dickens novel, so I was generous with the overall and story stars. The narration was really excellent, btw.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • Carol
    Ashhurst, New Zealand
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Very enjoyable"

    I'm a fan of classics and, in most cases, know what I'm in for when I begin a book. Nevertheless, I almost always enjoy them, and this was the case with Bleak House. Among other things it's always interesting to compare TV versions of the stories with the books, and in this case the TV version is pretty true to the book. When buying a book I consider listening to the samples important because the narrators can make a huge difference to the listening experience. In this case, they were excellent. I always listen to the classics in their unabridged form even though some authors, particulary Dickens, can be a bit long-winded - this is something anyone considering this book should take into account.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dee S
    Bath, Somerset
    10/9/12
    Overall
    "Bleak House"

    I enjoyed this book as it was read by two different people so you didnt get bored with the reader. I love Charles Dickens books. I will be ordering others books of his. The next one will be Oliver Twist.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • crooty
    5/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow but stick with it"

    Long and laborious but gratifying as a story eventually. Pleased I stuck with it. In the days of scandal, smallpox, death and honour the story unfolds and the characters come to life. Well done to the narrators

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Billington
    Europe
    4/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Still a rich and friity story.."

    As we socially return to 19th century values this story tells of what we can expect.

    Property, littigation, ruin and pomp.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Surbiton, United Kingdom
    12/23/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Beautifully narrated sprawling mass of a novel!"

    Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher do a tremendous job narrating this sprawling narrative which doesn’t have the focus or thematic centre of many of Dickens’ other tales. Parts had me laughing out loud, parts were really engaging - there are the elements of social commentary and class issues we'd expect from Dickens. However, it could be tighter, but overall I'm glad I invested the time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Karen Williams
    12/20/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding story and audiobook"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bleak House to be better than the print version?

    I have listened to several Dickens audiobooks now, and for me it is the BEST way to discover these novels, which can look so daunting on the shelf. I found the two narrators absolutely superb and their accents and characterizations wholly convincing, and certainly enough to reduce me to tears on more than one occasion. Dickens' incisive parody of the legal profession is still absolutely relevant today, while the genuine goodness of many of the characters is inspiring (however one-dimensional some of them may be!). Whole-heartedly recommended for the richness and humanity of the story, the portrait it paints of the law system, social welfare and 1850s society in general, and the narration that brings it to life.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    Glasgow, United Kingdom
    10/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "With Dickens you get what you expect!"

    Audiobooks are a great way to catch up with those classics you avoided through school and life. The characters within this compelling work appear as vivid caricatures of what life must have been like in those times. Not a beach book by any means, but a must for the collection.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Edward
    Twickenham, United Kingdom
    4/23/12
    Overall
    "Very enjoyable"

    Not only is this a great work of literature, but the two actors are superb, voicing each of the many characters carefully and amusingly.Thoroughly recommended!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A User
    4/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great classic"

    great narration which did this old classic great justice. great descriptions which painted great pictures

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jan Roe
    4/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bored"

    kept falling asleep. The narrators were very good though, story just wasn't for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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