Public Domain ©2008 BBC Audiobooks Ltd; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
What can one say about Dickens' masterpiece that hasn't been said already? I'd just like to recommend it to every woman in this day and age who says she's "not a feminist," so that any one who makes this claim can be absolutely certain about what she'd be happy to give up. The guilt and shame that Little Em'ly had to live with for the rest of her life because she allowed herself to feel sexual attraction to someone other than the cousin she had grown up with as a brother... the way Mr Murdstone could freely harass his wives to death with no one to intervene on behalf of them...the way even the stronger, happier women, such as Mrs. Macawber, had to preface every statement of opinion with some self-effacing comment about being only a woman and so perhaps not conversant on these issues - just to name a few examples. What a look this is at a society where women have no power.
Mainly I would like to add to the chorus of praise for this narrator. Martin Jarvis successfully creates a different voice for every character - and any one who's read Dickens knows that is a major accomplishment. He is so good at this that the listener knows instantly who is speaking, even when the narration doesn't immediately identify the character. His voice and skill at evoking emotion are a perfect match for this text. Well done, Audible - can I put in my suggestion that when you are looking for someone to do the unabridged Lord of the Rings, that Mr. Jarvis be first on your list? I can just imagine what he would do with that cast of characters!
Of the more than 100 audiobooks to which I've listened, Martin Jarvis's reading is the best I've heard. He captures Dickens's characters as though he were putting on a master class in acting. But he manages to leave the reader/listener room to imagine the characters, too. There is not a missed note in the entire performance. There were many great characters, but I enjoyed Jarvis's rendering of Mr. Micawber the most. This is well worth the listen.
Dickens was well known in his day for giving lively, dramatic readings of his books--how he would have been delighted with Martin Jarvis's performance! Each of the colorful characters has an instantly identifiable voice, and all the nuances of class and region are beautifully done. Even the voices of the women are incredible--especially Dora's. As I listened, I could easily picture David's tiny, slight, blue-eyed "child wife." Bravo, Mr. Jarvis. I'll be looking for more of your performances!
What a great book with a great array of well described characters, I did not want this book to end. Dickens was truly a master of his craft,
Wonderful story, very good narration...Martin Jarvis handled each of the different characters with different intonations and did it consistently
I read this book 30 years ago. Listening to it on tape, brings the characters to life in a new way. Great book and great narrator.
"excellent classic, brilliant narrator"
encouraged me to read more dickens, only one I'd read before was great expectations at school
Fantastic story read by the amazing Martin Jarvis who has such a talent at bringing each character to life.
"First class narration"
A must for all Dickens enthusiasts. And Martin Jarvis is first class. Hadn't heard any of his narrations before. Delighted to see he's done absolutely loads, many of which are on my wish list. Shall be hearing a lot more of Mr Jarvis's voice in the coming months.
One of the finest stories, and superbly delivered by Martin Jarvis. Can't rate it highly enough.
"Quite simply, brilliant."
Martin Jarvis is excellent and brings this amazing book to life. Almost as good as reading the book itself.
OMG - I adored this book - I always thought old writers couldn't engage me how wrong I was.
The character depth and story detail keep you fully engaged even when nothing is going on.
"Classic story with engaging narration"
Having never read any Dickens before I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. It's a long narration but Martin Jarvis really does an excellent job bringing each of the characters alive in a distinct and engaging manner (so much so that my young kids also enjoyed listening). Probably the most enjoyable book I've listened to so far.
"Did it, at last!"
I've read a lot of books, and listened to quite a few, but this was the first Dickens one I have tackled. It was..........enjoyable! Not at all "hard" and certainly not a chore. The narration was pretty phenomenal. The majority of characters were instantly recognisable from their voice alone. To start with, I found his delivery a little overly jocular and his voice reminded me of the guy who reads the Just William stories, but this feeling wore off as the story became less bleak and more comic. Have to admit that the way Dickens wrote is a bit long winded, and dramatic for my modern ears and the characters are strongly caricatured. It is a fine book though, as everyone knows, especially those who have not read it!!
"A meaty book well worth the time it takes."
Dickens had the gift of story telling, the characters are well rounded and buzzing with life. It is a story that takes one on a journey.
The thing i like best about this story is the picture of life outside and around the main character, its full of depth that fill ones senses to the brim.
i cannot remember if i have heard this narrator previously, however i felt that he did a fine job of story-telling; evey character had a life and a voice of their own and the story flowed nicely along.
I was rubbing my hands together knowing that Uriah Heep was destined to end up in jail waiting to be transported far away. Such a detestable character but one that can easily placed in any time frame.
If you like Dickens but this is a story that you have only seen on television or as a film then you really must read the book, there is so much more to discover.
"The Brilliant, The Unlikely and The Windy"
Probably not. There are briefer and sharper tales
Lacks the complexity and strangeness of Our Mutual Friend and the overall brilliance of Bleak House. The first half is excellent
Lively, engaging and with an incredible range of voices
A fairly typical Dickens, passages of brilliance, humour and tragedy. Dramatic and sentimental, often over done. Some excellent characters eg Mr Micawber, but then some are frankly irritating eg Mrs Micawber. The co-incidental meetings at times are quite unbelievable. As with other Dickens the story starts to drag at about the 3/4 mark.
Still that's Dickens isn't it - using 1000 words where 10 would have done.
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