At 34 hours in length, this is quite an undertaking, but there's no one better qualified than Simon Vance to lead us through this audio journey. He parses the author's long sentences well, pausing sufficiently to make the details easy to follow while still maintaining a quick enough pace to keep the story going. Most enjoyable is his voicing of the myriad characters who appear in the narrative - and characters they certainly are. Vance times their occasionally hilarious exchanges especially well. All of this is delivered in a manner that suggests that Vance revels in Dickens's prose and sly humor, and the listener cannot help but revel along with him. Three cheers for Vance - and not the least for his stamina!
In David Copperfield - the novel he described as his "favorite child" - Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of his most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure.
©1923 Public Domain; (P)2009 Tantor
GRI, SME, CDPE, Broker
I ordered this audio book for two reasons. One, I love classics ... and two, a previous reviewer raved about the narrator's outstanding skill (Simon Vance). I agree 200%. Mr. Vance made David Copperfield literally come alive for me, performing each voice with extreme skill and precision - even women and youngsters. And Charles Dickens' reputation needs no further endorsement. The story was so gripping, I felt as if I actually knew the characters and was greatly disappointed when it concluded. I could have read (listened, in this case!) and read and read and read.
This audible book was a delightful companion during my summer driving through the deserts of the west. Dickens was brilliant - funny, opinionated, compassionate, and moving. Simon Vance did a marvelous job of bouncing between David, Dora, Aunt Betsey and the rest of the characters. The people of London must have so looked forward to the next installment of this series. We are so fortunate to be able to turn on an ipod and be taken back a century to another land. People have not changed over the centuries, but the talent to write like Dickens seems to have disappeared. This book is a gift.
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
Now I can say I've read it! It took me a while to get into it, but once I did I spent many late nights. If you can't read Dickens, please do yourself a favor and listen to him!
The book is a classic and the reading is truly inspiring. Simon Vance truly has a gift. But maybe Audible should let customers into a little secret: Simon Vance IS Robert Whitfield; and Richard Matthews and John Richmond. He has used different names for the different publishing houses he has worked. Whitfield was his chosen name while working for Blackstones. So, it's funny to see him competing with himself among the reviews. They are all very good versions.
There are a few of audiobooks where the narration truly improves the story (Shutter Island is one). Since we're talking Dickens, and one of his greatest works, improvement may not be in the cards. But Vance matches the material. Tolstoy cited Chapter 51 of DC; to my mind it (and the rest of the book) ably represent what makes us human, at our best and worst.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and this reading and was sad when it was over. I like Dickens but reading his novels (or even listening to them being read) can sometimes be a chore. Not so here. Vance's reading of the first-person narrative--an adult David recounting his youth--strikes just the right note. His performance of all the many characters and their various dialects is superb.
Okay, I'll be the Black Sheep and say I disagree with all the ravings about how this is Dickens at his best (all of you can start flinging mud at me now). My chief complaint is that I felt that I had met every one of these characters in a different Dickens book and that the
I agree with Joan, this is an awesome book. It was a huge surprise to me that I liked it. This was unexpected pleasure. I only tried after reading after seeing so many good reviews. This is a true classic – stands the test of time.
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