Dickens called David Copperfield his "favourite child," and many critics consider the novel to be one of his best depictions of childhood. Set in early Victorian England against a backdrop of great social change, Dickens acutely observed the phenomena of the Industrial Revolution and used them as the canvas on which he painted the novel. Many consider David Copperfield to be the author’s finest work.
Public Domain (P)2013 Trout Lake Media
For me, the audio edition of David Copperfield was every bit as good as a book. I think Dickens in particular lends himself well to audio interpretation. The special magic of the audio version for me is that it recalls that comforting feeling I had as child; of listening to my parents read a story and being carried away into another world.
It is impossible for me to chose a moment that was more memorable than others. David Copperfield is one continuous rollercoaster ride of joys, sorrows, hardships, heartbreak, tearful departures and joyous reunions. The cast of characters include some of the most memorable villians, noble women, cruel step-fathers and loveable unfortunates ever penned. It is first class Dickens.
Peter Batchelor is perfect for Dickens. He is an entire cast of voices. His sure control of tone, mastery of timbre and accents are a delight. Being a baritone, Batchelor's only difficulty comes when playing women and children. Uriah Heep will make anyones skin crawl. The dialogues are particularly brilliant. In these, Batchelor needs to switch between characters, finding exactly the right voice for one and then answering immediately in another. It is dazzling stuff but the virtuosity is never at the expense of the narrative. One imagines this was the way Dickens himself would have read for his friends; revelling in the characters; growling, squeeking, lisping, mimicking accents and enjoying every minute of it.
Dr. Stong is married to Anne, a very beautiful and much younger woman. Uriah Heep has contrived to cast suspicion in the mind of the doctor that his wife had taken a young lover. Deeply in love with his wife, he is willing to let the situation fall into silence in order to keep her. Never confronted, Anne is neither guilty nor innocent. It is then revealed that Heep is a villian. This provides Anne Strong with an opportunity. The words that pour forth are some of the most beautiful and deeply moving in any book I have read.
Peter Batchelor does more then justice to Dickens' epic fictionalised memoir. As a first-person narrative it is ideally suited for the intimacy of the audiobook format, and Batchelor is throughout at one with the material, his deep baritone rolling on with unflagging verve through the yarn's decades. Unavoidably he recedes a little on the female parts, particularly the vapid ingenue Dora, but his range and variety on the male characters is vast. My favourite was the Cockney climber Uriah Heep, but the country boatman Dan Peggotty's tones were rich and dark as gravy on the ear. Dickens' themes of upbringing and maturity are woven densely through the story, which is studded with moving moments as well as richly comic scenes, mostly involving the hapless Mr Micawber. After 32 hours the end left me wanting more.
yes, I will listen to it again. this was one of the best read books I have heard so far, I would highly recommend it!
he really made the book enjoyable, very talented reader
Dickens' finest novel narrated exquisitely by Peter Batchelor, with every character coming alive, is a pleasure to listen to.
I found the chapter describing the two penitents to be the most hilarious in this otherwise sensitive and serious novel.
I am a goldsmith & jewellery designer from South Africa and an avid reader of SF&F, science, psychology, philosophy and classics.
The sound seemed a little low to me, but that could have been my phone. Beautiful story. Beautiful prose. I so love Dickens.
Christian, Texan, electrician, lover of reading-I lean towards Sci-fi/fantasy but enjoy the classics, history, and science titles also.
I hate the thought of giving such a renown classic poor marks but seriously, this book is so dry and uneventful that I just can't understand how Copperfield ever made it to print. We start with David as a child and end with him as an adult. Not much happens but at least every conversation he ever had is chronicled.
If this had been the first classic I had every read I just might have never developed a love for them. I am thankful this was not the case. If you are looking for your first classic may I suggest The Mysterious Island by Jules Vern or perhaps Don Quixote?
I guess my favorite character was Barkis. He was at least a little interesting in his timidity.
Disappointment, I did not start this one with high hopes and it certainly lived up to my expectations.
I feel like a cold dogging a literary work like this but please understand it's not like I am just some jerk who can't appreciate what it is. I thought Moby Dick by Melville was a wonderful read. This book simply sucked. There, I said it.
Peter Batchelor narrates my audiobook! There are at least ten or twelve characters that return over and over again. He narrates each of them with a different voice so you can hear who is speaking. However in places the recording isn't the best; here the words were difficult to decipher.
Dickens is disappointing AGAIN. I have recently tried Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol. I will give this a fair try, all through to the end, but I believe it will be my last Dickens.
Everyone gushes over Dickens so maybe an alternate view is good to hear occasionally too. I find it wordy, alternately cute or sentimental or downright drippy. The characters are simply not complex enough for my taste.
I can conclude that I liked this one better than the others I have read by Dickens. Why? Because by the end I had come to care for the characters. I knew who they were; I could guess how they would behave given a particular situation. Some I disliked immensely, with others I chuckled over their peculiarities and others I alternately ached with them and smiled with them. The variety of characters presented was wide; this was entertaining. I cannot deny that Dickens wove a story of a group of individuals that became a close knit group, and the reader comes to know all of them well. All are important for the story, and all are different.
You do see how life was for those of the lover classes in Victorian England. A struggle.
But the story is extremely predictable. When Agnes enters the story at the beginning of the book I knew immediately where she was going to end up at the end. And Uriah Heap! You know when he enters the scene what role he will play, not the specific details of course, but almost. He is so very slimy.
There is another serious problem with this book. David Copperfield is looking back and telling us of his life. So guess what, much of the action is told rather than shown. Isn't that a widely acknowledged no-no?!
If I had to pick one word to describe the book? It would be CUTE I think it reads like a fairy tale. You are alternately supposed to feel a wide gamut of emotions - anger, happiness, fear, satisfaction. And how must it end? Don't expect a story that will get you thinking.
By the book's end I was happy. So very cute. How can you not smile? Through much of it however I was alternately bored, wished there had been a better editor and was successfully predicting what would happen next. So I am afraid I can only give this two stars. It was OK. Sure, read it if you are in the mood for a cute story, a long cute story. I didn't waste my time. I know now clearly why I feel as I do about Dickens' writing.
This is partially autobiographical, but how accurate is the relationship with his wife?!
Reading, or in this case hearing a novel of this standing is a pleasure. I was reminded while listening to it that the original was published a serialized form and that each installment was probably very often read aloud for an evenings entertainment.
David Copperfield has been named as the novel most autobiographical penned by Charles Dickens. All of his writings give us a wide range of characters along with the inevitable struggle of good and evil. David Copperfield does this well and gives us a "proper story" where goodness prevails and evil is punished which may well be why it endures. Because its length and the rising and falling fortunes of the characters, I was sad to reach the book's end.
I have listened to a few audiobooks now and have made some discoveries. Bass voices do not lend themselves to easy understanding if the selection is played in an automobile. The lower register competes with road noise. While the reader gave a very good rendition to a wide range of characters and paid careful attention to match the rendering with the description of the character's voice, he was at times hard to hear.
The story is a classic, dickens' favourite. The narration, by Peter Batchelor, is deep and his fruity voice brings the many characters to life.
The death of Dora is particularly well narrated and is one of many moving scenes contained within this tour de force
In terms of an enjoyable scene I would look no further than the come uppance of Uriah Heap. A perfect climax to one of Dickens's most despicable characters.
"Well worth a listen"
Enjoyable book and quite well read. Good value for money for such a long story. I would definitely recommend it .
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