Dombey and Son is vintage Dickens and explores the classic themes of betrayal, cruelty and deceit. Dombey's dysfunctional relationships are painted against a backdrop of social unrest in industrialized London, which is populated by a host of fascinating and memorable secondary characters. The complete and unabridged novel is brought spectacularly to life by veteran reader David Timson.
Public Domain (P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks
and a penny for your thoughts
One of the best audiobooks I have enjoyed. This was a Dickens book I've meant to read for years but not had the time. Thanks to audible, I was able to enjoy this during a recent bout of the flue. Great characters, interesting story and funny. Many times I laughed out loud. David Timson gets most of the credit for this as his narration was big part of the enjoyment of this book. It's not fair perhaps but I expect Charles Dickens to be extra ordinary. Finding a reader equal to him is a surprise.
Mr. Toots is was, for me perhaps the loveliest character and best developed narration. Absolutely brilliant, funny, touching.
David Timson makes Charles Dickens come alive. His acting skills rank at the top of the A-list.
For classics, good narration isn't enough. David Timson is to reading what Charles Dickens is for writing.
David Timson never fails to deliver, whatever he narrates, but his genius and versatility are best displayed in Dickens's novels, with their great variety of unique and eccentric characters. Timson seems to know these people as intimately as Dickens did, and in Timson's voice, they come vividly to life, each with his or her own highly individual vocal tics. At the same time, Timson has a keen sense of what the narrator is really saying, and how it should be said, from the slyly sarcastic to the genuinely poignant.
While Dombey and Son is considered by some as being among the "lesser" of Dickens's novels (due, perhaps, to the premature death of an important character and the necessity of contriving a plot thereafter), it is nonetheless filled with the rich characterizations, astute humor, and just plain beautiful writing that earn him a place among the greatest of English novelists.
Love Greek philosophy and drama. Love 19th century British lit, trying to understand medieval allegory- commuter listener
The reader had an amazing variety of voices, he kept them clear from each other, and it was easy to hear when a character entered stage and began speaking even if the character was not introduced. His women character did not have high pitched squeaky toy voices like many male readers' voices do, and finally, his old lady cackle was an absolute joy to listen to.
I can't think of a particulat moment, it was more so the whole piece. Dombey and Son was an emotional piece of tension between a girl longing to be loved by her father and the father who was always looking for something other than what he had. The reactions of the characters were believable. This seems to be one of Dickens' more mature works.
David Timson may well be my favorite reader so far on Audible. I loved Edith's mother, the spoiled, seductive, overly made up middle aged scheming mercenary woman who just was looking to get her daughter married. She along with the cackling old lady with the ruined daughter Alice were contrasted by their status in society. Both were scheming and using their daughters to acquire money, one high class, the other low class, but basically the same means, and David Timson did a marvelous job with the voices of both. I am just so amazed as how he kept the cackle and hoarse throated voice of the poverty stricken old mother intact whenever she spoke.
I am not good with 'moments'. I tend to be a global reader looking for global impressions. This book was good, SUPER WELL read, and exciting in particular because I did not know the story line (which is not often the case for me with the classics), so I was longing to get from moment to moment just in excitement for what happened next. Dickens is a superb writer and with David Timon's superb reading of the piece it was a joy to follow this book on my commutes for the past 2 months.
The only thing I would mention that is not favorable is perhaps that the ending felts too predictable and just kind of 'OK it's time to wrap this up', so the lost characters return with a quick story of how they managed to return. I felt like the drama of Edith running and Carker (I don't know how to spell his name since I was listening and not reading) the office manager ran, and it was exciting when Carker was chased by Dombey, but then after that, everything just wrapped up quickly. I would have liked to hear more about how Edith survived (and a bit more justification for why she no longer wants to see Florence). I would have liked to have followed more of Walter's voyage when he was shipwrecked, to say nothing of Uncle Sol's voyage while he was looking for Walter. So the ending was perhaps not disappointing, but not as satisfying as, for example, Bleak House's ending.
David Timson's narration, which includes the voices of the numerous characters, each with their own highly distinct manners, is fabulous and really words to make a great story engrossing to listen to!
This is a gem of a novel and in my opinion one of Dickens top 5 novels. For those who enjoy Dickens it has it has all the classic characters from a evil school master Mrs. Pipchin, to a underhanded business manager Mr. Carker who Dombey trusts. A maligned daughter Florence and a second wife Edith who stands up for herself. Although it is Dombey and Son it is more about the women who make up the main characters who stand up to Dombey, or aid him. I recommend this especially for women. The narration is also terrific by Timson. I would look for his work in the future.
Difficult, memorable and bittersweet
The ending. I am not one that cries but I did. I think about this book and ending a lot.
Just when you think you've found your favorite narrator, you stumble upon another who is equally amazing. Timson brings it all to life. I haven't read all of Charles Dickens's books (at least in unabridged versions), but I've read many of them, and while I love them all this one is the best yet!
As in some other Dickens novels, ???Dombey and Son??? starts off well but seems to run out of steam about one quarter of the way through. Tongue in cheek humour gives way to long-winded descriptions and watered-down dialogues. Major characters disappear and plot development slows down to snail???s pace.
Things do pick up about three quarters of the way into the book (and some characters reappear!). Yet, one can only consider that such literature is the 19th century equivalent of soap operas.
To those still interested in this work, I recommend listening to it part by part with other works thrown in between each in order to provide some relief.
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