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Little Dorrit | [Charles Dickens]

Little Dorrit

William Dorrit has been a resident of the Marshalsea debtors prison for so many years that he has gained the nickname "The Father of the Marshalsea". However, his suffering is eased by his close bond with youngest daughter Amy, or "Little Dorrit". The dashing Arthur Clennam, returning to London after many years in China, enters their lives and the Dorrits' fortunes begin to rise and fall. A biting satirical work on the shortcomings of 19th century government and society.
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Publisher's Summary

William Dorrit has been a resident of the Marshalsea debtors prison for so many years that he has gained the nickname "The Father of the Marshalsea". However, his suffering is eased by his close bond with youngest daughter Amy, or "Little Dorrit".

The dashing Arthur Clennam, returning to London after many years in China, enters their lives, and the Dorrits' fortunes begin to rise and fall.

A biting satirical work on the shortcomings of 19th century government and society.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

Public Domain (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks

What Members Say

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4.5 (180 )
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4.6 (91 )
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4.6 (96 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael 11-11-08
    Michael 11-11-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "a melody of genius writer & compelling reader"

    Dickens and Lesser... You couldn't find a more brilliant duet!

    I'm glad to see more of dickens great stories showing up with the spirited voice of Anton Lesser,.. i believe this man was born to read Dickens and Milton!

    only I would like to see more unabridged, especially david cooperfield

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Le Center, MN, USA 04-23-09
    Julie Le Center, MN, USA 04-23-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    113
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    45
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    5
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    "A book for our times"

    1. This narrator may be the best reader of Dickens ever. Perfect voice for it.
    2. This book resonates with our time well when so many middle or even upper class people are struggling with sudden economic reversals. Dickens captures the pain, the flase pride,the class consciousness...And for those readers who believe that government is nothing but an obstacle to the progress of the people, he created the circumlocution office, perhaps the best parody of government inefficiency and graft in all of English literature. Funny, funny, fnny.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Quarry Bay, Hong Kong 08-01-10
    Jeffrey Quarry Bay, Hong Kong 08-01-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "Brilliant and Deeply Moving"

    I've loved this book for a long time- I first read it the summer that graduated from high school and I've reread it several times since. Lesser's reading is masterful- relevatory is another adjective that comes to mind. His pacing is perfect and, as many other listeners have noted, he has an amazing ability to create individual and very vivid portraits of the many characters. For me his reading has opened up sections of this beloved book in a way that I would have missed no matter how many times I revisited it. Simon Vance reading Trollope is top notch. Prunella Scales' Wives and Daughters is extraordinary. Juliet Stevenson reading anything is not to be missed. However, none of these amazing artists is able to hold a candle to what Anton Lesser has done with this reading of Little Dorritt. More, please!

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scott waban, MA, United States 09-10-09
    scott waban, MA, United States 09-10-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
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    3
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    "Great narration; middling Dickens"

    I have listened to many of Dickens' novels. The narration of this one is excellent--Lesser is a man of a thousand voices and dialects, making this a very enjoyable listening experience. Among Dickens' novels, this is not one of the best. PRobably because it was published in monthly installments of equal length, some chapters/installments had the feel of being padded. More significantly, even for Dickens, some of the characters were very one-dimensional and the plot depended too much on coincidence and, in one important point, deux ex machina. Having said this, if one is making one's way through Dickens oevre, this is worth a listen. For all its plot weaknesses and heavy handed social commentary about class, this novel has important messages about family relationships and human kindness. Finally, I couldn't help thinking about Bernie Madoff while listening--the book is oddly prescient, or stated differently, suckers are born all the time.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marek Galiano, British Columbia, Canada 11-26-08
    Marek Galiano, British Columbia, Canada 11-26-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Brilliant reading"

    Marvellous voices. I was able to recognize which character was speaking from the first word. Lesser is a master at characterization. I found myself looking forward to encountering them again and again. Flora in particular was a delight.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fiona Ballan, Australia 02-25-11
    Fiona Ballan, Australia 02-25-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A cast of thousands..."

    I read somewhere that Anton Lesser says he "doesn't do 'voices'", and he's right. He's more like a 'cast of thousands' - really! I'm just steadily purchasing anything he reads (though I draw the line at Jeffery Archer) and acquiring an exemplary education thereby!
    He peoples this world of Dickens so vividly it's hard to pull yourself away when the real world intrudes. I found myself thinking that certain actors in the reading were especially good and I must note who their names... and having to recall that it was one man only.
    Exhilarating!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 05-05-12
    Emrys Alfred, NY, United States 05-05-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Anton Lesser is a genius: Dickens is OK too"

    Little Dorrit offers the best and worst of Dickens (wit, lyricism, character, humanity, caraciture, sentimentality, over-extended passages, great plot with some very clunky bits). Overall, though, it's in the top half of his novels. I can't praise Anton Lesser enough. His narration is simply fantastic. Audible has some great readers but Lesser is unsurpassed. It's not just his mastery of accents; it's also his perfect but subtle timing and stress. Just listen to the way he puts he emphasis on "off" when he reads the brilliantly funny account of the "circumlocution office". Thats shows absolute mastery and understanding of his material.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelly 04-02-09
    Shelly 04-02-09 Member Since 2008

    Yarn shop owner, audiobook addict because I can knit and read at the same time.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Anton Lesser is extraordinary."

    I highly recommend Anton Lesser's reading of Little Dorrit. I particularly love his character readings - Flora Finching is priceless.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie H. Liddiard 04-06-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "Fantastic Reader"

    Anton Lesser is a fantastic reader and although this may not be the best of Dickens, it isn't the worst of Dickens. Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Conrad Halling Somerville, MA 11-16-09
    Conrad Halling Somerville, MA 11-16-09 Member Since 2008

    Conrad Halling

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Dickens's Best But Beautifully Read"

    I was disappointed with Little Dorrit; the book is not nearly as good as Bleak House or Our Mutual Friend. Dickens's writing is always at its weakest with his tiresomely good female characters. The plot is preposterous and a little dull.

    Anton Lesser's performance is outstanding. He brings all the characters to life in their own voices and mannerisms; it's worth the price of the audiobook to hear his interpretation of Flora Finching.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 25 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Heather
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    1/8/09
    Overall
    "High Recommended"

    It may not be one of Charles Dickens?s best known books but I would thoroughly recommend it, especially if you like thumping great Victorian novels! However it wouldn?t be half as good without the narration by Anton Lesser. Every character is given their own voice, making them instantly recognizable and the plot that much easier to follow. And some of them are very funny and so cleverly done. Altogether this book is a joy.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Rosalind
    uppingham, United Kingdom
    6/20/09
    Overall
    "little dorrit, narrated by Anton Lesser"

    Wonderful reading by Anton Lesser, sensitive and insightful characterisation - a gripping tale to be revisited often.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    Farnsfield, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom
    3/9/09
    Overall
    "Thoroughly enjoyed"

    Superb reading by Anton Lesser, with a distinct voice for each character, bringing them all very much to life.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Anna HG
    9/22/11
    Overall
    "A Great Introduction To Dickens..."

    Having reached that stage in my life when I feel I ought to have done certain things, one of those things was to read some Dickens! OK, so an audible book is not quite "reading" it, but I won't tell if you won't.
    I have to say I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED this book!
    Dickens was a fabulous writer and paints wonderful portraits of society in his time, littered with amazing characters that are totally brought to life through description and analogy (Mr Panks - what a masterpiece!).
    My enjoyment of this book was probably due to a great extent to the wonderful narration by Anton Lesser - he reads so fluidly and his emphasis is spot on. He engages different voices for each of the characters - even the ladies, which are just as good as the men, none of these thin, reedy voices employed by some of his peers!
    I absolutely recommend this book for Dickens Novices - it has it all: characters, storyline, descriptive... and is not so long-winded that you lose interest!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie
    LancasterUnited Kingdom
    2/3/11
    Overall
    "Anton Lesser is a genius"

    The narration of Anton Lesser brings this marvellous book to life. Dickens' own early experience of debtor's prison makes this one f his most moving and interesting works, and the fabulous Anton Lesser plays a cast of dozens, giving even the most minor character a distinctive voice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    BEVERLEY, EAST YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom
    9/10/09
    Overall
    "Truly Sublime!!"

    My first audiobook and every time I treat myself to a listen, I end up grinning from ear to ear. Mr.Lesser does a fantastic job of bringing all the wonderful characters so vividly to life. Hilarious and heart-breaking in turn, this is a masterpiece given a masterful treatment. Highly recommended,

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    Nottingham, Notts, United Kingdom
    5/18/09
    Overall
    "Excellant Audiobook"

    Anton Lesser reads this book beautifully. Because Dickens novels are filled with so many varied characters it is crucial to have it narrated well or you get 'lost' whilst listening. He breathed life into them all and made it such an enjoyable experience. Well worth the money.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Rennes le Chateau, France
    6/7/12
    Overall
    "Anton Lesser superb"

    Having listened to this story brought vividly to life by the superb Anton Lesser, I feel I have only now "got" Dickens (and that's after studying him for A level, admittedly many years ago). I simply had no idea he was so funny! Anton Lesser's characterizations are perfect and his delivery of Flora's rambling speeches made me laugh out loud. This was my first Dickens audiobook and I am sure that I got infinitely more out of it (again thanks to the brilliant narration) than I would have done if I had simply read the novel. I am going to buy my next one right away.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Emma
    LondonUnited Kingdom
    11/25/09
    Overall
    "Fantastic story and reader"

    Why this is one of Dickens' lesser known works I do not understand. It has his distinctive humour throughout and a superb collection of wonderful characters. Both comic and moving, it is a brilliant commentary on society and is remarkably relevant for today.

    I've listened to a number of books read by Anton Lesser and am always amazed at his characerisations. Each has their own distinctive voice, bringing Dickens' rich characters to life brilliantly. I laughed everytime chatterbox Flora was speaking. I enjoyed this book and narration immensely.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • James G
    TaurangaNew Zealand
    12/17/09
    Overall
    "great classic!!!!"

    This audio book is so well read by the narrator. And Charles Dickens is just a cool writer. The character come out with the narrator. This is my first Charles Dickens audio book and i love it. 5 out of 5. Download this audio book you will be very please with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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