(P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Davidson's fully voiced reading is marvelous and adds a great deal to the as-if spoken prose style in which it is written." (KLIATT)
I don't think Martin Chuzzlewit is the most popular of Dickens's works, and there are reasons not to like it -- it's not very well plotted and the motivation of the main characters isn't quite clear. I've always loved it because of Pecksniff -- so unctuous and hypocritical that you can hardly wait to hear what he'll say or do next. And then there is Mrs. Gamp, one of the oddest and funniest creations in literature. Tom Pinch has the role of the too-good-to-be-true character usually reserved for the Dickens females, and Jonas Chuzzlewit is as nasty a bad guy as you could want. The Anglo Bengalese Disinterested Life and Assurance Company alone is worth the price of admission. The slapped-on America bashing is artificial. We probably have national vices as bad as those portrayed, but not quite the same ones anymore, I think. Mr. Davidson is always good with Dickens (I have listened to him read 3 or 4 of the novels now.) Full of interest and (despite the flaws) always one of my favorites. Isn't that the way with Dickens -- a thousand wrongs somehow all coalesce into a work of genius.
This reader is brilliant. Thoroughly entertaining and moving. The narrator really makes the listener feel part of the action. This is a wonderful story. The characters are colourful and varied. Mrs Gamp has become my favourite of all Dickensian characters. Superb presentation of a brilliant story. You will love it.
54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.
Never heaqrd of it? dont think less of this book if its so. Its a great story. In fact the only dickens novels I would suggest passing by are Barnaby Rudge and The mystery of Edwin Drood. At the risk of being swarmed I also think a tale of two cities is below par and a misfit in his collection, two cities is one of those rare books that makes a much better movie than book. See the 1930's movie edition of two cities and you may agree. I read it twice so Im comfortable in my criticism.. Dickens is by far my favorite author. Like beer in book form, high praise indeedee.
The narrator may not seem your cup of tea, but once you get used to him you find him quite the talent. Ive listened to many books by him and will trust him in the future, but for some he may just seem too much...which is too bad.. their loss.
I really like Frederick Davidson's (a/k/a David Case) narration, but the American scenes were a real chore to get through; the U. K. ones were better, but not riveting. This one's for real Dickens fans only!
Since I rely so heavily on other listener's reviews, I'm compelled to write one for this before I'm finished with it, as I do not agree with giving this 5 stars. Three stars is even a stretch for this book, but the entertaining narrator tips the balance to 3.
This "book" was released in monthly installments, and it shows - there are long passages that have little to do with the story in almost every other chapter, which adversely affects the continuity of the story. The author admits in the preface that the portrait of America in the book are not supposed to be authentic and that is a understatement - it's very fictionalized and savagely protrayed. It may be that the readers of England in the 1840s were eager to see America as a wilderness and the inhabitants be portrayed negativley.
This is very long meandering story, that has some interesting characters(although no likable main ones, excepting Mark Tapley). Athough it's read quite well, it's not for everyone. I was looking for more books like the excellent series in the Forsyte saga, but this is nowhere near as good.
Narration does not vary with the moment -- the tone is always the same -- no matter what is happening and the drawl is quite annoying.
Very few narrators can do Dickens well. Definitely not Frederick Davidson.
The reader is fairly awful, and such is my displeasure that I was unable to get more than a few hours into the story. I wouldn't know whether the story is good or not, to be honest, because the reader had me so confused as to whom was talking and even as to whether a sentence was finished or not, that I have no choice but to rate this very poorly indeed. I wondered if my dislike of the adaptation had been because of my disjointed listening habits a couple of years ago, but upon revisiting it, I found my old opinions thoroughly justified.
Least favorite of all the Dickens works I've read or listened to. Boring, tedious, overbearing...and on and on and on.
i struggled through this thing for just an hour before giving up in disgust because of the untolerable narrator! his simpering females are not only insulting, they are unlistenable. gah! i wish i'd heard a better sample. i'm working my way through all if the dickenses but this one is just not possible. such a waste!
"Wit as never before Chuzzled"
Yes, Fred Davidson's voice is a little surprising at first. He settles down by the second part, however, and so far as OLD Martin Chuzzlewit's voice is concerned, Dickens described it as similar to the creaking of the pub-sign, and therefore here it is bravely dramatized. There is a clarity to the reading which is very refreshing and as I listened to this whilst driving I found myself frequently driving slower to prolong the enjoyment. So, RoSPA, how about that for an idea: story-telling in cars reduces speeds and therefore accidents?!
"Not my favourite, but still thoroughly enjoyable"
I probably would have given up on this novel within the first couple of chapters if I were reading it. I really needed it bringing to life by Frederick Davidson. I have learned with Charles Dickens later novels, by which I mean post Nicholas Nickleby, to persevere and the effort will be well rewarded and that was the case here.
My favourite character is Mark Tapley, I wish I had a bit more of his attitude, optimism, humour and good nature!
Oh definately Seth Pecksniff!
The way Tom Pinch was exploited by Pecksniff was deplorable
I wasn't sure about the American visit, it was clever, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the rest of the novel and found it a bit too satirical and, frankly, a bit hypocritical coming from an Englishman!
"Excellent Story - Shame About The Narration!"
I'm afraid I disagree with the critic's review of Frederick Davidson's narration.
Please take the time to listen to a sample of this audiobook before downloading.
Davidson sounds like a bad Kenneth Williams impersonator or, when reading Martin's part, a rather startled Dalek!
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