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Martin Chuzzlewit | [Charles Dickens]

Martin Chuzzlewit

Wealthy and old, Martin Chuzzlewit, Sr. is surrounded by greedy relatives hoping to obtain a portion of his estate upon his death. Of his two descendants, born and bred in the same heritage of selfishness, one, Martin Jr., has the good fortune to transform, while the other, Jonas, does not and receives a fatal penalty.
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Publisher's Summary

Wealthy and old, Martin Chuzzlewit, Sr. is surrounded by greedy relatives hoping to obtain a portion of his estate upon his death. Of his two descendants, born and bred in the same heritage of selfishness, one, Martin Jr., has the good fortune to transform, while the other, Jonas, does not and receives a fatal penalty.

(P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (87 )
5 star
 (42)
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2 star
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Overall
4.4 (29 )
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Story
4.2 (25 )
5 star
 (16)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Joseph South Bend, IN, USA 07-09-08
    Joseph South Bend, IN, USA 07-09-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    198
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    "A favorite Dickens"

    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.

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia Cobden, Australia 07-04-08
    Virginia Cobden, Australia 07-04-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    279
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    Overall
    "Marvellous Listening"

    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.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S. Seattle, WA United States 01-25-10
    John S. Seattle, WA United States 01-25-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mixed feelings"

    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!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 04-26-12
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 04-26-12 Member Since 2007

    50yrs old / audible member for 5 yrs library. 75% nonfiction, 15% classics and 10% fiction. History/Science/biography/Eng.18th cent fiction

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "RECOMMEND YOU CONSIDER THIS ONE"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Srinivasa Schaumburg, IL, United States 02-12-13
    Srinivasa Schaumburg, IL, United States 02-12-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator ruined it for me"
    Would you try another book from Charles Dickens and/or Frederick Davidson?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Frederick Davidson’s performance?

    Narration does not vary with the moment -- the tone is always the same -- no matter what is happening and the drawl is quite annoying.


    Any additional comments?

    Very few narrators can do Dickens well. Definitely not Frederick Davidson.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jana Zephyrhills, FL, United States 10-27-08
    Jana Zephyrhills, FL, United States 10-27-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "A montly installement series turned into a book."

    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.

    9 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elithea Tampa, FL, USA 03-19-09
    Elithea Tampa, FL, USA 03-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "horrible"

    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!

    4 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C Cologne, MN, United States 12-16-12
    C Cologne, MN, United States 12-16-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A excellent novel from Charles Dickens."
    What did you love best about Martin Chuzzlewit?

    The Chracters, Imparticular Old Martin Chuzzewitt. I also like the socail commetary aspect.


    What other book might you compare Martin Chuzzlewit to and why?

    Oliver Twist, Both books have good Chracters and deal with social issues. or any other of Dicken's book


    What does Frederick Davidson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    emotion


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When all the villains got what coming to them. When old Martin Chuzzelwitt reveal his true colors for the better.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Chapel Hill, NC, United States 10-11-11
    Jeanne Chapel Hill, NC, United States 10-11-11 Member Since 2005
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    "Wonderful reading!"

    Dickens is at his best with this book and the reader brings each character to life! His rendition of "Mrs. Gamp" is unforgettable; his "Pecksniff" pitch perfect; and the American characters are hysterical. You will laugh your way through this marvelous reading of a great Dickens

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randerson Tejas 03-12-09
    Randerson Tejas 03-12-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Love Dickens, but Martin Chuzzlewit was a labor"

    Least favorite of all the Dickens works I've read or listened to. Boring, tedious, overbearing...and on and on and on.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
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  • Alec
    northampton, United Kingdom
    12/23/08
    Overall
    "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?!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Keith
    YorkUnited Kingdom
    7/24/08
    Overall
    "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!

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    LEICESTER, United Kingdom
    9/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not my favourite, but still thoroughly enjoyable"
    What made the experience of listening to Martin Chuzzlewit the most 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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favourite character is Mark Tapley, I wish I had a bit more of his attitude, optimism, humour and good nature!


    Which character – as performed by Frederick Davidson – was your favourite?

    Oh definately Seth Pecksniff!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The way Tom Pinch was exploited by Pecksniff was deplorable


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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