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The Cricket on the Hearth | [Charles Dickens]

The Cricket on the Hearth

The holidays are upon us, and this year Audible is very happy to present to our members one of Charles Dickens’ most popular Christmas stories, The Cricket on the Hearth. This holiday classic (original subtitle: “A Fairy Tale of Home”) tells the innocent, picturesque, and charming story of a poor family and their would-be guardian angel; in short, a delightful vision of Victorian Christmas. As always, a great story calls for a great voice, so we’ve brought in legendary actor and record-breaking Audie and Grammy award-winning narrator Jim Dale (The Night Circus). Happy holidays and happy listening!
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Publisher's Summary

The holidays are upon us, and this year Audible is very happy to present to our members one of Charles Dickens’ most popular Christmas stories, The Cricket on the Hearth. This holiday classic (original subtitle: “A Fairy Tale of Home”) tells the innocent, picturesque, and charming story of a poor family and their would-be guardian angel; in short, a delightful vision of Victorian Christmas. As always, a great story calls for a great voice, so we’ve brought in legendary actor and record-breaking Audie and Grammy award-winning narrator Jim Dale (The Night Circus). Happy holidays and happy listening!

Public Domain (P)2013 Audible Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Benedict 12-26-13
    Benedict 12-26-13 Member Since 2014

    Benedict

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    "One of the best stories about Men and Women ..."

    I had not heard of this story until this week. It is part of a series of Christmas stories told by Charles Dickens that includes A Christmas Carol. It is very well read by Jim Dale, of lasting Harry Potter fame.

    The Cricket on the Hearth is very moving and quite touching.

    Some women of the modern era wonder how their counterparts of earlier days were able to be "traditional" housewives looking after hearth and home. I believe this story provides some great insight into the relationships of wives and husbands that is worth attending to, if only for the understanding.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robynbird1 12-17-13
    Robynbird1 12-17-13

    Mimi

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    "Delightful Victorian Story of Contageous Goodness"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Cricket on the Hearth to be better than the print version?

    I prefer the audio edition because of the power of the spoken word to draw the listener into the story. Jim Dale captures the tone and accents of people who lived in Englans around Dickens' time the way a reader could hardly imagine.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Charles Dickens gives us glimpses of Victorian England filled with vivid, compelling characters. He mixes in humor, misfortune, fairies, a little mystery and a big surprise.


    Which character – as performed by Jim Dale – was your favorite?

    I loved the character of the carrier, John Peerybingle, whose heart was so full of love.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and even she'd a few tears.


    Any additional comments?

    I would like to thank the people at Audible for such a lovely Christmas gift.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 12-22-13
    David 12-22-13 Member Since 2012

    Indiscriminate Reader

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    "Nice Dickensian Christmas story"

    This was a free download from Audible, and who can pass up a free Dickens?

    One of Dickens' Christmas stories, this one features a series of misunderstanding and coincidences in typical Dickens fashion.

    A Scrooge-like toymaker named Tackleton is engaged to marry a much younger woman, who clearly does not love him, but needs the financial security he offers. Meanwhile, the lovely Dot is also married to a much older man, but alas, events transpire to lead poor Mr. Peerybingle to believe his beloved Dot is secretly meeting with a gallant younger man. Lastly, there is Blind Bertha, the daughter of impoverished Caleb Plumber, who has conspired to conceal from his blind daughter their true circumstances.

    These three couples, whose lives are intertwined, are each the beneficiaries of a cricket on a hearth, who conjures household spirits symbolic of all that is good in their lives, and the miseries each endures are overcome in the end.

    A heartwarming little tale, though not one of Dickens' best. I didn't delight in any marvelous Dickensian turns of phrases as I have in so many of his other stories, nor were the characters particularly memorable. But it's certainly a nice tale to listen to by a crackling fire. (Or in my case, while raking leaves.)

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Providence, UT, United States 12-17-13
    Jessica Providence, UT, United States 12-17-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Thank you!"

    Thank you for the wonderful gift Audible! I love being a member!! Jim Dale is AMAZING. If you had him read the phone book, I would pay a lot of money to download it. I appreciate that it was said, "Performed by Jim Dale." He doesn't just read the story, each time he reads, it's a masterful performance!

    Dickens+Jim Dale=A Very Merry Christmas for me. Thank you again!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-17-13
    Laura Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-17-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Charming Dickens Story"
    What did you love best about The Cricket on the Hearth?

    I love Dickens amazing use of language.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Cricket on the Hearth?

    When the stranger's identity is revealed is one of the most memorable moments.


    What about Jim Dale’s performance did you like?

    Jim Dale is one of my favorite performers. He puts such energy and passion into his performances. His voices are perfect for each character and even the inanimate objects.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Love and friendship conquer all.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this to everyone. For Dickens fans, it is a must listen.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States 01-04-14
    Marcus SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States 01-04-14 Member Since 2010

    Willy Wonka of it

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    "Slow starter and hard to follow, but good tale"

    This was a free Audiobook and that fact (plus the awesome narration by Jim Dale) kept me listening. The book is written in a bit of an older style of English, so that and the meandering nature of the story makes it a bit hard to follow (especially in the beginning).

    I'm glad I kept with it though, as once things got rolling and the REAL meat of the story kicked in it proved to be a great tale.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 12-25-13
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 12-25-13 Member Since 2014

    Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton.  In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!! 

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    "NOT "DICKENSIAN" ENOUGH"

    I'm a big Dickens fan, having read just about every work available. I even appreciated the feel and look of the HBO critically acclaimed series "The Wire" - its dark production look and cinematic street level shots were repeatedly referred to as "Dickensian". I know those aspects made that show my favorite show of all time and has been touted by top critics as "the best show in the history of television". As for Dickens, his books and any resulting film versions are always masterpieces. Yet, this one didn't quite get it for me. Maybe I'm too jaded (a cricket and a teapot deep in a convo?) Or not jaded enough (a cricket and a teapot deep in a convo?) 😄. I guess every song in a artist's repertoire doesn't make the charts at "#1 with a Bullet". Criticizing this book would be like calling a Michael Jackson album a dud because it only sold 5 million copies instead of its predecessor's 10 million units. The narrator is in his usual great form which goes a long way towards helping out this story. But the book was FREE so maybe I should just count my blessings. A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYBODY! A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL THE WORLD! 🎄🎍🎁🎉🎅

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca J. Leamon Ellsworth, ME United States 12-21-13
    Rebecca J. Leamon Ellsworth, ME United States 12-21-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Weird Little Story"


    I love Dickens, and I love a bargain, so when Audible offered me a Jim Dale reading of this story free as a Christmas thank you, I jumped at it . . . Perfect listening for the week before C'mas vacation, thought I.

    Well. It's one weird little story. It opens with a long "conversation" between the cricket on the hearth and the tea kettle. Honest. Then we meet the family who lives in the house: little Dot (whose real name is Mary) ad her (in modern eyes, creepily) older husband. . . . and, luckily, Tilly Slowboy the mentally deficient housemaid and the baby, about both of whom we get some great Dickens humor to leaven the schmaltz that drips from this little offering. There is an evil(ish) toy manufacturer, a saintly father, an angelic blind girl, a nearly undeveloped fiancee, a missing brother. . . lots of spirits of family and goodness and the like. Still, towards the ends Dickens manages to wring the old heartstrings, as he usually does, but I did miss the wry humor and control of his best writing (Great Expectations; Nicholas Nickleby; Christmas Carol). Not a good introduction to his work, but it was interesting to hear anyway.

    Jim Dale did a nice job with the reading, and I am grateful for the gift, I should add.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 12-26-13
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 12-26-13 Member Since 2012

    Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!

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    "Charming Listen"

    Who hasn't heard of Charles Dickens (1812-1870)? Who hasn't read or seen an adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" (1843), "Oliver Twist" (1837), or "David Copperfield" (1849)? Sometimes it seems that half of the Disney empire is built on Dickens.

    "The Cricket on the Hearth" (1845) is a lesser known Christmas novella. The Cricket is the guardian angel of John Peerybingle and his much-younger wife, Dot and their young son; and their friends and neighbors. Tackleton, a cranky old toy maker disrupts the sweet working class life of the Peerybingles - but perhaps not intentionally. The story was new to me, and I liked not knowing the ending. I liked the listen on the drive to and from Mom's house I for Christmas dinner.

    Jim Dale was a good pick for the unnamed narrator. Who was the narrator? Some say Dickens meant it to be the Peerybingle's son, or neighbor blind Bertha Plummer. I like to think it was the Cricket.

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

    15 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lydia 01-12-15
    Lydia 01-12-15
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    "Great Book!"

    I enjoyed the book a lot and would like to listen to more of Charles Dickens books. I enjoyed the narrator also. If you have not heard or read it I would recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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