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
I have never read the print version of Dombey and Son and had never even heard of it until I did a Dickens search in Audible.
I thought that David Timson did a fanctastic job of bringing Dicken's characters to life. One benefit (and sometimes drawback) of listening to a book, is that you can be pulled into a character's life by the narrators voice. David Timson did an excellent job of differentiating one character from another. He has a very pleasant voice to listen to. Dickens has tendency to go on and on about a subject, but in David Timson's voice, it was not only pleasant but helped me understand the beauty of Dicken's narrative.
Dombey and Son is a book that contains a lot of touching moments alongside of great comical passages. Somehow, David Timson is able to read and bring to life all of Dickens' characters and hit all the punchlines while also being able to perfectly set the mood for the emotional situations. This was a really, really well done narration!
It is difficult to state that this is my favorite Dickens because I enjoy them all. I can state though that David Timson is my favorite narrator. I also enjoy Sean Barrett, but Timson's distinctive variety of voices gives him the edge. I just listened to Dombey and Son and Barnaby Rudge - both novels are so full of life (and death), so much color and true Dickensian stories - right overcomes wrong and justice over evil in the end. I also read many of Dickens' novels, but I now believe that Dickens is to be listened to and not read. Although this book has two males (father and son) in the title, the most powerful and endearing character is Florence, Dombey's neglected daughter. Further, Dickens may have created one of the most obnoxious and evil characters in English literature in the person of Mr Dombey's manager, James Carker. Fortunately, and in true Dickens style, Carker gets his just desserts in the end.
The book is read brilliantly. Dickens' subtle (and not-so-subtle) sarcasm is delivered in the most natural way. This one is simply hours of fun.
I love all things Dickens, so it's no wonder I enjoyed this. This narrator is just gorgeous. He absolutely brought this book to life. Captain Cuttle became a most beloved and alive human with Timson's voice. Wonderful, wonderful job.
About the book itself. This is a very underrated Dickens novel that probably deserves some modern eyes to see & modern ears to hear. Of course, as is characteristic of Dickens, this book rounds itself out and works all the bits and pieces to a satisfactory ending, but not always in the way we thought we wanted or in the timeframe we expected. It is a gorgeous story full of heart and timeless themes.
David Timson did an excellent job. Each character is instantly recognizable by its voice as read by Timson.
Better than reading the book? Yes- the narration is so good, it really brings the story alive. This is not one of Dickens great novels, but well worth the listen. Many of the social themes that Dickens typically examines are here, but the central themes are "Papa, what's money," and pride goeth before the fall. The main characters can be a bit tiresome (not Timson but rather Dickens). But there are some truly memorable and wonderful characters in Domby and Son, and Timson does a great job of inhabiting them. The novel's really bad guy, James Carker, has just the right resonance of condescension and swarm. Captain Cuttle is masterfully inarticulate, and Major J.B. Bagstock is equally masterfully a conceited windbag. You will much enjoy!!!
First of all, Dickens is a master of the English language, using it like an artist painting a vivid portrait of Victorian England, his characters, and the world they live in. Second, he is deeply cognizant of human psychology,( of the passion of pride and jealousy in particular in Dombey and Son) and makes the motives believable. He is also a master of building up the suspense to make stories a real "page-turner".
To top it all, the reading is fantastic, persuasive, and better than any print edition. I am out to read all of Dickens on audiobooks, now that I have so deeply enjoyed the first two (this one and the equally great Bleak House).
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.
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