Part tragedy, part allegory, this is Dickens at his most intense; drawing on his own experiences, he weaves a story of extraordinary emotional power.
©2009 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks
After listening to Mr Lesser's narration, I was reminded how enjoyable the book was the first time I read it. Mr Lesser using his acting skills to the fullest, and his understanding of the characters comes through in his narration. It felt as if Quilp was actually narrating the script himself. I listened to the book in only a week, and I couldn't recommend a better book to listen to.
The story itself was pieced together by Dickens and was never meant to become a novel. However, the narration makes it sound as if the continuity flowed---something I could not manage when reading it myself.
This novel lacks some of the drama of stories such as Oliver Twist, but Dickens nevertheless takes the reader on a colourful and often touching journey into the best and worst of human nature. Anton Lesser's somewhat softer voice seems to do more justice to the feminine and younger characters of this story than some of the other narrators I have heard. I thoroughly recommend this audiobook, but do caution the listener to be prepared for an unexpected ending.
Anton Lesser does a fabulous job of reading Dickens. And the book is just as touching and interesting now as it was when crowds gathered to find out if Little Nell had died. Listening to Dickens read by someone who knows all the different dialects contributes immensely to appreciating the worlds D. creates.
What a fabulous reading of Dickens this is. Mr. Lesser is a brilliant narrator. His voice characterizations are highly evocative of the hearts, class and breeding of these Victorians. I was completely taken in from the get-go.
Delightful rendering of a classic. The narrator does an excellent job of bringing to life Dickens' keen characterizations. I plan to download Lesser performing works by Dickens and others as well.
With this novel, Dickens afionados will be glad to discover yet another one of his works. As may be expected, the plot is at once thin, convoluted, completely implausible and yet quite enjoyable. As usual, the characters are strikingly one-dimensional: for instance, Nell is beautiful and utterly good and Quilp is grotesquely deformed and perfectly evil. The author???s characteristic tongue in cheek humour is pleasantly present throughout the book.
Somehow, things are not quite as polished as in better known works. For instance, narration switches in chapter 3 from the first person to the third, with a rather awkward explanation. A major character abruptly disappears about a third of the way into the novel and the reader is only briefly told what has become of him in the last pages of the book.
Thus, those unfamiliar with Dickens would benefit in reading first one of his more famous novels such as Oliver Twist or Great Expectations.
I love Dickens, and I don't regret listening to this book, but The Old Curiosity Shop just isn't one of my favorites. Anton Lesser is a wonderful narrator, however, who made this an enjoyable read nonetheless.
If you are a fan of the sentimental Dickens, the twee Dickens, the droll Dickens, this book has it all in abundance. If your preference is for the poetic Dickens, the mysterious Dickens, the psychologically dark Dickens--if you admire _Our Mutual Friend_among all his works--you will NOT enjoy this novel. The only thing that kept me going through the last third of the audiobook was Anton Lesser's extraordinary performance (he is SO good), and a curiosity as to whether I agreed with Oscar Wilde regarding the novel's denouement. (For the record, I didn't laugh, but I did gag a little.)
Report Inappropriate Content