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Publisher's Summary

Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty (commonly known as Barnaby Rudge) is an historical novel by the author Charles Dickens. Published between 1840 and 1841, it is Dickens' first attempt at an historical novel, his only other being A Tale of Two Cities. Full of classic Dickensian characters, the plot is based on the "no-popery" or Gordon riots of 1780 seen through the eyes of the good-hearted idiot Barnaby Rudge.

Charles Dickens (1812 - 9 June 1870) is arguably the greatest novelist England ever produced.

Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

(P)2009 RNIB

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Riots Of '80

Where does Barnaby Rudge rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Since I have been listening to mostly classics lately, I will answer this by saying in the top 20 at least. Other reviewers have said that they couldn't get into the story. It was not the case for me. I have enjoyed every single moment of this book. (Yes, even with George Hagan's mistakes). I bought this book a long time ago and finally got around to listening to it. And I have enjoyed it thoroughly.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Barnaby Rudge probably because of his being simple and his always cheerfulness and fresh look on life.

Have you listened to any of George Hagan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I listened to Nicholas Nickleby and enjoyed that performance. This one compares to it equally.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Too long for that. But if I could've, I might have.

Any additional comments?

This was Charles Dickens first attempt at an historical novel years before he did "A Tale Of Two Cities." Not knowing much about the Gordon Riots, I have learned a lot about them just from listening to this book. I would say Mr. Dickens did a good job on this book and I could see how this helped prepare him for "A Tale Of Two Cities" later on in his writing career.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Couldn't even finish this one!

Maybe that excludes me from writing a review, but this book has so many unengaging characters that I just couldn't stay with it. If there's a plot, it's too obscure or scattered for me to follow. George Hagan tries his best but I wonder if any reader could render this into a meaningful novel. Maybe it's just me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pleasant surprise

I’ll admit to listening to this book for a silly reason: I’m a huge Poe fan and wanted to read about the (at least partial) inspiration for the title character in The Raven. But I ended liking this book quite a bit, in fact, more than the other more famous Dickens titles I’ve read like Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities. The characters were colorful and interesting, and the plot held my attention and moved along well. Maybe not a showering of glowing praise, but I’m definitely glad I listened. And a good narrator.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Barnaby ... Drudge?

This novel is not rated among Dickens' best works. Sadly the reader quickly grasps why.

In general, it is difficult to identify or even sympathize with any character. In particular, many of the characters are just strange. Barnaby Rudge himself is, as Dickens puts it, an "idiot boy". His pet is a raven ... who actually speaks sentences, though admittedly with a croaky voice. Readers also encounter a brutal hangman and a blind beggar who manages to travel by foot through the 18th century English countryside.

This very long historical novel is set in the context of little known anti-Catholic riots. The plot is convoluted and very difficult to follow. Unexpectedly from Dickens, much violence is described in detail, mostly against property but also against human beings. The narrator sides with reason against prejudice but the reader still feels uneasy.

Definitely, this work is recommended only to die-hard Dickens fans.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • mollyeyre
  • 04-05-10

poorly read

I enjoyed the story but was disappointed in the reading of it, the narrator was full of stumbles and mistakes - and corrections. His voice was beautiful and mellifluous - I felt that the book being so long tested the narrator's ability.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Bandywords
  • 04-22-14

Very poorly narrated!

What would have made Barnaby Rudge better?

While the book itself is what you'd expect from Charlie Dickens, unfortunately the narration will drive you mad ... it's clearly not edited, and the mistakes the reader makes come frequently. I tried several times to listen, but have given up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John Paul Jones
  • 10-29-16

All the better for being unknown to me.

Less popular and rarely dramatised, I had no advance knowledge of the characters or the plot, so it was brand new classic Dickens, of the earlier variety, to me which was fantastic. I enjoyed it far more than anticipated.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christine
  • 03-09-10

Barnaby Rudge

I really enjoy this narrator even though I think the recording is very old, and of course, fabulous story!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful