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Publisher's Summary

A complex plot of love and inheritance is set against the English legal system of the mid-19th century. As the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, it becomes an obsession to everyone involved. And the issue on an inheritance ultimately becomes a question of murder.

©2006 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2006 Naxos Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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The best audiobook ever

The two very talented narrators were perfectly wonderful, making the characters on the page come to life. I found myself looking forward to an otherwise tiresome commute. Listening to this Bleak House is a altogether worthwhile experience, not to be missed!

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  • MD
  • KY, USA
  • 03-26-17

One of the greatest of all time!

I absolutely love this story. This is one of the best works of Charles Dickens, right up there with Little Dorrit. The performance of the two readers is engaging and exciting. You can completely immerse yourself in this story. I loved every bit of it. And I will definitely listen to it again. Spectacular!!!

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Made Me Cry on Construction Site

Usually if I'm moved to tears its 90% author and 10% narrator. Gallagher's treatment of certain characters (especially Charley) brings powerful emotions worthy of Dickens. A rare 50/50 partnership. This in no wise diminishes Barrett's performance. Amazingly well done by both narrators. Highly recommended.

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creative voices bring story to life

By having two narrators this version is creative and intresting. By having a nan and a woman doing the reading, the different voices they use brings the story to life.

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Dickens at his best

Excellent performance with easy recognition of the many characters and some truly moving scenes.
Some expectedly extreme characters but by far the majority of the characters portray thoughts and emotions that readers can relate to despite the historical period of the book.

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Good performances

Both readers did a nice job. Almost like listening to a play with two actors performing all roles--and a terrific value add over simply reading the text yourself. Another Audible win.

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Not working

Doesn't work on my kindle fire 10 hd. Can't skip ahead to where I am in the book. It starts T the beginning and won't let me move to where I am or sync with the ebook like it is supposed to. If I try to skip forward it prompts me to leave a review every time, and then bring the book back to the beginning… Super fun when I'm just trying to listen to the damn book.

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Bravo for the dual narration!

Bleak House is one of my all-time favorite books. I think it should be required reading for everyone. I've read it multiple times and have just now completed my second full listen. Having listened to an excellent audio version by Simon Vance, whose narration is superb, I am of the opinion that this one surpasses even his mastery. Both voices are immaculate. The narrator who does Esther is my favorite--she's utterly perfect for the role. Dickens broke new grounds of creativity in dividing his masterwork into two narrative strands that weave intricately together to form one tale in its entirety. Both narratives are so intentionally distinctive, a necessary facet of the novel (I won't say more so I don't give anything away), that having two narrators read them is nothing short of brilliance. Listen to this version of Bleak House with my wholehearted recommendation!

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Superb narration, long novel

The versatility of the narrators is incredible. They do so many different voices and accents it often fells like there is a full cast. It is probably the best audiobook I've ever heard. The story itself was good, but it was too long and sometimes confusing. I am a Dickens fan, but this novel wasn't as engaging as his others.

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A brilliant performance of a timeless classic

Where does Bleak House rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Bleak House ranks close to the top of all the audio-books I have listened to. However, being a lengthy 19th century English novel by Charles Dickens, it required a lot of personal listening commitment by me. At times I struggled but I knew that it would be worth it in the end to persevere and to allow the story to come to its completion.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the psychological realism of the characters, especially Miss Flyte who keeps her birds in cages until "Judgement Day" and Richard Carstone, who is addicted to his belief that he will get something out of the hopeless Jarndyce and Jarndyce lawsuit. Dickens had such a thorough understanding of what makes us mortals tick. How typical Carstone's behaviour is of many people. And Miss Flyte reminds one of Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. Poor, wretched individuals actually driven quite mad by a fatal combination of circumstances and character traits.

What about Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher ’s performance did you like?

I think the range of voices employed by each artist was nothing short of phenomenal. They were both quite exceptional. Mrs Guppy's ridiculous and hysterical outburst towards the end of the novel was a real highlight which Gallagher rendered with great aplomb. And the "drunken cousin" in the Dedlock household (with his slurring speech) and poor Joe (from Tom All Alones) were really colourful, thanks to Barrett.

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

A Victorian motley crew

Any additional comments?

The relationship between Esther Summerson and Ada Clare is rather sickly sweet. I would be interested in reading some critical works on Dickens and his portrayal of women.

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  • Liz... Bristol
  • 05-14-17

A great story read by great narrators.

It's worth my noting first that I'm not a fan of long books, and this is certainly the longest that I've ever listened to. With that said, it is also one of the best. I'd loved the BBC TV version with Anna Maxwell-Martin and Gillian Anderson, so risked this. Dickens proves his mastery of the form, putting many other excellent writers in the shade.
The narrators are excellent. I knew of Sean Barrett's terrific work already, but Tessa Gallagher is absolutely outstanding here. I shall watch out for her other work.
So, a very good story narrated very well indeed. If you want to listen to one of Dickens's best novels, you probably can't do better than this. Don't worry about the length, I didn't notice and neither will you.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-17

great classic

great narration which did this old classic great justice. great descriptions which painted great pictures

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  • Jan Roe
  • 04-04-17

Bored

kept falling asleep. The narrators were very good though, story just wasn't for me.

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  • J. A. Mulligan
  • 03-30-17

A Top Quality Product

Absolutely impeccable. The novel is, by turns, moving, amusing, dramatic and heartbreaking, truly one of the greatest ever written.

The two performances that make up this audiobook could barely be improved upon, bringing distinct characterisation to each of the huge cast of characters. Sean Barrett's Jo, in particular, was exceptionally touching, and one scene in particular, involving Jo, will stay with me for a long, long time.

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  • forbes
  • 03-07-17

Brilliant Narration.

Faultless in both Narration and Narrative. Bleak House is Dickens at his very, very best

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-05-17

BLEAK HOUSE

Is this really two people reading this book? It's absolutely brilliant. These characters come alive. You're so good Sean and Teresa. Your voices are just magical. Tell me it's just the two of you. I love dickens but have never downloaded one of his stories cos his characters are precious but this gets them absolutely SPOT ON. ❤️❤️❤️

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  • Bob
  • 02-16-17

For the idol listener

Would you recommend Bleak House to your friends? Why or why not?

You need to have a lot of time on your hands to enjoy this novel, the opening two thirds are slow and disparate. The phrase ‘cliff-hanger’ originates from the 1910’s when the author Thomas Hardy left one of his characters literally hanging off of a cliff at the end of one of a scene. I can only point out that Bleak House was written before the 1910’s and it shows, the idea of leaving the reader’s pulse racing at the end of a chapter seems years away. <br/><br/>The story follows the saintly figure of Esther Summerson, a mal-treated orphan with a mysterious background, who, on the verge of adult-hood, is made the ward of a generous benefactor. Esther then goes on to meet a series of moderately interesting people whilst the reader is presented with observations about the same persons and society. These observations however are a poor substitute for a plot, in place of which there is an overall story arc about the unfairness of the workings of the civil court that affects the lives of all involved. <br/>If the novel had finished half way through I am sure that it would have been marked as a failure, no grip, no pace, however, out of the blue in the final quarter of the novel there is a murder – Hallelujah! Following this act of blood-letting, Bleak House gets plot, it finds pace and starts to fulfil genre expectations. All of a sudden we are seeking a murderer, the murder is followed by the one of the main characters absconding, now we’re cooking with gas as we go on a hunt to find our missing person. With intrigue, secrets discovered, characters seeking forgiveness, and grand gestures of love, the novel certainly ends on a high. <br/>Overall I liked Bleak House, the female narrator is excellent and it just so happens that when I read it I had a lot of time on my hands to meander through the opening two thirds of the novel so I didn’t mind it being so slow and when the pace changed I found it close to thrilling. I understand I will seem like a dolt for deeming to criticise Dickens, but if as an uninitiated you choose to listen to this classic, I think it’s fair to have an understanding that for large parts it does not fill the expectations of the modern reader in terms of plot and pace.

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  • pongol
  • 02-11-17

bleak house

sean barrett is the most wonderful narrator i cant praise him highly enough he brings each character to life both narrators did full justice to a great book.

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  • SEA, Charente
  • 01-20-17

An excellent narration of an old favourite

This jointly narrated classic is a triumph. The various interwoven threads of Bleak House only gain from the different but equally inspired renditions of the two narrators.
From the fog of chapter one to the sunlit conclusion, this version is a pleasure to listen to.

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  • CAROL
  • 01-03-17

Surely the best of all Dickens' novels.

Loved it. Brought to life brilliantly by both narrators I can't wait to listen again.