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Editorial Reviews

At 34 hours in length, this is quite an undertaking, but there's no one better qualified than Simon Vance to lead us through this audio journey. He parses the author's long sentences well, pausing sufficiently to make the details easy to follow while still maintaining a quick enough pace to keep the story going. Most enjoyable is his voicing of the myriad characters who appear in the narrative - and characters they certainly are. Vance times their occasionally hilarious exchanges especially well. All of this is delivered in a manner that suggests that Vance revels in Dickens's prose and sly humor, and the listener cannot help but revel along with him. Three cheers for Vance - and not the least for his stamina!

Publisher's Summary

David Copperfield is the quintessential novel by England's most beloved novelist. Based in part on Dickens's own life, it is the story of a young man's journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among its gloriously vivid cast of characters, he encounters his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; the frivolous, enchanting Dora; and one of literature's great comic creations, the magnificently impecunious Mr. Micawber - a character resembling Dickens's own father.

In David Copperfield - the novel he described as his "favorite child" - Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of his most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure.

©1923 Public Domain; (P)2009 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Justin
  • ELK GROVE, CA, United States
  • 11-05-10

Simply Amazing

I was admittedly intimidated by the length of this work and have passed reading this book in the past. However, my like of all things Dickens drove me to purchase this book and I have to say, it is one of the most delightful reads in my experience. Simon Vance is an amazing narrator and brings this story to life. The story is so full of richness and experience. I highly recommend this book.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Truly inspired.

Incredible English classic read by a most gifted narrator. I honestly became quite sad when the story was ending. Most highly recommended.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great classic story narrated perfectly

Excellent story, excellent narrator. Charles Dickens' story brought to life.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

"I am born."

Wow, was I ever. This was the first Dickens I read "voluntarily". It is well appreciated in my present reading. I know there is another reading of this story on Audible & I am here to say that I couldn't be happier w/ Simon Vance's version. From his "Maser Davey" of Mr Peggotty to his villanous "Copperfield" of Uriah Heap, Mr Vance is up for the duty of telling this increible story. I went to this book after listening to "The Last Dickens", purchashed here on Audible. That book introduced me to the American Superstar that was Charles Dickens. Could you just imagine waiting for these monthly installments in 1850? This book is a flawless study of all that humanity has to offer. Charles Dickens was able to put a masterpiece together in masterful pieces. Treat your spirit to this novel. It will give you the strength of the ages. Some things are simply timeless.

69 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joseph
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 11-20-09

Excellent presentation of a great story.

Not much to say about Dickens or "David Copperfield." It's a classic. It's one of his greatest works, full of sharp, vivid characters and subtle emotions that take many chapters to bloom. Amazing work. A student of writing can examine this the rest of their life and never put a finger on exactly how Dickens succeeds in leading the story to the powerful conclusions and climaxes it reaches. At times it is literally, quite literally, breathtaking.

Simon Vance is an excellent reader and handles this book well. No complaints at all. My own opinion is that Robert Whitfield manages Dickens just a little bit better, with a slightly more insightful nuance at points. I couldn't explain that if I had to, but that's my impression. Whitfield doesn't read this one, and Vance is exceptional and lively and handles the complex prose superbly.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

David Copperfield is awesome.

Wonderful narrator who does true justice to an outstanding classic.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 07-12-13

More saints per capita than any book by Butler

'David Copperfield' contains more saints per capita than any beatified book by Butler. Dickens is amazing in his ability to be both grand and personal. 'David Copperfield' is sprawling, with dozens of threads that weave around David Copperfield's youth and adulthood. IT is amazing not only how he can transform a character through time, but also show that our perceptions of those same characters are drawn often from imperfect information and overly simple assumptions. Yes, there are parts of 'David Copperfield' that float between the melodramatic and the grotesque, but one doesn't read Dickens for the unmoving, normal or embellished. There are a handful of novels that I would consider to be the literary equivalent of scripture: 'Les Miserables', 'the Idiot', 'Anna Karenina', and for sure 'David Copperfield'.

There are several moments in 'David Copperfield' when, as a reader, you recognize you will never be half the writer Dickens was (on deadline). He might just be second to Shakespeare in my book, or at least be among a small cadre of writers that belong on the silver pedestal below the Bard.

This isn't as technically perfect as 'Great Expectations', but it is top tier Dickens for sure. A massive novel that floats with the weight of a beach read half its size. If you are going to read a Dickens, this might not be your first stop, but it shouldn't be far from your second.

35 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

David Copperfield, Unabridged

I, too, am a great fan of Robert Whitfield and I go to great lengths to obtain his recordings. It is very hard to avoid David Case, whose narration always sounds so insufferably stuck up.

But, Joseph in Austin, I have the ironic duty to inform you that, just as David case and Frederick Davidson are the same person, Robert Whitfield and Simon Vance are one and the same.

Wonderful job as always.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

well done

worth the money. an excellent reading

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Dickens never disappoints; narrator was awesome!

While this isn't my favorite Dickens' book I've read, I definitely enjoyed it. For me, the audio book narrator has a big impact on my enjoyment of the book. Simon Vance was excellent and I have already sought out additional books he has narrated.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Alan
  • 04-13-13

David Copperfield (unabridged) read by Simon Vance

This is Dickens at its very best and I am savoring every chapter. I thought I knew the book from screen versions but there is so much more to enjoy in this unabridged recording. Simon Vance is the perfect reader and brilliantly brings to life the personalities of the characters in the way he reproduces the dialogue by maintaining a perfect balance of idiosyncracy and credibility.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • F
  • 03-31-14

Excellent

What did you like most about David Copperfield?

Brilliantly read with epic story

What was one of the most memorable moments of David Copperfield?

how he sorted out his life in difficult circumstances

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, but I will be doing

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Time spent with Peggoty

Any additional comments?

Never been a Dickens fan, but this book changed my view. I would definitely recommend it, it was excellent

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sheila
  • 06-05-13

Great classic enhanced by wonderful narration.

This was a pure pleasure from beginning to end. Simon Vance has a unique voice for each character and has a really clear voice that is easy to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • LC
  • 09-23-16

A favourite classic told well

David Copperfield is a favourite of mine and this audio version definitely does it justice.

The narrator has an understated style but still does a fantastic job of bringing all of Dickens's characters to life.

*Spoilers!*


His depiction of Dora completely changed my previous (rather uncharitible) perspective on her character and made me understand how David fell in love with her childlike charm.

Daniel Peggoty was exactly as I'd imagined, as was his sister, David's Aunt Betsy, and the foolish and melodramatic Micawbers. Traddles's kindness and good nature shine throughout. The narrator's take on David himself hits the perfect balance of sincerity and gentle self deprecating humour.

All in all this is a lovely audio version that remains true to the classic tale.

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  • Anna
  • 03-12-16

A wonderful life story.

I loved this - so beautifully written, and an engaging tale with fantastic characters throughout. Wish I could do it all again!