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Publisher's Summary

William Dorrit has been a resident of the Marshalsea debtors prison for so many years that he has gained the nickname "The Father of the Marshalsea". However, his suffering is eased by his close bond with youngest daughter Amy, or "Little Dorrit".

The dashing Arthur Clennam, returning to London after many years in China, enters their lives, and the Dorrits' fortunes begin to rise and fall.

A biting satirical work on the shortcomings of 19th century government and society.

Public Domain (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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The narrator is a master of voice!

Like many of Dickens' works I think it helps to listen at least twice to really understand what is going on.

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Funny, beautiful dialogue.

This is a very long, but very engaging book. The plot is somewhat intricate and I did lose track a bit as I got distracted, but it didn't matter at all -- every conversation stands on its own and the language is breathtaking. The social commentary is so, so funny, and you wind up loving even the villains.

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Charles Dickens: a wonderful audio experience

Where does Little Dorrit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

An excellent listening experience. Good performance and of course inimitable Dickens characters.

What other book might you compare Little Dorrit to and why?

Bleak House, Our Mutual Friend. If you love Dickens, and long well written novels, then Little Dorrit is great, although not as moving as David Copperfield.

Which character – as performed by Anton Lesser – was your favorite?

Mr. Dorrit, the father, was particularly well realized by both the author and the performer.

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  • Ashley
  • Hebron, KY, United States
  • 12-30-12

Doormat alert

I generally like Dickens, and everybody needs to check out plenty of his stuff. But this is one of the bottom on my list. (Didn't care for Hard Times much, and D.Copperfield though classic wasn't my favorite. G. Expectations blah, though better with the original ending. I liked Bleak House and N Nickelby, though Tale of Two Cities can never be beaten.) Dorrit is a good story to know, but I do not believe this is the standard by which a good response to emotional abuse should be judged. Don't let this be your only Dickens.

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Anton Lesser is a true actor.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, because Anton Lesser's work deserves to be witnessed. The book is good, obviously. My interest in it was piqued by the BBC series recently aired on tv, but the book fills in a lot of gaps.

What does Anton Lesser bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

There is a HUGE array of characters and Anton brings EVERY ONE of them to life with an amazing instinct for accent and enunciation. Dickens is no easy task master, but Anton's unwavering dedication to utterly differing vocal strains was art at its best.

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

The death scene of the brothers.

Any additional comments?

Dickens scares me a little with his power of portraying a flaky, babbling woman to such an extent.

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Superb Read of Classic Dickens!

Little Dorrit may not be the first title to come to mind for many lovers of Charles Dickens’ work. Nevertheless, this book is a superior offering with a little of everything – romance, mystery, drama and adventure, all highlighting social plight, poverty, wealth, the frustration of endless bureaucracy, and the ability to filter out what is really important in our lives. All these themes resonate as deeply today as they did at the time Dickens wrote them. And although some may find this story a little more slowly developed than, say, Oliver Twist or Great Expectations, it is well-worth the listen.

I am especially enthusiastically about this title due to Anton Lesser’s SUPERB reading of it. Mr. Lesser is a masterful narrator whose voice expertly captures all the male voices, including the wily quick-spoken Mr. Pancks, the irascible Flintwinch, the jovial and kind-hearted Mr. Meagles, and the earnest sincerity of Arthur Clennam. His female voices range from the shy and quietly gentle Little Dorrit, through the childlike outbursts of Maggie, to a tremendously amusing and breathless Flora! He gives just the right dramatic and comedic pauses, bringing the text marvelously alive to your imagination. Never have I heard a narrator capture ALL the voices, male and female, so richly and accurately and with such great acting skill. I cannot praise him highly enough!!

This is a beautifully told story and one I will revisit. Please save one of your monthly credits back for this very worthwhile classic, brilliantly read by one of the finest audio talents of our time!

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  • Sally
  • United States
  • 03-01-12

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful

What did you like about this audiobook?

I have always had a love/hate relationship with Charles Dickens, and this audioook has swung me back to love. A treasure.

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

I will definitely be seeking other Dickens titles and works by the same narrator.

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

This book is the BEST type of satirical. Its heart-warming, hilarious, compassionate and astute.

What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

Anton Lesser really does justice to a world of characters. You completely forget that the narrator is male, one person...etc. Dickens is hard work and I give him full credit - an excellent job!

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Wonderful, wonderful!

This is Charles Dickens at his best. What a lovely story, memorable characters, and fulsome plot! You simply must read this book, and the narration is superb.

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  • M Kaner
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 06-20-11

Beatiful reading

Anton Lesser has a magical penetrating voice and amazing ability to create a 'theater' for his listeners. I am simply amazed at the skill. He is my new favorite narrator.

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My Least Favorite Dickens

This is the 5th Dickens book I have listened to and the only one I haven't liked. The narrator is very good as stated by the other reviewers. However, parts of the book tend to go on and on, and if I were reading the book, I would be skipping many pages. I think he tries too hard to make his point about the issues he is parodying.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-30-15

Excellent

Would you listen to Little Dorrit again? Why?

I have already listened to Little Dorrit twice and will wait awhile to listen to it again. I loved it. Charles Dickens has such a way of transporting one into each character and not letting go. So atmospheric, I could smell and taste the debtors prison, it was that good. Highly recommended.

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

I have not listened to any other of Anton Lessor's performances, but will certainly look out for them.

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

It was far too long to listen to in one sitting, but yes, I could have done so.

Any additional comments?

A must.

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  • F. Wynn
  • 04-09-15

A Story well told

The rendition of the book was excellent. The characters came to life in the readers hands. It is a long convoluted tale with a myriad of characters, yet the reader never faltered in his telling. I would recommend him very highly.

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  • Molly
  • 01-28-15

Fabulous story and beautifully read

Where does Little Dorrit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best. I can't recommend it highly enough. If you have never listened to any Dickens then start with this, it is such a good story.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters are wonderful, there is plenty of plot plus some romantic interest

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

No, but he is without doubt the best narrator I have ever heard and I will look out for more

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  • Richard
  • 11-10-13

A good story with one particularly uncanny twist!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes definitely

Who was your favorite character and why?

Pancks. He had the courage to do the right thing and expose Casby for what he really was. Plus, he uncovered the Dorrit fortune...mind you that had it's draw backs!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The death and exposing of Mr. Merdle and his "Ponzy Scheme" way before Charles Ponzi was even born! I thought this was quite uncanny as we have just experienced something so similar in recent years

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

When Little Dorrit seemed to lose the Father to his fortune and how she longed for the happier days in the Mashalsea

Any additional comments?

Great narration from Anton Lesser! Not my favourite Dickens novel, but a great story none the less.

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  • Roderic
  • 10-24-13

Not bored for a moment of this very big book

Where does Little Dorrit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Little Dorrit ranks TOP of the audiobooks I have listened to. Anton Lesser is a fabulous narrator, Dickens an exciting and passionate writer.

What other book might you compare Little Dorrit to, and why?

I have listened to several other Dickens works with Anton Lesser narrating. They are not repetitive but have the same pulsating energy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-13

Beautifully read by Anton Lesser

You can't beat Charles Dickens for his story telling, but it makes all the difference when it is narrated by someone with the caliber of Anton Lesser. I have listened to this many times. It is one I will keep in my collection.

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  • Janet
  • 03-12-12

Wonderfully amusing characters - Wonderfully read!

I wasn't sure I'd like to hear Anton Lesser reading the whole of Little Dorrit - he played Merdle in the TV series. But I was pleasantly surprised! He brings out all the amusing little nuances of Dickens' writing - and there are many - and helps make it easy to understand. I adore the story from having seen the TV series with Claire Foy and Matthew McFadyen. I've read many Dickens novels, but didn't like all of them - some are too depressing. But I'm thoroughly enjoying this one! It's not too much of a spoiler to say that some of the characters who start off in a London prison don't stay there. There are interesting travels in Switzerland and Italy as well, so don't be put off by some dismal (but amusingly described) scenery at the beginning. If you loved Ruth Jones as the garrulous Flora, you won't be disappointed by Lesser's characterisation - and Mr F's aunt! After a month I'm only three-quarters through the audio book having listened to it every night - you do get your money's worth! Well worth investing in, I'd say. Jackie.

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  • John
  • 02-09-12

A Tour de Force by Anton Lesser

Anyone struggling getting into Dickens should listen to this. Anton Lesser is amazing. He manages to give each character, and being Dickens there are lots, their own voice in the most 'natural' way. Nothing is forced. This is a wonderful book, made even more so by the reader.

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  • Paul
  • 12-05-11

Best audio book so far

This is a real treat. By far the best audio book that I have listened to so far. One of the best novels from Dickens and outstanding characterisation from the narrator, Anton Lesser - highly recommended

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-27-11

excellent and excellently performed

excellent novel excellently performed by anton lessing I found myself rewinding and going over some of the best scenes over and over. Really brilliantly performed