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Publisher's Summary

Penguin Classics presents the audiobook adaptation of Dickens lesser-known Christmas novella, The Chimes, read by the actor Geoffrey Palmer. Toby Trotty; Veck, a downtrodden ticket-porter, is struggling with a decision. Will a visitation from spirits help him see the light? Scathing, dark, but also heart-warming, The Chimes is a thought-provoking Christmas read for fans of Dickens’ social commentary.

Part of a series of abridged, vintage recordings taken from the Penguin Archives. Affordable, collectable, quality productions - perfect for on-the-go listening.

Public Domain (P)2012 Penguin Books Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 01-27-14

Good... but Flawed

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Sure, I enjoyed this book and don't regret the listening time. I just won't be listening to it again. To me, a three-star review doesn't mean it's a bad book, it's just... average.

If you’ve listened to books by Charles Dickens and Geoffrey Palmer before, how does this one compare?

I have no complaints with the narrator, but he couldn't raise this above a three-star. This is Dickens going for a not-so-subtle social commentary on poverty, of course. It's just a bit heavy-handed in this one, and I finished the story not uplifted so much as feeling I'd had a narrow escape from a very, very hopeless tale. I'm sure that's what he was going for but, really? There are so many other ways to say the same thing, and Dickens does it well in other books.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Geoffrey Palmer beats the "Dickens on Dickens" version hands down, as that rendition is over the top. At least I didn't feel I was being beaten over the head with the "hopelessness" in an already fairly bleak tale.

Was The Chimes worth the listening time?

Sure, listen to it. It's, after all, NOT "A Christmas Carol," so if you need something different at Christmas, there's this. But I wouldn't recommend spending a credit on it, or spending full price.

Any additional comments?

This is NOT a bad book, how can Dickens ever be, really? But there's a whole helluva lot out there that is worth listening to. If you want something GREAT? Oh, DO get "Jacob T. Marley!" Now there's another, more delightful way to spend your Christmas!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • WASHINGTON, DC, United States
  • 04-10-13

A lesser Christmas tale

This was a bit of a chore to listen to and seemed to push Dicken's political cause at bit too clumsily. I really wanted to like this and hoped it was a good fit with the Christmas Carol. It was okay at the start but then it just seemed to drag. The supernatural parts, which I guess were to be like Scrooge's visit by the 3 ghosts, weren't that great, to me. It just seemed to lack the same magic, which may explain why this book is not as popular as his others.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Actually this book is UNABRIDGED!!!!!!!!!!

This is one of my favorite audiobooks to listen to at Christmas Time( along with Daniel Massey's reading of A Christmas Carol-sadly not yet available on Audible- Tolkien's The Father Christmas Letters read by Sir Derek Jacobi and The Christmas chapters from The Pickwick Papers as read by Patrick Tull which are available on Audible)and is actually the unabridged reading of Dicken's The Chimes.Mr.Palmer does a wonderful job of breathing life into all of the characters especially Trotty Veck .The Chimes is Dicken's second Christmas Book after A Christmas Carol and most people who enjoyed one will enjoy the other.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyed the performance, engaging story and characters

The reader is quite talented and he reflects the richness and character of the writing. Trotty Veck is a quintessential Dickensian character. The dreams or visions that Dickens describes confused me at times, but my reading may have been too disjointed. I suggest reading this tale all at once, in front of a New Year's Eve fireplace, without stopping.
Emotional and full of lessons, Dickens instructs the reader with the words and actions of his characters. Trotty Veck (Toby) is lovable and friendly, strong, weak, and most of all, humble. He's a little bit of the good and naïveté in all of us. He reminds me of Pickwick in his gentleness and Sam Weller in his humorous philosophy. Even though he sees ghosts, there is no humbug in him. Yet he manages to display the post-conversion gratefulness and hilarity of Ebenezer in 'A Christmas Carol'.

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  • Troy
  • 05-30-14

The Chimes. By Charles Dickens.

Firstly, superb narration by Geoffrey Palmer.
The Chimes is Dickens’ second Christmas novel & succeeded the more famous A Christmas carol.
There are some fabulous Dickens characters in this novel to rival any of his previous or subsequent books, my personal favourite being the vile Alderman Cute.
As with all the Dickens Christmas novellas, a happy ending is ensured, but boy, don’t they put the main protagonist through the ringer first !
I am a massive fan of Dickens, so my reviews of his books could be coloured with bias, but for those of you looking for a change from A Christmas carol, try the Chimes instead. This is a fantastic & warming story, a veritable championing of the underdog, a fantastic new year (this story is actually more centred around the new year, than Christmas)story in its own right.
Enjoy !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful