Contemporary Dickens

Narrated by: Sally Martin
Length: 13 hrs and 40 mins
3 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Contemporary Dickens is a collection of essays that presents some of the most intriguing work being undertaken in Dickens studies today. Through an emphasis on the 19th-century origins of our current critical preoccupations and ways of knowing, these essays reveal Dickens to be our contemporary. The contributors argue that such issues as gender and sexuality, environmentalism, and the construction of national identity were frequently explored and sometimes problematically resolved by Dickens himself. 

They also illuminate the importance of Dickens’s place in our current reassessment of critical methodologies. Drawing freely upon a variety of reading strategies (materialist, deconstructive, new historical, psychoanalytic, and feminist), the essays disclose new aspects of Dickens’s engagements with a number of Victorian concerns - moral philosophy, the psychology of the emotions, and life writing among them - that have once again emerged as significant objects of study in early-21st century criticism. 

Contemporary Dickens will appeal to general listeners and students of Victorian culture, as well as specialists in 19th-century literature, cultural studies, literary formalism, psychology, and gender studies.

©2009 The Ohio State University (P)2019 Redwood Audiobooks

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Specialist collection of essays

'Contemporary Dickens' is a collection of essays with a general theme of looking at Dickens and his works with a light towards modern beliefs and practices. The general premise is the Dickens was less a product of his time and more modern that it would have been thought for a 19th Century man. The topics of the essays cover all sorts of things like his relationship to religion, gender studies / feminism, culture, literature, science and so forth.

While the blurb says 'Contemporary Dickens will appeal to general listeners and students of Victorian culture, as well as specialists in 19th-century literature, cultural studies, literary formalism, psychology, and gender studies.' I am uncertain of the first part - general listeners. This is where I am - someone who has read a few Dickens, but not all, and certainly not having an in depth knowledge of his characters, works, and history. Some of the essays were easily accessible for me, while others were pitched at at level that was way too in depth, requiring too much prior knowledge to receive benefit from.

Because it is a collection of essays there is no grand cohesion between them, no large thesis. It is a collection of smaller thesis that do not always flow well together. Eileen Gillooly and Deirdre David have done well curating the essays but it still lacked cohesion. Again, some essays were well written and engaging and interesting, with a clear thesis well argued, while others were unclear or too esoteric.

Narration by Sally Martin is good. Clear and well paced, she works well with the text she is given. There is not much room to show variation and skill here, due to the text, but she performs well and keeps the listener engaged with the text throughout.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this review voluntarily.

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Contemporary Dickens

From the book blurb,my take away was that the common reader would find new enlightenment on Mr Dickens writings.I did not find that.This book is more like a college level school book.While interesting to a point,it was boring to me. Sally Martin was a fine narrator. I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.