David Copperfield [Trout Lake Media]

Narrated by: Peter Batchelor
Length: 32 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (618 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Dickens called David Copperfield his "favourite child," and many critics consider the novel to be one of his best depictions of childhood. Set in early Victorian England against a backdrop of great social change, Dickens acutely observed the phenomena of the Industrial Revolution and used them as the canvas on which he painted the novel. Many consider David Copperfield to be the author’s finest work.

Public Domain (P)2013 Trout Lake Media
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Delightful Dickens listening

Would you consider the audio edition of David Copperfield to be better than the print version?

For me, the audio edition of David Copperfield was every bit as good as a book. I think Dickens in particular lends himself well to audio interpretation. The special magic of the audio version for me is that it recalls that comforting feeling I had as child; of listening to my parents read a story and being carried away into another world.

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

It is impossible for me to chose a moment that was more memorable than others. David Copperfield is one continuous rollercoaster ride of joys, sorrows, hardships, heartbreak, tearful departures and joyous reunions. The cast of characters include some of the most memorable villians, noble women, cruel step-fathers and loveable unfortunates ever penned. It is first class Dickens.

What about Peter Batchelor’s performance did you like?

Peter Batchelor is perfect for Dickens. He is an entire cast of voices. His sure control of tone, mastery of timbre and accents are a delight. Being a baritone, Batchelor's only difficulty comes when playing women and children. Uriah Heep will make anyones skin crawl. The dialogues are particularly brilliant. In these, Batchelor needs to switch between characters, finding exactly the right voice for one and then answering immediately in another. It is dazzling stuff but the virtuosity is never at the expense of the narrative. One imagines this was the way Dickens himself would have read for his friends; revelling in the characters; growling, squeeking, lisping, mimicking accents and enjoying every minute of it.

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

Dr. Stong is married to Anne, a very beautiful and much younger woman. Uriah Heep has contrived to cast suspicion in the mind of the doctor that his wife had taken a young lover. Deeply in love with his wife, he is willing to let the situation fall into silence in order to keep her. Never confronted, Anne is neither guilty nor innocent. It is then revealed that Heep is a villian. This provides Anne Strong with an opportunity. The words that pour forth are some of the most beautiful and deeply moving in any book I have read.

9 people found this helpful

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Fitting rendition of a classic

Peter Batchelor does more then justice to Dickens' epic fictionalised memoir. As a first-person narrative it is ideally suited for the intimacy of the audiobook format, and Batchelor is throughout at one with the material, his deep baritone rolling on with unflagging verve through the yarn's decades. Unavoidably he recedes a little on the female parts, particularly the vapid ingenue Dora, but his range and variety on the male characters is vast. My favourite was the Cockney climber Uriah Heep, but the country boatman Dan Peggotty's tones were rich and dark as gravy on the ear. Dickens' themes of upbringing and maturity are woven densely through the story, which is studded with moving moments as well as richly comic scenes, mostly involving the hapless Mr Micawber. After 32 hours the end left me wanting more.

8 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Listening Experience

Would you listen to David Copperfield again? Why?

No, I already know the outcome, but as I read it, I did replay several scenes because they were so delightful.

What other book might you compare David Copperfield to and why?

not sure because this was my first experience at listening to fiction. I usually listen to history, biography or other non-fiction

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

wonderful expression...he does the voices of the different characters that brought the book alive. I can't believe how much of a listening "page turner" it was..because of Dickens's always-interesting and entertaining characters. Had I simply read the story, I don't think I would have imagined a lot of the characters's voices...This narrator was really perfect for this novel.

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

well, you can't because it is so long.

Any additional comments?

This was my first time listening to non-fiction. I do a two hour commute every day (both ways) and I can't recommend this book enough. At first I was concerned that maybe I would forget the previous day, so I checked out a copy from the library to review sometimes a little bit before the next time...but I only had to do that a couple of times.I even did my weekend 3 mile runs with this in my iPod! Another first for me...I highly recommend this book.. In fact, I am going to purchase another Dickens book read by this narrator.It is one of my favorite books so far from audible...and I've been a member for over three years.

5 people found this helpful

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  • BJ
  • 12-04-18

A great classic and well read.

Say what you will about Charles Dickens’ novels But I love them and this is one of my favorites. I understand that one’s opinion about the narration is a bit subjective but I thought this particular narration was excellent. And that made a big difference for me.

2 people found this helpful

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very interesting and well read

Would you listen to David Copperfield again? Why?

yes, I will listen to it again. this was one of the best read books I have heard so far, I would highly recommend it!

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

he really made the book enjoyable, very talented reader

5 people found this helpful

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Run on narrator

Turning this version in for one with a different narrator. This one was hard to focus on-monotonic.

1 person found this helpful

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great narration, poor audio quality

The narrator was great, but it was a pretty quiet recording and there were quite a few moments when it was clear that recording stopped and started, and there were some strange volume inconsistencies. But I paid 97¢ and it was a good deal for that price.

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Engaging story; imperfect audiobook quality

I really enjoyed David Copperfield. Not as good as Bleak House, but still one of Dickens's best.

The reading was very good. The quality of the recording, however, was not. I regularly noticed switches in volume and, I believe, recording sessions (even within the same sentence) in which the narrator's voice altered. For .99 cents, I won't complain too much!

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terrible audio

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was very hard to hear and understand, the audio recording was not up to par. I ended up downloading another reading.

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Mixed Bag

I had read some Dickens years ago, but didn't care for his style. When I saw this Audible version was less than $1 I decided to give the author another try with my older ears.

I did enjoy several portions of the story, but some stretches of narration were painfully dull. I was often frustrated with the main character, but saw him mature over the course of the story. I definitely grew to like several characters, and was happy to see some early subplots come to their own conclusions. Some are critical of the neatness of the novel's end, but it did not bother me. It was interesting to learn this is Dickens' favorite, and that there are many autobiographical elements.

Will I read more Dickens? Probably, but in paper version. It might be easier to appreciate his writing that way. And I don't have to worry about being tested on it!

The man reading this edition has a very low voice, causing me to drift off at times. Some of the character voices became blurred in my mind. Also, there were multiple spots where the sound quality was poor, as if they did some spot editing. One chapter was repeated almost in its entirety! But at 97 cents, I can look past that.

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  • Bob
  • 06-28-14

Excellent

What did you like most about David Copperfield?

The story is a classic, dickens' favourite. The narration, by Peter Batchelor, is deep and his fruity voice brings the many characters to life.

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

The death of Dora is particularly well narrated and is one of many moving scenes contained within this tour de force

Which scene did you most enjoy?

In terms of an enjoyable scene I would look no further than the come uppance of Uriah Heap. A perfect climax to one of Dickens's most despicable characters.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ksilver
  • 05-20-15

Classic story spoiled by poor editing

Any additional comments?

Lots of poor editing where the voice tone is clearly different, and new sentences starting very quickly after the previous, made the story difficult to follow in places really spoiled what is an excellent tale. I have not experienced this with any audible book before.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-06-15

Well worth a listen

Enjoyable book and quite well read. Good value for money for such a long story. I would definitely recommend it .

2 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 02-11-16

Splendid

A classic story well read. Reminds what a great story teller Dickens was. I will listen again happily!

1 person found this helpful

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  • GenKaan
  • 09-30-15

Almost a lifetime in length and amount of story

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

Im not convinced everyone would like this one. I get vibes from the book "Great expectations" in more than a few ways, but this feels way more dragged out. It does have more characters and character development, enough to keep it interesting most of the time.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Nothing really, has a perfect balance of tragedy and happiness as well as drama and love. Could use more conflict since most of the conflict does not effect the main character, but is between his friends.

What does Peter Batchelor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He did a fantastic job making each character unique and SUPER consistent. Really enjoyed that and it helped a lot keep the characters separate.

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

Not a particular moment but the relationship between Copperfield and Emelie, a constant theme throughout the book that really was moving from the day they met.

Any additional comments?

I understand why this is a classic and if I understand correctly its close to, or at least based on, Dickens own life. It covers most of his life it seems, from young and foolish to old and famous. Dont think it matches up against the better "Great expectations" but has a lot more depth, so if you want something deep and long Id recommend this one. If you want something a bit darker and shorter "Great expectations" is your book. Both are fantastic in their own way and a lot of similar ways

1 person found this helpful

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  • William Nelson
  • 08-24-15

Not Dickens's Best

If you could sum up David Copperfield in three words, what would they be?

Very long book.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

More engaging than what came before, but a bit Return of the King.

What about Peter Batchelor’s performance did you like?

The challenge with Dickens is to come up with distinct voices for the huge casts of characters. Batchelor does an admirable job.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not to the same extent as with other Dickens books.

Any additional comments?

The plot is not stellar. Half way through, I wondered if it was actually going anywhere.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kipundo
  • 02-10-18

Magnificent

One of the best narrated books I have heard for years .Peter Bachelor is fantastic. He also reads Oliver Twist .which is equally as good. BUY IT YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.

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  • MargAnne
  • 10-01-17

David Copperfield

Wonderful story telling at it's very. best. Enthralling for it's time. I couldn't stop listening

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  • Michelle Lyon
  • 05-18-17

Captivating and very well narrated.

The story itself is a masterpiece. Coming to the end now, I feel like I am missing a friend - the sign of a great book.

The narration is excellent. Each character's voice distinctive and perfectly suited. The only (very) small thing I noticed is that occasionally I could hear where a few words in a sentence had been re-recorded later. This was so minor it didn't impact my enjoyment at all. I'll seek out Peter Batchelor's works again.