• Little Dorrit

  • The Audible Dickens Collection
  • By: Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 40 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (236 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This Audible Exclusive production revisits Charles Dickens’ tragi-comic novel Little Dorrit. Written during the Crimean War, it a story of fortunes won and lost and a masterly portrayal of the failings of Victorian Society, with the ever-present spectre of law enforcement and imprisonment looming over a fearful population. 

One of his later works, Dickens’ maturity shines through this masterpiece and a uniquely powerful and touching love story ensues from amongst scenes of heart-wrenching injustice.

About the book

Following the death of his beloved father, Arthur Clennam returns to his home in London in order to reunite with his wheelchair-bound mother. 

Narrowly escaping from the clutches of his former fiancée, Flora Finching, Arthur finds solace in the company of his mother’s new seamstress, the innocent and sweet Little Amy Dorrit.

The youngest of three children, Amy works hard to support her father, who, as Arthur learns, has been imprisoned in Marshalsea debtors’ prison since before her time. Without a mother to care for them, Little Dorrit and her siblings reside with Mr Dorrit, and she, being the most caring of them all, takes it upon herself to pay off his debts through her needlework. 

Wishing to find out more about their serendipitous connection and how such a girl could possibly have ended up in his mother’s well-to-do household, Arthur sets out to help Amy and uncover the Clennam’s long-held family secrets, a journey which will inevitably alter the course of both of their lives.  

About the author

Like Mr William Dorrit, Dickens’ father was held at Marshalsea debtors’ prison, the memory of which haunted Dickens for years to come and eventually inspired him to transform his childhood recollections into a book entitled Little Dorrit

At a young age, Charles Dickens had to abandon his studies and set to work in a factory so as to support himself.

Despite his short-lived education, Dickens went on to write 15 novels and various articles, novellas and short stories. He lectured and led campaigns for children's rights and education and arguably became the ultimate self-made man.

About the narrator

Juliet Stevenson CBE is an Olivier award-winning actress known for her career spanning theatre, film and television. Her film credits include Bend It Like Beckham (2002) and Truly Madly Deeply (1990). Juliet starred in Robert Icke’s 2017/2018 adaptation of Mary Stuart (Almeida & Duke of York’s Theatre) where she played not only the titular role but also the role of Elizabeth I consecutively, swapping parts at the literal flip of a coin between herself and Lia Williams. Most recently she appeared in series 2 of Riviera. Juliet’s versatility knows no bounds, and she recently collaborated with both Ruby Wax and Deborah Frances-White on a series of new comedy sketches.

Public Domain (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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What listeners say about Little Dorrit

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Fantastic

The best written and narrated book I’ve purchased on audible. I will no doubt listen again. A+

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Amazing performance!

Juliet Stevenson outdid herself again. What an enjoyable book to listen to, brought to life by the talents of Ms.Stevenson. She has a repertoire of varied accents and voices making this such a rich and wonderful book to listen to. If you love Charles Dickens then you should try this audible book... you won’t regret it.

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Brilliant

This is, by far, the best Audible reading ever. It may even be the best performance by anyone, anywhere. Juliet Stevenson not only brings every character to life but brings one back in time. This performance of a masterpiece is all consuming. Thank you!

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Possibly Dickens's best.

A wonderful story, and the narrator was fabulous. It was a marvel listening to her characterization; she gave each a distinctive voice. Thoroughly enjoyed 'Little Dorrit.'

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Spectacular performance of somewhat silly plot

I would lister to Juliet Stevenson read almost any dialogue, she is remarkable.
It is not Dickens best plot, quite syrupy, but with some wonderful Dickens characters, really brought to life by the reader.

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Amazing performance!

If I could give six stars to Juliet Stevenson, I would. Little Dorrit is a complex story, even for Dickens, but Stevenson’s narration saves the day.

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Story and narration superb

Dickens is at his best in this long novel, with a large cast of characters and a diverse set of locales. His social criticism is on elegant display and brings some dry humor to the story. The characters would be hard to keep straight were it not for the incredible narrative powers of Juliet Stevenson. Each and every one has a distinctive voice and she is unerring in her performance of them all. I would listen to her read a phone book, she is that good. I loved every minute of this long and engaging book.

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Incredibile story performed by incredible Juliet Stevenson

I dare say Little Dorrit the best Charles Dickens. There is nothing better than Charles Dickens performed by Juliet Stevenson. Particularly her portrait of Flora is to die for. I shall listen to everything performed by her.

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A Great Novel, A Great Narrator

This is one of Dickens's great novels. As usual, Juliet Stevenson gives an utterly flawless reading. It's impossible to think of anything she could have done better. There are scenes and characters you will never forget. HIGHLY recommended.

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Such a joy!

Wonderfully read by Juliet Stevenson, this meaty classic had me laughing out loud and also brought me to tears. There are so many great characters and a lot of wisdom and astute observations of human behavior.

3 people found this helpful

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  • robholl
  • 08-12-19

Perfect

A veritable tour de force. Juliet Stevenson's intelligence, understanding of plot and character shine through her narration of the novel. I have read Little Dorrit more than once and have seen more than one adaptation of it, but her reading brings new life and vitality to the text. Her characterisations - from Amy, to Flintwinch; from the delightful Maggie to the formidable Miss Wade - show incredible vocal and acting dexterity. The longer, often complex, narrative passages are delivered beautifully, with exactly the right tone and emphasis and she avoids any hint of mawkish sentimentality, which might tempt the lesser narrator. The episode of the death of Mr Dorrit and his brother is genuinely moving and her treatment of Amy - who grows in obvious strength, as the novel progresses - mirrors Dickens' intention perfectly. Her reading also helps to confirm my opinion that the novel contains some of the most odious figures in Dickens', amongst whom I would include Dorrit in his worst moments, however he might be redeemed in the end. Is there an equivalent of the Oscars for audiobook narration? If so, I would certainly nominate this.

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  • Freya
  • 10-17-20

The best

I struggled with the Dickens stories at school, did better with them as I aged. However, the books never came to life like this one has. If there are Oscars for narration, Juliet Stevenson should get one now. This has been the best audible book I've listened to, not only for Dickens's wonderful writing but equally to Juliet's amazing narration.

7 people found this helpful

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  • helen
  • 04-27-20

"Absolutely Superb"

Juliet Stevenson is simply superb as the narrator, drawing you in with all her skill to make the characters come to life with ease. The Story itself, needs no explanation a it is world famous. I cannot recommend this book enough to all those who are very familiar with the book and to those that are not, you will not be disappointed. The calibre of narration here is gold standard.

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  • Penny G.
  • 09-11-21

A Beautiful Performance of a Wonderful Book!

I was riveted by Juliet Stevenson’s breathtaking performance of this timeless story. I became completely engrossed and feel quite lost now I have listened to it all, shedding a tear at the last few sentences. Wonderful - how Dickens would have approved of this reading! I strongly recommend this version, especially if you find Dickens difficult to read. I will be listening to it again at some point - thank you, Audible!

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  • Harry S
  • 08-02-21

Wonderful story beautifully performed

This book is in my view one of the best stories by one of the best writers ever. Having read it before, I knew it would be a great listen but the reading by Juliette Stevenson was sublime. Each character brought to life, a pure delight

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  • bellanonna
  • 10-07-20

thank goodness for Juliet Stevenson

who got me through this tome of a book, without her I'd have given up

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-10-19

Fantastic

Absolutely fantastic from start to finish, what a voice and what a story.. The best way to travel to work!

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  • Renee
  • 06-29-22

Endearing story and performance

What a combination of Dickens and the attention grabbing performance of Juliet Stevenson. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Maltravers
  • 06-20-22

Brilliant narration

This has the best of Dickens. It has the worst of Dickens.
It contains the wettest of Dickens's famously wet characters. It contains the most likeable, villainous, infuriating and engaging characters.
It boasts a sprawling narrative spanning Europe and a multitude of plotlines. It has a single thread throughout that brings (nearly) all the loose ends together.

But more than anything it is brought to life by the superb performance of Juliet Stevenson. I've always struggled to read Dorrit as a printed book but her performance (and it is a performance - no mere "reading") made 40 hours of joy! Such is her versatility I once had to check there wasn't a second reader involved.

She breathes distinct life into every single character but particular praise is due for her portrayal of the nasal Mr Pancks and the rejected but kind and loyal Flora.

A true tour de force!

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  • Opus
  • 06-17-22

Insight into the minds of the slighted

Wonderful characters drawn by Dickens and brilliant
characterisations performed by Juliet Stevenson.
Many laugh out loud moments - the snorting of Mr. Pancks
deserves an academy award.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-17-22

Loved Every Minute

An epic Dickens, incredibly narrated. I loved the miniseries; listening was even better 😍

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  • Lisa Jones
  • 12-10-21

A fabulous story

It's a long listen but worth it. Juliet Stevenson is brilliant. Her interpretation of Panks is spot on.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-06-21

Fantastic Narration!

Loved every minute. Juliet Stevenson is a brilliant narrator, the amazing voices and accents for every character. What a talent!

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  • Anna M
  • 11-01-21

The narration is Superb

Loved the book, and Juliet Stevenson made it even better and more enjoyable (who could think that Dickens can be improved!)

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  • Bridget
  • 10-08-21

Fantastic Narration

Juliet Stevenson’s narration is incredible. She has created unique accents for every character. Stevenson brings Dicken’s dialogue to life and I couldn’t help but be awed by her talent. It enhanced the novel and I am so glad I chose ‘read’ Little Dorrit by using Audible.

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  • Richard
  • 10-07-21

Stunning

There are many wonderful audiobook performances of Dickens, and this is as good as any. Stevenson's range is breathtaking, from ponderous to pathetic to continental to comma-less, it's all there.

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  • Andrew
  • 08-24-21

Masterful

Masterful story telling. Superb narration Juliet Stephenson seemed to be a hundred different people with her varied voices. Loved Panks the most!

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  • KS
  • 06-26-21

Superb

Juliet Stevenson never disappoints ( not Charles Dickens, for that matter). Her narration of this wonderful story is superb.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-11-21

Suberb narration

I have listened to so many audiobooks but seldom have I enjoyed a narration as much as that given here by Juliet Stevenson. She truly brings Dickens' characters alive, both male and female.

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  • Alex
  • 02-28-21

Classic story telling

This was brilliant the story is so beautifully told, the voices so convincing. I was totally in awe of each character & how they unfolded, a woven tale of the plight of individuals entwined in each other’s fate.