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What made the experience of listening to Charles Dickens the most enjoyable?
Claire Tomalin is one of the finest biographers working today. This is the fourth biography by her that I have read, and I have found only one--her book on Katherine Mansfield--less than superb. The complaints that the novels are not summarized or analysed in detail are absurd. Who goes to a genuine literary biography for plot synopses? The quibbling remarks about syntax are laughable. Tomalin is an extremely lucid and careful writer. The so-called slips are not based on current grammatical rules (and I taught English for years). I loved listening to this book as I am no longer able to read the print in most books. I do own this biography however and could at least follow along, mark my place, and look at the illustrations. I found the reading impeccable.
What other book might you compare Charles Dickens to and why?
The book can be compared only to other great literary biographies, such as Claire Tomalin's book on Thomas Hardy and the biographies of Michael Holroyd.
What about Alex Jennings’s performance did you like?
Alex Jennings, a great actor, is represented by many titles in the Audible catalogue. There is a good reason for this--he has a pleasing, resonant voice that the listener never tires of. It is a strong, sympathetic, manly, British voice that is perfect for reading a book about Dickens. I will seek out other recordings that Jenning has made.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Heavens no. I spent two weeks on this book. Though not overlong, it is packed with information and insight, especially into Dickens's marriage and his friendships. I have read a great deal about Dickens, but I learned much more from taking my time in reading this volume.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
thought this was an excellent overview of Dickens life. It really gave me a feel for the streets and milieu of his particular period of life. I enjoyed it especially when Ms. Tomalin reviewed his various novels and showed what was going on in his life at the same time. I had a glimpse of Dickens as a flawed, amazing man.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful