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Publisher's Summary

In its oppressive atmosphere of fog, mist, and mud, nothing conjures up the dreary days of November and its "implacable" weather like the celebrated opening of Bleak House. The plot concerns a long-running legal dispute (Jarndyce and Jarndyce) that has far-reaching consequences for all involved. Dickens' assault on the flaws of the British judiciary system is based in part on his own experiences as a law clerk. His harsh characterization of the slow, arcane Chancery law process gave voice to widespread frustration with the system, helping to set the stage for its eventual reform in the 1870s.This novel represents the highest point of Dickens' intellectual maturity. Over the years, it has been one of his most popular books, and it was recently turned into a PBS film starring Gillian Anderson.
© & (P)1987 Jimcin Recordings
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Critic Reviews

"Vigorous satire....[with] a host of interesting minor characters." (The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jas on 04-24-06

Listen to the sample first

From the reviews so far, it looks like this book will be one of those that could generate sharply divided opinions. Few would disagree that it's a great book but some are going to like the reading and some are not. I suppose it's just a matter of taste. My advice - Listen to the sample BEFORE you download the book. Fortunateley, the sample is 10 minutes long - more than enough to let you know if you will enjoy it or not. I listened to the sample and liked what I heard, then got the book and liked it very much. The time to find out if you will like the reading is before you get the book not after. So...my words to the wise are...Don't take my word for it or anyone else's. Let your own ears decide. If you are considering this book, listen to the sample first.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful


By Newport on 06-06-06

Great Listen

Bleak House is a satire which looks at the extremely complicated legal system in London as it eats away at the minds and talents of the greedy and nearly destroys the lives of many innocent people. Anyone who has been involved in a legal battle even in these modern times will certainly appreciate it.
Listening to BLEAK HOUSE is like going to an immense party where the guests are as varied and colorful a group of people as you will ever meet.
There are over fifty characters in the book so you never know who you may show up next. However, they are all delightful. A thoroughly entertaining and engrossing listen: poignant, suspenseful and unforgettable. A great work from a master storyteller! Well read, too. Five stars!

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Shawn on 10-02-06

Bleak House Review

Although this is a stunning book by Dickens. The reading of the book is a very poor one. Dickens has a name for writing paragraph long sentences. These are then quite hard to read first time over. I feel that the orator does a huge violence to the meaning of the story in the way it is read.

If you just want to hear the story because it is a fair size book, then go ahead and buy this. If, however you are familiar with this particular story and look forward to hearing it rather than reading it again, please save yourself the bother. You will almost certainly be disappointed!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Anne Magrat on 06-09-17

Read by a human? Are you sure??

What would have made Bleak House better?

A human that can speak with inflection and passion and doesn't sound like Adobe Acrobat voice reader. The story is fantastic, one of my favourite Dickens novels, but the naration is driving me mad!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bleak House?

I love it all, there are so many! Also I don't want to spoil it for anyone who doesn't know the story. Krook's demise is particularly good!

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jim Killavey?

Anybody else, but Simon Callow would have been excellent.....

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Definitely disappointment, I'm currenlty looking for an alternative naration of it.

Any additional comments?

Having a narrator that can pronounce the words as they are meant to be pronounced and not literally as they are written, would be a start!

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