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Publisher's Summary

A complex plot of love and inheritance is set against the English legal system of the mid-19th century. As the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, it becomes an obsession to everyone involved. And the issue on an inheritance ultimately becomes a question of murder.
©2006 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2006 Naxos Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

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By Wendy Lohse on 10-01-12

Ordinary Lives; Extraordinary Circumstances

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

Absolutely. This book was first written as a monthly serial over 20 months. Twenty episodes for 20 days perhaps. Or, if you are like me, you'll forgo sleep and listen to all. Then listen again, several times over, to catch the parts missed whilst dozing the first few times. Dickens writing is meant to be spoken. Hilarious characters beautifully exaggerated - or are they - abound here. The most decent of characters. And the most vile. My greatest reason for recommending this book is that the two readers really demonstrate Dickens intent when he gave Bleak House two narrators, the unknown onlooker telling in the present tense; and Esther, around whom all of the stories are woven. Poverty, wealth, class systems, skullduggery, robbery and murder are all given centre stage. Personalities galore.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Lady Dedlock is perhaps the most intriguing to me. I don't understand her loyalty to her awful husband, Sir Leicester Dedlock. Perhaps it's gratitude that he married her despite her past, though he knows nothing of it. She's awful. She's snooty. She's breakable. She's smart. She's discerning. She's drawn to beauty. She's conceited. Her husband is quite a bit older and very wealthy. Her deceit is so complete that she believes it herself. Most of the time. An occasional sensitivity is revealed.

Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher – was your favorite?

Narrator Sean Barrett is witness to the events that run almost parallel to Esther's own memoir. Both readers were called upon to animate, and maintain, the voices of a huge variety of characters. Sometimes the voices are whining and irritating. Sometimes, seductive and warm. As are the characters. I particularly enjoyed Teresa Gallagher's interactions between Esther and Charley, the thirteen year old orphan girl who leaves her six year old brother Tom to take care of their baby sister while she goes to work as a laundress and is later employed by Mr Jarndyce to be Esther's maid. Her portrayal of Esther's voice throughout is easy and confident, warm and chatty at times. Formal at other times. Thoroughly enjoyable. Sean Barrett's dialogues between Lady Dedlock and Mr Tulkinghorn, given the opposing attitudes of the adversaries and the undercurrent of intent, are excellent spoken civilly in a respectably soft volume. But it is Sean Barrett's own voice as the narrator that is most commanding.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Take your chances in the Court of Chancery

Any additional comments?

Many hours of thoroughly enjoyable listening.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

By KTMak on 08-25-11


I am delighted to now be enjoying the narrations from the talented multi voiced Sean Barrett and sweetly nuanced Teresa Gallagher for a wonderful book from Charles Dickens. For American ears, I believe this edition is the best from Audible when you are planning to spend approximately 40 hours listening to a hefty classic on the 19th century Bristish legal system -- a "dry" subject in anyone's hands but Dickens. After real difficulty understanding the meaning, even for 4-5 star rated editions and with text in hand, I asked Audible for the first time in 10 years to delete purchased editions from my Library for BLEAK HOUSE because the affected accents interferred with listening. I am so glad I pursued it until finding these two talented narrators - as you will be.

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55 of 57 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By nero5 on 01-17-12

The Ultimate Dickens Audiobook

I struggle to imagine a better audiobook. Firstly, it's a great novel by Dickens and has two fantastic narrators. I don't see how Bleak House can be satisfactorily read by one reader now I've heard this version. Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher reading Esther Summerson's narrative are both superb. I looked forward to my daily commute eagerly and felt rather bereft when it was over. Sean Barrett is a master of characterisation, not putting a foot wrong throughout the story. His Joe the Crossing Sweeper is a particular highlight!

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39 of 40 people found this review helpful

By Crocker on 01-27-12

One of the finest versions of any Dickens novels

This version of Bleak House is undoubtedly one of the best Dickens or for that matter any audio books I have listened to, the two narrators pace the book and give the characters a depth that is so often missed in lesser adaptions, if you have wondered what all the fuss is about Dickens then this is the place to start,

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By mikethep on 04-01-17

Absolutely superb

Would you consider the audio edition of Bleak House to be better than the print version?

Ridiculous question

What about Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher ’s performance did you like?


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

35 hours - are you serious?

Any additional comments?

I'm only 5 hours in, but already I'm completely hooked. Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher are the perfect readers, exactly the right timbre of voice, excellent at differentiating the characters, and leading you so well through some of Dickens's more florid passages that you never lose the thread. I'm listening on my new Bose noise-cancelling headphones, so there are not outside distractions, and I'm completely lost in it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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