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Publisher's Summary

Held to be Dickens' finest novel, containing one of the most vast, complex and engaging arrays of minor characters and sub-plots in his entire canon. Memorable characters include the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn, the friendly, but depressive John Jarndyce, and the childish and disingenuous Harold Skimpole, as well as the likeable but imprudent Richard Carstone. A suspenseful tale about the injustices of the 19th-century English legal system. This novel set the standard for modern day legal thrillers.
Public Domain (P)2013 Trout Lake Media
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Customer Reviews

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By Bret G. Rider on 05-24-15

Better example of Dickens' art than many others better known...

This is only my third Audible book and while Mr Batchelor has a fine voice his personalizing of the characters was not an addition to the story. Many times it actually detracted fro the story. His voice of Messieurs Smallweed and Vols verged on the annoying and while both characters are annoying I think Mr Dickens words aline served the purpose. I will not avoid books read by Mr Batchelor but I won't be searching them out either. As to the story, there is a reason it is a classic. Dickens weaves a great plot with enough subplots to keep the listeners' interest. The story line is revealed enough at the right time so as to not injury the overall story but also not scarcely so much so as the listeners' intelligence is insulted. That the story was originally produced in serial from it must do as it does. Worthy of a third book and moving on to Evelyn Waugh next.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Julian on 10-12-13

For the serious Dickensian

To tackle this novel in any form is no idle pastime, but requires a serious commitment of time and intellect. With its complex interweaved narrative strands (alternating between Esther's first-person narrative and that of a nameless omniscient narrator), its extensive cast of characters, and its frequent digressions, it poses a particular challenge as an audiobook. It is the kind of novel that should have an index, and which in paper form would have had me often searching back through the pages for a reminder about who had said what to whom and when. Since this was not supported in my audio reader, there was no alternative but to soldier on through the thicket. A novel this dense in character and incident would challenge the greatest actor, but with Peter Batchelor on top form my interest never flagged. If I had one quibble it would be with the production itself - the frequent "re-recordings" are spliced in rather too abruptly, distracting from the flow of words. As for the story itself, Dickens' usual slow buildup is taken to extremes here, but the eventual payoff is as moving as he ever achieved elsewhere. The difficulty for the modern reader is to comprehend how a lawsuit can simply continue under its own momentum without any prospect of conclusion for generations despite the best will of its parties to end it. This undermines its effectiveness as the central narrative device that underpins the action of the novel, but as a critique of the legal system of the time, it was epoch-making and quite possibly history-changing. The greatest incidental pleasure is to be had in the minor comic characters such as the paragon of "deportment", Mr Turvidrop, and the evangelist Mr Chadband with his orotund sermonising (ministers of any stripe rarely fare well in Dickens' hands). Serious Dickens fans simply must attempt this, but best you know what to expect beforehand. You will be glad if you can make it to the end.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Daniela Crouch on 10-27-16

terrible performance

really cannot recommend this recording, very poor performance, it's one monotonous drawl, completely emotionless and could have been done better by a computer

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful


By xxxx on 01-06-17

Dowloaded audio files but none were playable

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

dowloaded 4 large audio files but none were playable on Audible or Windows Media. Can I have my money back?

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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