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I started and abandoned another audiobook of Great Expectations a while back. While I found the narration excellent, the beginning of the book, with Pip's terrorizing by the convict and then the abuse by his sister, was just too bleak and intense, and I gave it up. However, I am running out of Dickens, and decided to try Anton Lesser's recording. I am familiar with his acting work on Wolf Hall and Endeavour but had never listened to his narration. It is exquisite. His portrayal of Pip is straightforward, gentle, almost minimalist, very moving, and his voicing of the other characters is varied and marvelous. It was utterly engrossing.
Great Expectations does not contain the comic relief that Dickens used in so many novels. There is so much horror and sadness: Mrs. Joe, the convicts, Orlick, Miss Havisham, but there is also love and tenderness: Joe Gargery, Wemmick and his Aged Parent, Biddy. It's a rich and beautifully-written story, and well worth your time.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I just love Anton Lesser as a narrator. He is an amazing reader, with an incredible knack for creating rich characters with just his voice.
On the other hand, I've never cared for Dickens, and his popularity has always been puzzling. This seemed like a good opportunity to see if Mr. Lesser could open the door of Dicken's magic.
As always, Mr. Lesser made magic with his voice. These characters will remain with me as rich individuals. But I still don't understand Dickens' popularity, because the story was not engaging in the least - at least, not for me. Instead, I was simply annoyed by the passive and discontented Pip, who is never happy no matter what life gives him.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
The last time I encountered Dickens was at school (some 40 odd years ago) when our English teacher read Oliver Twist to us and made it come alive. In order to relive this experience I downloaded Great Expectations and was not disappointed. Anton Lesser is an inspired choice as narrator...along with Dickens descriptive talent he made this a magical experience and I want to move on to more of the same.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Where does Great Expectations rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Definitely in my top five.
What about Anton Lesser’s performance did you like?
The beginning where Magwitch leaps out at Pip - he yells.
Any additional comments?
For anyone who wants to start on Dickens, I recommend you choose this book. It's a sudden beginning and you've just got to read until you reach the end. You feel for Pip right the way through, especially in his love for Estella.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful