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I don't think Martin Chuzzlewit is the most popular of Dickens's works, and there are reasons not to like it -- it's not very well plotted and the motivation of the main characters isn't quite clear. I've always loved it because of Pecksniff -- so unctuous and hypocritical that you can hardly wait to hear what he'll say or do next. And then there is Mrs. Gamp, one of the oddest and funniest creations in literature. Tom Pinch has the role of the too-good-to-be-true character usually reserved for the Dickens females, and Jonas Chuzzlewit is as nasty a bad guy as you could want. The Anglo Bengalese Disinterested Life and Assurance Company alone is worth the price of admission. The slapped-on America bashing is artificial. We probably have national vices as bad as those portrayed, but not quite the same ones anymore, I think. Mr. Davidson is always good with Dickens (I have listened to him read 3 or 4 of the novels now.) Full of interest and (despite the flaws) always one of my favorites. Isn't that the way with Dickens -- a thousand wrongs somehow all coalesce into a work of genius.
28 of 28 people found this review helpful
This reader is brilliant. Thoroughly entertaining and moving. The narrator really makes the listener feel part of the action. This is a wonderful story. The characters are colourful and varied. Mrs Gamp has become my favourite of all Dickensian characters. Superb presentation of a brilliant story. You will love it.
17 of 18 people found this review helpful
Yes, Fred Davidson's voice is a little surprising at first. He settles down by the second part, however, and so far as OLD Martin Chuzzlewit's voice is concerned, Dickens described it as similar to the creaking of the pub-sign, and therefore here it is bravely dramatized. There is a clarity to the reading which is very refreshing and as I listened to this whilst driving I found myself frequently driving slower to prolong the enjoyment. So, RoSPA, how about that for an idea: story-telling in cars reduces speeds and therefore accidents?!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Martin Chuzzlewit the most enjoyable?
I probably would have given up on this novel within the first couple of chapters if I were reading it. I really needed it bringing to life by Frederick Davidson. I have learned with Charles Dickens later novels, by which I mean post Nicholas Nickleby, to persevere and the effort will be well rewarded and that was the case here.
Who was your favorite character and why?
My favourite character is Mark Tapley, I wish I had a bit more of his attitude, optimism, humour and good nature!
Which character – as performed by Frederick Davidson – was your favourite?
Oh definately Seth Pecksniff!
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The way Tom Pinch was exploited by Pecksniff was deplorable
Any additional comments?
I wasn't sure about the American visit, it was clever, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the rest of the novel and found it a bit too satirical and, frankly, a bit hypocritical coming from an Englishman!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful