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Enough has been publshed elsewhere about The Pickwick papers by better writer and critics than I, so I shall confine myself to a review of the narration of this huge Dickensian comic epic.
It is not simply the length of the piece which challenges the narrator, it is the daunting list of characters; all of whom require a unique and identifiable voice. On top of this, the narrator has to somehow solve the problem of reading period comedy to a modern audience with all the difficulties of cultural and linguistic context to deal with. Mr. Coburn more than meets this mighty challenge. His range of vocal innovation is truly remarkable and his characterisations are both brave and effective. I particularly loved his depiction of Sam Weller, the comic genius of the piece.
It may be true that just once in a while, there is the slightest hesitation in the delivery, perhaps due to a slowish turning of a page and once or twice, I'm sure I heard Mr. Coburn snatch a quick sip of something, but this is mere nit - picking.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book and have no hesitation in recommending it.
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