Penguin Classics presents Charles Dickens' epic Bleak House, adapted for downloadable audiobook and read by Ronald Pickup and Beatnie Edney.
As the interminable case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce grinds its way through the Court of Chancery, it draws together a disparate group of people: Ada and Richard Clare, whose inheritance is gradually being devoured by legal costs; Esther Summerson, a ward of court, whose parentage is a source of deepening mystery; the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn; the determined sleuth Inspector Bucket; and even Jo, the destitute little crossing-sweeper. A savage, but often comic, indictment of a society that is rotten to the core, Bleak House is one of Dickens's most ambitious novels, with a range that extends from the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to the poorest of London slums.
Part of a series of abridged, vintage recordings taken from the Penguin Archives.
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© & (P)1996 Penguin Books Ltd
I downloaded this version, as it is the penguin version that I need to study for an enl-lit BA. The text of the book is modernised only very slightly. The story is Well read, however, there are great chunks of text missing from the audio, these will need to be read manually.
I had watched Bleak house on the television and wanted to read the book to get more from the story but really struggled to read it. I downloaded the audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed it and went onto read the book after, I find listening first helped me get into the style of writing more easily.
I only signed up to audible for the free audiobook. But subsequently realised this is heavily abridged. Why would I want less than a fifth of the book? Even for free. Suppose I'll just have to buy a decent version on itunes...
"Dickens might go far"
This is only my second Dickens. I preferred Great Expectations. It was a good story but there were too many characters for an audiobook. The performance was very well done. I preferred the female narrator to the male. For some reason a man playing a woman jarrred much more than a woman playing a man.
"A Valiant Effort, But Don't Expect "Great""
I've heard a few Dickens works in audio form, and other than "A Christmas Carol" (which many amateurs can bring to life) Dickens' works seem much more tedious in this form than they are in written form. In this narration, Beatie Edney and Ronald Pickup do a very good job, but I found my mind wandering quite a bit, and had to rewind now and again to catch up to the story line and characters. If you hate lawyers like I do, you'll enjoy Dickens sharp satire of the British legal system and its parallels to this day and age in which law suits never seem to die. The book is a classic and definitely worth your time, but not as entertaining as some others I have found.
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