Try an audiobook on us

Dombey and Son

The Dickens Collection: An Audible Exclusive Series
Length: 41 hrs and 23 mins
5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)
Regular price: £39.99
£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Audible presents an original dramatisation of Charles Dickens' Dombey and Son, first published as Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son: Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation

A literary masterpiece in which Dickens' gift for vivid characterisation is at its best, this is the story of a powerful man whose inability to appreciate those around him leads to his lonely demise and, later, his possible redemption. 

This edition features an exclusive introduction written and narrated by John Mullan, professor of English at University College London. 

About the book: 

Paul Dombey, owner of the shipping company Dombey and Son, dreams of having a male heir to take on the family business. With only one daughter to speak of, his resentment grows and is often manifested through the neglectful if not abusive treatment of his wife, Fanny, and child, Florence. 

Following the long-awaited birth of a boy, Mr Dombey triumphantly throws himself into the care and education of his pride and joy, his son, Paul, indifferent to the death of his wife following an arduous labour. 

As his daughter grows in strength, beauty and kindness, his son's sickly disposition makes him weaker and weaker by the day. Despite the bond and friendship forged between the siblings, Mr Dombey continues to despise and resent Florence, and after a period of intended rest by the seaside, the family is once more rocked by a tragic death. 

A touching and unexpectedly uplifting story of change, forgiveness and familial love, Dombey and Son will keep you gripped, moved and wholly surprised until the end. 

About the author: 

With his father incarcerated, Charles Dickens had to abandon his studies at a young age and set to work in a factory so as to support himself. Despite his short-lived education, Dickens went on to write 15 novels, various articles, novellas and short stories. These include Hard Times, Bleak House, Oliver Twist, Barnaby Rudge, Little Dorrit and A Tale of Two Cities. He lectured and led campaigns for children's rights and education and arguably became the ultimate self-made man. 

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Dickens is Dickens; Owen Teale is brilliant

This is the second Audible Dickens Collection offering I've listened to, and I honestly didn't think it could possibly be as good as the first (Miriam Margolyes' superb reading of Bleak House). But if anything I've enjoyed it more. I wasn't familiar with the book and found it more interesting and more satisfying than I was expecting. And I haven't seen much of Owen Teale's work, so the range and depth of his performance was a revelation, and a very happy discovery. Of course, I'm now expecting great things from the rest of the series. There's plenty and then some to find fault with in Dickens, but to a skilled voice actor he is an absolute gift; they ought to be queueing up to get a piece of this Collection. Very good indeed.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Pride against simplicity and love

A story needs perseverance to continue as it appears grey and Morgue like. The characters are all extremes which are difficult to believe. Gradually you get drawn into the humour hidden behind them. The length initially off putting finishes not wanting it to end. The narrator has incredible talent each voice different and memorable. I am sad to finish.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dr
  • 20-10-18

Don't miss this one!

What a great story, fantastically read and performed. Characters so well described you can live with them, feel their joy, sorrow, dispair. I wanted to binge listen to this from beginning to end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Genius

This is a work of genius, performed by a master - Owen Teale is superb. This is a thrilling story of love and redemption, with mesmerising characters and a terrific plot- Dickens at his absolute best.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adam
  • Dunton, United Kingdom
  • 16-03-19

Pride before the fall

A sweeping, towering epic of a family in the grip of a terrible pride, Dombey and Son does not enjoy the same time in the popular sun as Dicken’s other better-known works. But more people should know it, it is Dicken’s and his richest, most ebullient, funniest, darkest, most dramatic and terrible.
The titular Dombey is the head of a wealthy, celebrated London firm, to do with shipping, I think. The novel opens with tragedy when Mrs Dombey dies during the birth of a much-anticipated son to y much carry on the family name. Dombey has a little daughter, Florence, but Florence suffers from the disadvantage of being a girl, and so is of limited value in passing on the family firm. For Dombey his pride and status is paramount. He is cold and unbending when it comes to pretty much everything else.
Meanwhile, not far away, a Mariner with a shop full of sailing goods such as compasses and telescopes, Sol Gill, and his friend Captain Cuttle, and a young lad called Walter, bond and plot their lives. Sol is trying to get his business ship-shape, Captain Cuttle is trying to stay out of trouble from his tyrannical landlady Mrs McStinger, and Walter has a position in the Dombey firm. But their lives will be borne by the current into the path of that great ship of business of Dombey and son. And so, this story, in these pages, is told.
At times, the book is unbearably oppressive, having at its heart the continuing emotional abuse of the young Florence. Then there is the sickly, ailing young Paul Dombey, a study in pathos. There are tyrannical childminders, educational hot-houses and more. There are the lethal plots of one of Dickens less well known but incredibly effective villains, James Carker, a manager in the Dombey firm, all smiling white teeth, flattery and machinations.
What a relief that this novel also fizzes with Dicken’s rich humour, running through his characters, their mannerisms, and turns of phrase. There is humour in the grimmest of situations, in the back and forth between his protagonists, and in the merciless authorial eye of Dickens himself, skewering the absurdity and self-importance of manoeuvring in ‘society,’ and the attempts at his gentler, more loveable flawed characters to make sense of the world and each other.
The novel has laugh out loud moments, sustained passages of unbearable tension, including the flight by stagecoach of one character and his violent end, moments of searing humanity, tragedy, pathos and redemption. In his enlightening and entertaining introduction to this audio edition, John Mullan tells us that at its first, serialised release grown men were reduced to public tears. This is a powerful work.
Owen Teale’s reading of this audio book is in a league of its own, you can almost imagine himself as Dicken’s himself in one of his public readings. He gets the humour and the drama bang on. Another insight Mullan gives in the introduction is that Dicken’s is really meant to be read aloud, it’s written that way, astonishing for works of such prodigious length.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Standout Performance by Teale

My first Audible and first Dickens and it’s set the bar pretty high! Eoin Teale’s performance really made it for me: completely bring the story to life. Great story too, if a little sentimental at some points. Would recommend.