Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £29.99

Buy Now for £29.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

This Audible Exclusive production revisits Charles Dickens’ tragi-comic novel Little Dorrit. Written during the Crimean War, it a story of fortunes won and lost and a masterly portrayal of the failings of Victorian Society, with the ever-present spectre of law enforcement and imprisonment looming over a fearful population. 

One of his later works, Dickens’ maturity shines through this masterpiece and a uniquely powerful and touching love story ensues from amongst scenes of heart-wrenching injustice.

About the book

Following the death of his beloved father, Arthur Clennam returns to his home in London in order to reunite with his wheelchair-bound mother. 

Narrowly escaping from the clutches of his former fiancée, Flora Finching, Arthur finds solace in the company of his mother’s new seamstress, the innocent and sweet Little Amy Dorrit.

The youngest of three children, Amy works hard to support her father, who, as Arthur learns, has been imprisoned in Marshalsea debtors’ prison since before her time. Without a mother to care for them, Little Dorrit and her siblings reside with Mr Dorrit, and she, being the most caring of them all, takes it upon herself to pay off his debts through her needlework. 

Wishing to find out more about their serendipitous connection and how such a girl could possibly have ended up in his mother’s well-to-do household, Arthur sets out to help Amy and uncover the Clennam’s long-held family secrets, a journey which will inevitably alter the course of both of their lives.  

About the author

Like Mr William Dorrit, Dickens’ father was held at Marshalsea debtors’ prison, the memory of which haunted Dickens for years to come and eventually inspired him to transform his childhood recollections into a book entitled Little Dorrit

At a young age, Charles Dickens had to abandon his studies and set to work in a factory so as to support himself.

Despite his short-lived education, Dickens went on to write 15 novels and various articles, novellas and short stories. He lectured and led campaigns for children's rights and education and arguably became the ultimate self-made man.

About the narrator

Juliet Stevenson CBE is an Olivier award-winning actress known for her career spanning theatre, film and television. Her film credits include Bend It Like Beckham (2002) and Truly Madly Deeply (1990). Juliet starred in Robert Icke’s 2017/2018 adaptation of Mary Stuart (Almeida & Duke of York’s Theatre) where she played not only the titular role but also the role of Elizabeth I consecutively, swapping parts at the literal flip of a coin between herself and Lia Williams. Most recently she appeared in series 2 of Riviera. Juliet’s versatility knows no bounds, and she recently collaborated with both Ruby Wax and Deborah Frances-White on a series of new comedy sketches.

Public Domain (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Little Dorrit

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    285
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    288
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    244
  • 4 Stars
    49
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect

A veritable tour de force. Juliet Stevenson's intelligence, understanding of plot and character shine through her narration of the novel. I have read Little Dorrit more than once and have seen more than one adaptation of it, but her reading brings new life and vitality to the text. Her characterisations - from Amy, to Flintwinch; from the delightful Maggie to the formidable Miss Wade - show incredible vocal and acting dexterity. The longer, often complex, narrative passages are delivered beautifully, with exactly the right tone and emphasis and she avoids any hint of mawkish sentimentality, which might tempt the lesser narrator. The episode of the death of Mr Dorrit and his brother is genuinely moving and her treatment of Amy - who grows in obvious strength, as the novel progresses - mirrors Dickens' intention perfectly. Her reading also helps to confirm my opinion that the novel contains some of the most odious figures in Dickens', amongst whom I would include Dorrit in his worst moments, however he might be redeemed in the end. Is there an equivalent of the Oscars for audiobook narration? If so, I would certainly nominate this.

14 people found this helpful

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

The best

I struggled with the Dickens stories at school, did better with them as I aged. However, the books never came to life like this one has. If there are Oscars for narration, Juliet Stevenson should get one now. This has been the best audible book I've listened to, not only for Dickens's wonderful writing but equally to Juliet's amazing narration.

7 people found this helpful

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

"Absolutely Superb"

Juliet Stevenson is simply superb as the narrator, drawing you in with all her skill to make the characters come to life with ease. The Story itself, needs no explanation a it is world famous. I cannot recommend this book enough to all those who are very familiar with the book and to those that are not, you will not be disappointed. The calibre of narration here is gold standard.

5 people found this helpful

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

A Beautiful Performance of a Wonderful Book!

I was riveted by Juliet Stevenson’s breathtaking performance of this timeless story. I became completely engrossed and feel quite lost now I have listened to it all, shedding a tear at the last few sentences. Wonderful - how Dickens would have approved of this reading! I strongly recommend this version, especially if you find Dickens difficult to read. I will be listening to it again at some point - thank you, Audible!

1 person found this helpful

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

Wonderful story beautifully performed

This book is in my view one of the best stories by one of the best writers ever. Having read it before, I knew it would be a great listen but the reading by Juliette Stevenson was sublime. Each character brought to life, a pure delight

1 person found this helpful

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

thank goodness for Juliet Stevenson

who got me through this tome of a book, without her I'd have given up

1 person found this helpful

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

Fantastic

Absolutely fantastic from start to finish, what a voice and what a story.. The best way to travel to work!

1 person found this helpful

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

Endearing story and performance

What a combination of Dickens and the attention grabbing performance of Juliet Stevenson. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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

Brilliant narration

This has the best of Dickens. It has the worst of Dickens.
It contains the wettest of Dickens's famously wet characters. It contains the most likeable, villainous, infuriating and engaging characters.
It boasts a sprawling narrative spanning Europe and a multitude of plotlines. It has a single thread throughout that brings (nearly) all the loose ends together.

But more than anything it is brought to life by the superb performance of Juliet Stevenson. I've always struggled to read Dorrit as a printed book but her performance (and it is a performance - no mere "reading") made 40 hours of joy! Such is her versatility I once had to check there wasn't a second reader involved.

She breathes distinct life into every single character but particular praise is due for her portrayal of the nasal Mr Pancks and the rejected but kind and loyal Flora.

A true tour de force!

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

Insight into the minds of the slighted

Wonderful characters drawn by Dickens and brilliant
characterisations performed by Juliet Stevenson.
Many laugh out loud moments - the snorting of Mr. Pancks
deserves an academy award.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-07-20

Fantastic

The best written and narrated book I’ve purchased on audible. I will no doubt listen again. A+

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for anonymous
  • anonymous
  • 01-08-20

Amazing performance!

Juliet Stevenson outdid herself again. What an enjoyable book to listen to, brought to life by the talents of Ms.Stevenson. She has a repertoire of varied accents and voices making this such a rich and wonderful book to listen to. If you love Charles Dickens then you should try this audible book... you won’t regret it.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bunky
  • Bunky
  • 19-09-19

Brilliant

This is, by far, the best Audible reading ever. It may even be the best performance by anyone, anywhere. Juliet Stevenson not only brings every character to life but brings one back in time. This performance of a masterpiece is all consuming. Thank you!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Peppersfool
  • Peppersfool
  • 04-09-20

Possibly Dickens's best.

A wonderful story, and the narrator was fabulous. It was a marvel listening to her characterization; she gave each a distinctive voice. Thoroughly enjoyed 'Little Dorrit.'

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for F Shaw
  • F Shaw
  • 02-08-20

Spectacular performance of somewhat silly plot

I would lister to Juliet Stevenson read almost any dialogue, she is remarkable.
It is not Dickens best plot, quite syrupy, but with some wonderful Dickens characters, really brought to life by the reader.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Steve De Pangher
  • Steve De Pangher
  • 28-06-20

Amazing performance!

If I could give six stars to Juliet Stevenson, I would. Little Dorrit is a complex story, even for Dickens, but Stevenson’s narration saves the day.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C. Scheidlinger
  • C. Scheidlinger
  • 03-04-20

Story and narration superb

Dickens is at his best in this long novel, with a large cast of characters and a diverse set of locales. His social criticism is on elegant display and brings some dry humor to the story. The characters would be hard to keep straight were it not for the incredible narrative powers of Juliet Stevenson. Each and every one has a distinctive voice and she is unerring in her performance of them all. I would listen to her read a phone book, she is that good. I loved every minute of this long and engaging book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for NomDeGuerre
  • NomDeGuerre
  • 01-03-20

Incredibile story performed by incredible Juliet Stevenson

I dare say Little Dorrit the best Charles Dickens. There is nothing better than Charles Dickens performed by Juliet Stevenson. Particularly her portrait of Flora is to die for. I shall listen to everything performed by her.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for David P
  • David P
  • 24-02-20

A Great Novel, A Great Narrator

This is one of Dickens's great novels. As usual, Juliet Stevenson gives an utterly flawless reading. It's impossible to think of anything she could have done better. There are scenes and characters you will never forget. HIGHLY recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Emily Martin
  • Emily Martin
  • 20-09-19

Such a joy!

Wonderfully read by Juliet Stevenson, this meaty classic had me laughing out loud and also brought me to tears. There are so many great characters and a lot of wisdom and astute observations of human behavior.

3 people found this helpful