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Bleak House is a satirical look at the Byzantine legal system in London as it consumes the minds and talents of the greedy and nearly destroys the lives of innocents--a contemporary tale indeed. Dickens's tale takes us from the foggy dank streets of London and the maze of the Inns of Court to the peaceful countryside of England. Likewise, the characters run from murderous villains to virtuous girls, from a devoted lover to a "fallen woman," all of whom are affected by a legal suit in which there will, of course, be no winner. The first-person narrative related by the orphan Esther is particularly sweet. The articulate reading by the acclaimed British actor Paul Scofield, whose distinctive broad English accent lends just the right degree of sonority and humor to the text, brings out the color in this classic social commentary disguised as a Victorian drama. However, to abridge Dickens is, well, a Dickensian task, the results of which make for a story in which the author's convoluted plot lines and twists of fate play out in what seems to be a fast-forward format. Listeners must pay close attention in order to keep up with the multiple narratives and cast of curious characters, including the memorable Inspector Bucket and Mr. Guppy. Fortunately, the publisher provides a partial list of characters on the inside jacket. (Running time: 3 hours; 2 cassettes) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bleak House is such a natural for audio that it comes as no surprise to read in Peter Ackroyd's biography of Dickens that he himself read it aloud to Wilkie Collins and his own family. No matter how good he was as a readerAand he did go on to present public readings regularly after thisADickens could not have performed better than Robert Whitfield does here. With a motley cast of characters to challenge the skill of any narrator, his brilliant dramatizations range from a homeless street urchin to an arrogant barrister, from a canny old windbag to a high-minded heroine who deserves the happy ending Dickens affords her. Whitfield is also as persuasive as the indignant voice of the author himself, attacking both the injustice of the law and the cruel indifference of society. This may be one of the most Dickensian novels Dickens ever wrote. Highly recommended.AJo Carr, Sarasota, FL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
just awesome, and the kindle is the best thing to read dickens onPublished 1 month ago by Kelly Henderson
I loved the book and would have given it five stars except that I bought the Kindle (Vintage) version which contains several distracting idiosyncrasies; chiefly, interspersed... Read morePublished 11 months ago by "Bomber"
I loved this book. I have read a few by Charles Dickens and this together with David Copperfield is my favorite. Read morePublished 18 months ago by c b
I loved Bleak House. This book keeps you thinking from one chapter to another and wondering what will become of the characters.
Again, a wonderful classic full of suspense.
I've only read 1/3 of the book so far, and unlike most of Dickens' books, the beginning is really BLEAK, and slow-moving.Published on June 28 2013 by Carla
I am very pleased with this product. It was as shown and I look forward to reading it! The shipping was fast and efficient and not too priceyPublished on Oct. 25 2011 by Sheri Potts
I've read other Dickens novels and found them -- even with their inevitable digressions -- to hang together much better than this one. Read morePublished on Dec 2 2010 by Tim S.
How to describe the story? I leave to better reviewers than I. A long and complicated tale about a dispute over a will and a family inheritance that destroys most of the litigants,... Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2008 by Misfit