The long, drawn-out case of Jarndyce versus Jarndyce provides the background to this novel, which takes us into Dickens' world of impoverished people on the street, lovers fallen on hard times, and the grand riches of the upper classes. It is read movingly by Sean Barrett.
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Audio is a great way to enjoy Dickens, especially as he himself believed the best way to deliver his material was to read it aloud. By turns darkly humorous, horrific, and poignant, this is great entertainment. Narrators Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher more than hold their own with the complex story and multitude of characters. Gallagher breathes new life into young Esther, portraying her with charm and intelligence and avoiding the cloying sweetness she is frequently accused of. Barrett gives weight and voice to the loftiest and lowest members of mid-nineteenth-century British society, while drawing out every ounce of humor in what can be, in the right hands, a very funny novel.
"Vigorous satire....[with] a host of interesting minor characters." (The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature)
"So much more than the diatribe against the legal system that abridgements can make it. It lends itself well to audio, told as it is in two voices."(The Times)
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