The Old Curiosity Shop

  • by Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by George Hagan
  • 26 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Old Curiosity Shop is a novel by Charles Dickens. The plot follows the life of Nell Trent and her grandfather, both residents of The Old Curiosity Shop in London. Charles Dickens is arguably the greatest novelist England ever produced. His innate comic genius and shrewd depictions of Victorian life - along with his memorable characters - have made him beloved by readers the world over. Please note: This is a vintage recording. The audio quality may not be up to modern day standards.

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Characters Brought to Life

'One would have to have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without dissolving into tears...of laughter.'

(Oscar Wilde)

If this was Wilde's rather unkind view of the novel's main character, then what hope have we, at the beginning of the 21st Century of taking Dickens' novel seriously.

There are however many things to recommend the novel, above all the author's generous sympathy to mankind which suffuses the whole tale with a warm glow. There is the portrayal of the demonic Daniel Quilp, deliciously unprincipled and there is the sense of being transported to another world. Totally alien, this is a time and place where death was expected, prepared for and frequently talked about. What is baffling to a modern reader is why any of Dickens' contemporary readers can have been in any doubt about his heroine's fate would be. She frequents graveyards, talks to sextons and reflects upon an early death so often that the author must have be exasperated that anyone should doubt the turn his plot would take.

Though not the easiest or most appealing of his works for the modern reader, there is plenty here to interest the Dickens devotee and as usual the reliable George Hagan brings the characters to life unerringly.
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- Steve Flook

Book Details

  • Release Date: 21-08-2009
  • Publisher: RNIB