Pickwick Papers (Penguin Popular Classics) Paperback – 25 Aug 1994
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It is a lot of money, but it's also a lot of wonderfully funny stories, brilliantly read, about four trouble-prone Victorian gents pontificating, spooning, wining, dining, trundling about in stage coaches and meeting characters only Dickens could imagine and bring to vivid life. --Sue Arnold, The Guardian
In Dickens's first novel, the many adventures, or perhaps misadventures, of Mr Samuel Pickwick and his traveling companions are detailed in a series of interrelated vignettes ranging from the frightening to the absurd. David Timson is a one-man ensemble who skillfully portrays dozens of characters. He is equally adept at chilling the spine with the gravelly, breathy tones of a madman as he is at tickling the ribs with the clipped speech and perfect comedic timing of a bold charlatan. Even his female voices, while seemingly overdramatic, capture the delicate nature of Dickensian women, who are oftentimes prone to fainting spells and fits of hysteria. Like the novel itself, Timson creates a superb portrait of nineteenth-century England that Dickens himself might have declared 'a capital performance.' --- Winner of AudioFile Earphones award --M.D., AudioFile
Audiobook fans and others who have put off tackling Dickens's massive first novel will be pleased to find this splendid recording. Writing under the pseudonym of Boz, Dickens made his name as a 'humorous observer of the habits of London life in a series of articles' that he expanded into this title that includes some familiar topics and stories (a Christmas ghost story and Mr Pickwick's stint in debtor's prison) that Dickens expanded in later novels. Timson skillfully navigates the sprawling prose, reading at a brisk pace that matches the galloping and somewhat slapdash plot. Dickens's memorable characters shine through Timson s impeccable performance, certain to evoke laughter and sympathetic feelings for the characters. The large cast is populated with many lower and middle class provincials: lawyers and clerks, county magistrates, innkeepers, waiters, coachmen, each requiring a distinctive British accent, reflective of class and background. Pickwick speaks in genteel tones, coming across as good-natured, somewhat naïve, and old fashioned. Except for Pickwick, many of the characters, especially the women, come across as caricatures, both in Dickens's writing and Timson's portrayals. Sam Weller, Pickwick's manservant, with his outspokenness and cockney accent, is a clear stand out. Timson obviously relishes his role as reader of this nostalgic tale, rich in broad satire and clever irony. He masterfully brings Dickens's classic to a wide variety of listeners, including students. --Joyce Saricks, Booklist
With true artistry, narrator David Timson brings to life the misadventures of the Pickwick Club. In Dickens's first novel, Samuel Pickwick (founder and president of the eponymous club) and three 'Pickwickians' travel outside the comforts of London to document life in the English countryside. What follows is a succession of incidents filled with eccentric characters and social commentary. Clocking in around 32 hours, this audio edition would be an arduous task for any narrator, but Timson embraces this intimidating assignment with admirable aplomb. Whatever the scenario presented in prose, he matches the tone and keeps the story moving at a steady clip. He perfectly captures the author's many characters, providing spot-on vocal characterization for each one. This is an outstanding listen for both fans of Dickens and those new to his work. --- Starred Review --Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Charles Dickens's first novel and comic masterpiece --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
However, from the first chapter I was hooked and can safely say that the novel surpassed any expectations the film had given me. Never before have I encountered a piece of literature that has made me laugh so much. The novel depicts the adventures of Mr Pickwick and his friends as they travel the country in order to observe human nature. Beyond this, there is only the faintest notion of a plot but this is the intention of the author due to the monthly form in which the book was published. The novel pretends to be nothing more than it is.
And what the novel IS, is jolly good fun. It does not take itself seriously and spans all kinds of humour, ranging from the verbal kind to memorable scenes of slapstick.This is the book by which all other comedies, be they written or cinematic, should be judged! Each new situation is unique and virtually all the characters, be they major ones or minor, are so vividly drawn that they remain with the reader a long while after the novel ends. Each of them from Mr Pickwick to Dodson and Fog are distinct, and what is even more wonderful is that the reader can laugh both at, and with, the characters.Read more ›
I confess I felt at first rather daunted by the prospect due to the sheer size of this novel (in comparison: Oliver Twist (Oxford World's Classics) is a mere 480 pages, Hard Times (Oxford World's Classics) just over 300 pages), but as soon as I got started I was hooked instantly, and every time I opened the book to read on (an urge I could barely suppress, even during working hours) I was immediately transported back to the England of the 1820s, in the delightful company of Mr. Samuel Pickwick and his companions.
In a way, this is surprising as 'The Pickwick Papers' has little, if anything, of a plot. Mr. Pickwick founds an amateur club 'to enlarge his sphere of observation, to the advancement of knowledge, and the diffusion of learning' (as it says on page 1), and the rest of the book chronicles the adventurous travels across England of Mr. Pickwick and his 3 companions (Mr. Snodgrass, Mr. Tupman, and Mr. Winkle). So why would one feel this incessant appetite to read on and find out 'what happens next'?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Believe it or not: my first reading of PP. I thoro'ly enjoyed it.Published 2 months ago by Dr. Piotr J. Masiak
This is a con.The free bonus audiobook which when sampled at the time was a good easily understood english voice, turned out to be a librovox recording with a reader with a strong... Read morePublished 6 months ago by marydysart
Perfect condition but kind of slow delivery. The edition is good but not as much as I would have liked. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Valentina M.