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Pickwick Papers (Wordsworth Collection) (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback – May 5, 1992
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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. --Publishers Weekly - June 2012
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. "'Don't be long,' said the spinster aunt affectionately. 'Long? Away? From you? Cruel charmer,' and Mr Jingles skipped playfully up to the spinster aunt and imprinted a chaste kiss on her lips and danced out of the room. 'Dear man,' said the spinster as the door closed after him. 'Rum old girl,' said Mr Jingles as he walked down the passage." To get a marriage licence and take all her money, of course. --Sue Arnold, The Guardian
Timson's irrepressible performance of this rollicking romp through 1830s England in Dickens's first novel invites listeners along as Pickwick and his crew ramble through the countryside. With broad satire and clever irony, Timson proves a delightful guide through slapdash adventures and a host of eccentric characters. --The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Despite its length, Pickwick never tries your patience. It's delightfully humorous from beginning to end. Samuel Pickwick is the bumbling, middle-aged, wealthy namesake of this novel. He's the leader of a small group of single men that gets into all sorts of mischief, both physical and social. Booze is rampant. Apparently liquor back then was much more a part of daily life than today; everywhere these guys go they party and get drunk. They get into trouble with the law, women, unsavory characters, and more.
Characterization is superb. This is one of the few novels I've read for which I can actually say that I got to know the characters. In most books I've read, the characters remain two-dimensional and the plot is what carries the story. In Pickwick, the *characters* are the essence of the story and the novel wouldn't be memorable at all if a lesser author were attempting to breathe life into these people.
The Penguin edition includes a decent collection of endnotes to help explain unfamiliar portions of the text. Nevertheless, there were still quite a few words and concepts peculiar to early 19th century England that I didn't grasp.Read more ›
"The Pickwick Papers" is one of Dickens's earliest works, written when the author was a mere twenty-four years old. You wouldn't know his age by reading the story, though. "Pickwick" is a work that delivers healthy doses of sophisticated humor, keen observations on pressing social issues, romance, and a mature knowledge of human behavior. It's of course fiction, although Dickens presents the story as a true series of events documented by the "Pickwick Club," a social organization founded by retired businessman and all around merry fellow Samuel Pickwick.Read more ›
I was willing to put up with it until I came to the scene in the parlor at Manor Farm, which appears to be missing some text. Either that, or Dickens is more post-modern than I thought, trailing off (with no punctuation) in the middle of a sentence.
Amazon needs to do some quality control on this edition, and remove it from the store. There are plenty of others, why waste our time by listing inferior product?
The central characters are old Trent, his granddaughter Nell, the moneylender Daniel Quilp, young Kit and the wonderful Richard Swiveller. Of these, the spotlessly pure Nell and the irredeemably evil Quilp are the moral opposites around which the book revolves, old Trent is rather a pathetic figure, while Kit's sturdy progress from poverty to respectability makes for happier reading. However, it is the moral journey of Swiveller, which perhaps reflects the geographic journey undertaken by Nell and her grandfather, which is the real joy of this book. He enters the book in the guise of a rogue, involved in dubious intrigues with Nell's no-good brother and also with the repulsive Quilp. However, from the time that Quilp gets him a job as a clerk in the office of Samson Brass and his sister, the awful Miss Brass, Swiveller's basic decency and natural good humour begin to reveal themselves, and his soliloquies and dialogue provide many hilarious moments from that point on.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really love Dickens, and have read many of his other books, but it took me a long time to get into this book. Once I did, if found it to be a wandering minstrel of a story. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Juanita Shrader
Loved the sometimes bumbling adventures of Mr. Pickwick although I had trouble coming up with a picture of him in my mind. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Barbara McNerney
This is a typical Sickens novel and features the angelic child Little Nell, whose patient suffering is largely brought about by her gambling addict grandfather. Read morePublished 1 month ago by caligal
The Old Curiosity Shop is the first (of many) Dickens novels I have read that failed to satisfy. First of all, the title has nothing to do with the story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by jjflash15
I first read the Pickwick Papers as a teenager nearly 40 years ago, and enjoyed it greatly then. But I either didn't then appreciate, or (more likely) had forgotten, just how... Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Leach