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Old 03-15-2016, 08:29 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,981
Dickens fans - should I stick with David Copperfield?

I heard about the new Audible version of David Copperfield read by Richard Armitage recently, and decided to give it a go - I have not read any Dickens (except for A Christmas Carol), and am a big fan of listening to well-read audiobooks during my longish commute to and from work.

I love Dickens's characterizations and observations about human nature, and Armitage is an excellent reader - but wow, the story is so depressing...I'm at the point where David is first back from Salem House with his mother and Peggotty, and am so dreading the return of the Murdstones to the scene that I've been putting off continuing...

With 30+ hours of listening to go, should I stick with it, or just read the Wikipedia synopsis to find out what happens and move on to something else?

Last edited by zombywoof; 03-15-2016 at 08:30 PM.
Old 03-15-2016, 09:16 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 41,096
Copperfield, though Dickens favorite, is mid-level Dickens. Not bad, but not his best.*

Things do look up, and there are some very good character surprises as the story goes on. And the depression parts are there to make the character arc work better.

*I'd go with Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities.
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:23 PM
stillownedbysetters stillownedbysetters is offline
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Posts: 3,092
I'll second "Great Expectations". It is my personal favorite of the Dickens novels.
Old 03-15-2016, 09:45 PM
hogarth hogarth is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 6,849
"David Copperfield" is probably my favourite Dickens novel. I prefer it to "Tale of Two Cities" or "Great Expectations" (for example) because:

(a) I think it's funnier (Barkis, Aunt Trotwood, Mr Dick, Mrs Gummidge and especially Mr Micawber are wonderful comic characters), and

(b) the autobiographical elements give it a taste of realism that some of his other books lack.

Don't get me wrong -- there's plenty of Dickens's typical mawkishness and ham-fisted plot developments in "David Copperfield", but I very much enjoyed it.


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