This is my review of the book “The Old Curiosity Shop” by Charles Dickens, which I listened to recently as driving. The version I listened to was a librivox recording https://librivox.org/the-old-curiosity-shop-by-charles-dickens-2/ and was beautifully read by Mil Nicholson. It takes over 24 hours to listen to so as you can work out I have been doing this for a number of weeks.
Maybe it is a male – female thing, but I found this story very hard to concentrate on as driving around, whereas Pauline had no trouble following the story. To me it was a series of Victorian cameo's about life in the mid eighteenth century, linked together as a tragedy.
The gist of the story line is as follows – To start with it is the story of Little Nell, a beautiful and virtuous young girl who lives with her grandfather in his shop of curiosities. Her grandfather loves her dearly, and Nell does not complain, but she lives a lonely existence without friends of her own age. Her only friend is Kit, an honest young lad who works at the shop, and whom she is teaching to write.
Unbeknownst to Nell, her grandfather is obsessed with their precarious financial position and is attempting to make Nell a good inheritance by winning at cards. He keeps these nocturnal activities a secret, but borrows heavily from the evil Quilp, a dwarf, in order to raise new capital. In the end, he gambles away what little money they own, and Quilp seizes the opportunity to take possession of the shop and make Nell's and her grandfather's lives a misery.
Indeed, her grandfather suffers a breakdown, which leaves him bereft of his wits. Courageously, Nell decides to escape Quilp, and she and her grandfather run away to the country to live as beggars, travelling into the Midlands of England. Quilp and his sly minions and accomplices, try and chase them, until circumstances bring Quilp to a stop.....
This was book 20 week 15 fiction 18 (audio book 4) non fiction 2
Friends, this is my review of the book Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens, which I have listened to as an audio book over the last few weeks. The version I listened to was the Librivox version
The book was published in 1848, and is based at that time. In all aspects this book is a massive work, and the story covers the life of Paul Dombey. Though he is the central character there are numerous subplots based around the characters that interrelate with him. The story concerns Paul Dombey, the wealthy owner of the shipping company of the book's title, whose dream is to have a son to continue his business. The book begins when his son is born, and Paul's wife dies shortly after giving birth. Paul already has a daughter – Florence, but as a girl she is totally neglected. Tragedy occurs, and Florence’s plight worsens. As the years go by, Mr. Dombey sees to it that the man she loves, his employee, is sent far away. Mr Dombey remarries, but his marriage is eventually destroyed, his fortune gone, he becomes destitute. Finally he accepts help from his daughter, and life changes for him.
As it is a historical major written work there are numerous detailed reviews of the plot and story lines, some in themselves major written works. The key thing to this audio version is the reader Mil Nicholson http://www.act2sc3.com/ who is quite brilliant.
As an audio book it is over 40 hours in length, so was quite a major commitment, but through the use of extensive clever voices she manages to bring the story to life and manages to bring to life all the wonderful characters as they interweave throughout the tale
As a book this was an enjoyable, fascinating story, made even better by the brilliant vocalisation by Mil Nicholson. I cannot recommend this enough. So this was book 42 week 31 fiction 39 (11 on audio) non fiction 3
Friends this is my review of the book Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, which I listened to recently as a Librivox recording. http://librivox.org/nicholas-nickleby-by-charles-dickens/
Dickens is someone I have steered clear of till now, as I studied one of this books at school, and we spent so long dissecting each chapter, that the story line got lost and I thought he was dull and boring. So it was with mixed feelings that we started to listen to this book. Especially as the recording we were listening to was over 35 hours in length, so it was going to be quite a commitment to get to the end.
In fact it was totally addictive, and this was in no small part by the skill of the reader Mil Nicholson http://www.act2sc3.com/ and she claims on her website that as of January 2013 she has had over 100,000 downloads of her various recording on Librivox. Mil manages to bring the characters to life, through her clever use of various voices.
So what is the story about – even though it was written over 150 years ago, it is so up to date in it's themes. Banking and money lending scandals, sex slavery, child abuse, and poor schooling. Add to that illegal duelling, assorted scams, the theatre and various romances.
As the book is a so called classic there is great detail written on the plot elsewhere http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Nickleby for example, which I am not going to repeat. But in essence the book is an adventure/romance about Nicholas' life from childhood and how he and his family goes from riches to poverty and back to riches again, with all the excitement of the various themes I have mentioned thrown in the pot.
This was a very unexpected enjoyable book so much so we are now listening to another Dickens epic during our travels.
This was book 24 week 18 fiction 22 (5 on audio) non fiction 2
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.