I have never been drawn to the work of Charles Dickens. The social needs of his era were enormous and I thought depressing. So when I had a choice in my English Lit. course at college, I chose to study Austen instead of Dickens.
Now, after several friends have told me how wonderful the BBC adaptation of Little Dorrit is, I have taken the plunge into the Dickens waters!
As a subscriber to Audible downloadable audio books, I was able to grab a real bargain – the full unabridged Little Dorrit, read by one of my favourite actors and voice talents, Anton Lesser. Over 35 hours of audio, for one monthly credit with Audible. It was so big a file that it took four separate downloads to grab it all!
So far I have listened to three chapters of the most wonderful description of places and people, got inside their heads, smiles at Dickens’ humour, wit and irony and am thoroughly looking forward to another chapter tonight! The reviews on Audible are right. Anton Lesser brings the very best out of this work, and makes the world of Dickens understandible to us.
As I use my eyes all day at work (mostly on the PC) I find reading very taxing. That is why I am especially delighted to have discoivered a wealth of audio books – free to download!
There are several sources, but the one I found for Cranford is here. Librivox has many of the out of print books already available, and more are being prepared all the time.
The Gutenberg project gives links to other sites which I may explore later.
I have begun listening to Cranford and am enjoying it. Mrs Gaskell’s writing is more appealing to me since I have watched the excellent BBC adaptation of Cranford. It is intriguing to see how, from a few sentences in the original, the BBC adaptors have built rounded characters, and the actresses have added reality, flesh and heart to them.
Regarding the audio version, it is of note that the readers seem to be mainly American. That does not detract too much from the enjoyment but I did at first find it a little surprising to hear such English literature read with a Trans-Atlantic accent! But these downloads are free, and that bargain is not to be sniffed at!