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Extended Audio Sample Bleak House, by Charles Dickens Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (31,763 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Dickens Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781400179084
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Bleak House opens in the twilight of foggy London, where fog grips the city most densely in the Court of Chancery. The obscure case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, in which an inheritance is gradually devoured by legal costs, the romance of Esther Summerson and the secrets of her origin, the sleuthing of Detective Inspector Bucket and the fate of Jo the crossing-sweeper, these are some of the lives Dickens invokes to portray London society, rich and poor, as no other novelist has done. Bleak House, in its atmosphere, symbolism and magnificent bleak comedy, is often regarded as the best of Dickens—it is so inventive in its competing plots and styles that it eludes interpretation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Perhaps Bleak Houseis his best novel…When Dickens wrote Bleak House he had grown up.”

    G. K. Chesterton

  • “A contemporary tale indeed.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “This may be one of the most Dickensian novels Dickens ever wrote. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/20/2014

    " This was a long book and took me months to read. The characters, who are numerous, and their lives/environments are well described and so as the story winds on (and on), an alternative world is nicely created. It is clear why it is a classic. And the notion of a family legal battle that stretches on for decades is, to me, not as far-fetched as one might think. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat Howe | 2/19/2014

    " It took me three tries to get past page 100; once I did, I felt like I had lived with these people. I love Jarndyce, Mr. George, Detective Bucket, and, oddly, Lord Dedlock. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorraine | 2/16/2014

    " 1993 was my second reading. I think the first was in college, either 1974 or 1975. Love the BBC series, too! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bobo Berens | 2/10/2014

    " Dickens' best, longest, weirdest book. Duh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terri R | 2/6/2014

    " I really loved this book. The characters are very complex and the story is quite compelling. Needless to say, the book is brilliantly written with beautiful imagery and language. However, the story of Bleak House unfolds in a slow, methodical manner that ends in an act of surprising and selfless love. A beautiful love story in a surprising way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lusekelo Munene | 1/28/2014

    " The book was good, I liked the story of the main character however, I got bored of the other characters and in the end, I did not understand the book as I should have or the chancery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Morgan Bruyneel | 1/15/2014

    " Just a little too slow for the nowaday reader. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christina | 12/20/2013

    " The book was ok. Many chapters dragged and could have been done without to the story. And the ending was completely predictable from about the 100th page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Anderson | 10/25/2013

    " Dated narrative and contrived, but a page-turner nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vickie | 8/30/2013

    " A very long novel that I eventually understood and liked. It had so many twists and turns. It all worked out in the end. Some very sad moments in time due to greed of the times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Phyllis | 7/26/2013

    " I'd give it 10 stars if I could. Loved this book. I was sorry to have it end. Lots of characters to keep track of but Dickens brings it all together perfectly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carfig | 12/2/2012

    " The lawsuit that never dies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane Örer | 11/13/2012

    " This is my favourite Dicken's novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 7/15/2012

    " Hopes, on such an unnecessary dream is just dwindled away while the family ties become even more strained. My lesson from this book can be respect, admire, appreciate what little you have and take care of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 1/30/2012

    " While it started slowly, the book did pick up midway through and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Filled with humorous gibes at society, this book is a love story, a comedy, a mystery, and a tragedy all rolled into one. Definitely an enjoyable read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gregory Knapp | 12/8/2011

    " One of the greatest novels in English. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana Francis | 11/3/2011

    " I think this is my favorite Dickens book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hillary Hunt | 10/28/2011

    " Despite the fact that this book is in fact bleak, I thought it was great. Great story telling, great characters. My only complaint is Dickens need to make his heroines so freaking sweet and vanilla. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jameschneider007 | 6/25/2011

    " Taking me forever to read, but wow, this guy can write. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deusprimus | 6/20/2011

    " One of Dicken's best. The characters have a lot of depth, and there is not a loose end by the conclusion. Now, if I could just figure out a way to choke the life out of Mr. Skimpole..... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaija | 6/19/2011

    " What amazed me the most was the knowledge that this was written for serialized publication, and that other than what was printed in the newspaper/journal, Dickens had no back-up version of the text. Keeping all the events and characters in order and without a hitch in the plot... Simply astounding. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 6/14/2011

    " LONGEST READ EVER! A classic, though again, the length detoured my interest at times, though it is well crafted and the characters are intricate and diverse. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven | 6/14/2011

    " IF you liked Dickens this is a great book. Talks about society and relationships with a lot of detail given by Dickens. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deborah | 6/8/2011

    " Might have been better if someone other than wordy Mr. Charles Dickens wrote. The man needed an editor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Henk | 6/7/2011

    " Allmost as good as the TV-series :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elva | 6/5/2011

    " in my opinion, it's his best novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 6/1/2011

    " Had to have my dose of Dickens! Now I'm set for a while... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ren | 6/1/2011

    " Too slow for my taste not as intriguing as some of his others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brendan | 5/19/2011

    " Chesterton and Lewis had both rated Bleak House and Dickens' best, and I can well believe it -- despite the spontaneous combustion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 andy | 5/13/2011

    " I had to read it in five days and can't remember anything about it. But I liked it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah R | 4/29/2010

    " Best Dickens book in my estimation. The chancery scenes are sometimes difficult to get through for first time readers, but the story line is excellent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 8/19/2009

    " Absolutely amazing!! Probably my favorite Dickens. "

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