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David Copperfield, with eBook Audiobook, by Charles Dickens Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Charles Dickens Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9781400181742
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (74,363 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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David Copperfield is Charles Dickens' most autobiographical novel and, like his other works, exposes the underbelly of human life in Victorian society. It starts with David Copperfield's unhappy childhood. David's father dies when he is young and his mother marries an unpleasant man who beats David. One day, David decides to retaliate and bites his stepfather's hand, upon which he is sent away to boarding school. However, with his mother's death, David's stepfather has him removed from the school and makes him work in a factory.

This incident is taken directly from Charles Dickens' own life. When Dickens' father went to prison as a result of unpaid debts, young Charles was forced to work at a boot blacking factory from 8 am to 8 pm, walking three miles to get to work and back. This episode of his youth is echoed in David's being forced to do the same. Eventually, however, David moves away and gets his aunt, Betsey Trotwood, to take him in. Betsey is eccentric but does not treat him badly and David continues his education.

As a grown man, David becomes a proctor, another incident taken from Dickens' own life, since Dickens first trained to be a lawyer and then realized that it wasn't the profession for him. David falls in love with his boss' daughter, Dora, and marries her. She is essentially a spoilt child who has no idea about housekeeping but they love each other and they're happy. Meanwhile, David's school friend Steerforth persuades David's old nurse's daughter, Little Em'ly, to run away with him, thereby ruining her, since he has no intention of marrying her.

As an adult, David comes into contact with a large cast of characters and, each time, he must consult his heart and decide who to trust and who to avoid. When Dora dies of a miscarriage, David ends up marrying his childhood friend, Agnes, who, unlike Dora, has a great deal of common sense. Given that Dickens is a sentimentalist, he makes sure that everyone gets what they deserve. David eventually gfinds happiness while the evildoers must suffer for their crimes.

Dickens' life story is an inspiring one because he rose above his mean beginnings, becoming a reporter and later, a fiction writer. He married an editor's daughter and was with her for twenty years, fathering ten children before he fell in love with an actress half his age and moved in with her instead. He wrote fifteen novels and many more short stories and non-fiction articles. He also did many readings of his works, really acting out the various parts. However, the strain of all this work finally proved too much for him and he suffered two strokes, which finally led to his death.

Download David Copperfield now from The Audio Bookstore for an in-depth look at Victorian society and mores. Even though Dickens wrote so many years ago, his insight into human nature was so great that his characters resonate with us even today.

David Copperfield is the quintessential novel by England's most beloved novelist. Based in part on Dickens's own life, it is the story of a young man's journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among its gloriously vivid cast of characters, he encounters his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; the frivolous, enchanting Dora; and one of literature's great comic creations, the magnificently impecunious Mr. Micawber—a character resembling Dickens's own father.

In David Copperfield—the novel he described as his "favorite child"—Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of his most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure. Download and start listening now!


Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 2/2/2014

    " Another in my Dickens Saga - I first read this when I was about 11. I think you really get into David copperfield's character as he grows form a boy to a man - The bit parts are brilliantly drawn, and dickens' description of the ferocious storm in which Ham Peggotty meets his end is as visually brilliant as any great Oil painting or photograpf "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennie | 1/27/2014

    " Felt like it took me forever to read but I always enjoy Dickens. I love his quirky way of describing things and his characters are well-developed and easy to imagine. The funny thing with this book, though, is I felt like I never really knew David Copperfield himself as well as other characters. Some might think things ended too rosy but I didn't think so. I think the beauty of the story is that David learned to be happy where he was (with Dora) and I think he really did love her. I think it was only with maturity and life experience that he recognized his relationship with Agnes. Mr. Micawber was hilarious although I think he would have driven me crazy in real life. Loved Traddles, Betsey and Pegotty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maryann | 1/15/2014

    " Ahh, I love Dickens. Fantastic story and loveable characters. The only part that left me completely irritated was when David was wooing Dora. She was painfully immature, whiny and ridiculous & it rankled me that he ate it up. Otherwise everything ended all tied up with a bow in standard Dickens style, which being the simple, happy-ending girl I am, made me content. I even loved his usual extreme coincidences he brings into almost every story. In a modern story I don't think an author could get away with it, but it works for me! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dustin | 12/16/2013

    " I got 25% of the way through this book and felt I arrived at a satisfying stopping point. It was an ok read, but not very compelling. I might pick it up again some other time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abiha | 12/13/2013

    " A superb novel but I must say that it is a pretty lengthy story.sometimes it has digressions which can make a reader exhausted but it is not the wastage of time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ä’na | 12/1/2013

    " I love London in that time, story is amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 11/25/2013

    " An enforced assignment of "Great Expectations" in high school turned me off Dickens for life, or so I thought for the next 30 years, until a friend told me how much he was enjoying the books much later in life. I began with "David Copperfield" - Dickens' own favorite - and found myself completely absorbed after only a few chapters. Written in serial form, the story of a young boy's growth into manhood, accompanied by many reversals in fortune, love, and happiness, is so well-told that we forgive the implausible plot elements (characters who miraculously recur in Copperfield's life). There are passages of terrific writing, athough a characteristic of Dickens' style is its naturalness -- the writing doesn't call attention to itself, even when it is extraordinary, and one doesn't sense a giant ego wielding the pen. In the end, what distinguishes "David Copperfield" the most for me are the finely-drawn, absolutely memorable characters -- from the protagonist himself to his villanous step-father and step-aunt; his beloved nurse, Peggoty; his idolized schoolmate Steerforth; the voluble and continually ruined Mr. Micawber; the steady, faithful Agnes; and one of the English language's most unforgettable antagonists, the writhing, fawning, ever 'umble Uriah Heep -- through whom Dickens explores human nature and human society. I read "David Copperfield" on the Kindle app on my Android phone - it was a free download, and I liked being able to carry this hefty book around with me wherever I went. One unfortunate aspect of reading this way is that I had no idea what page I was on -- and, unbeknownst to me, "David Copperfield has many, many pages: 950+ in fact. Before I realized that, I couldn't understand why the location indicator barely moved after each reading session! If I have any criticism of the book, it's that it went on and on, especially toward the end. I did skim some sections, but most of the time read more attentively than usual. My reading experience couldn't have been more different from that long-ago, well-established prejudice. As a mature adult, I could easily see the brilliance I'd failed to understand when young: the excellence of the writing in service to both story, and the keen social commentary about Dickens' world which is not, in fact, all that far from our own. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shyam | 11/25/2013

    " Good story telling, but quite puritan and unusual depiction of love and marriage. Also story takes very predictable turn towards the last quarter. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 lluke | 10/29/2013

    " slow and painful. david's naivety seemed so played and obvious, but also probably accurate for the character. found this book a hard hard slog. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 H.J. | 9/14/2013

    " Loved the writing. The middle section is a bit slow and I began to find it hard to get through, but it picks up again toward the end. I liked it a whole lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Imasongbyrd | 9/5/2013

    " The reader of this audiobook was phenomenal! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trinda | 7/10/2013

    " I loved, loved, loved this book! I didn't think I would love it as much as I did but the way the story was written I was sucked in from the very beginning. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 6/18/2013

    " Not my favorite work by Dickens. I read it because it's a classic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 4/16/2013

    " So far this one is a great read. Who woulda thunk it?? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 4/4/2013

    " although it took me MANY months to read, I did enjoy this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Moral | 5/2/2012

    " It's a great book and story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dabeyta | 2/26/2012

    " There were parts that had their moments of glory. At times, the words enraptured me, while at others they clouded my thinking. However, I enjoyed the love story and was rooting for Agnes the whole time. I knew she was the one :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gareth | 1/29/2012

    " A small collection of sub-stories written in something akin to English as we currently know it. Each part did get wrapped up however and while a little labouring to get through was enjoyable enough to keep at it. I wouldn't really recommend it for casual readers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miles | 12/30/2011

    " The finest coming of age novel I've encountered. In parts, breathtaking, devastating, honest and real. A little too neat in the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janeb7 | 11/5/2011

    " This is a book that I've been avoiding for years, just because it looked boring. However, Dickens never fails to amaze, and I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. Boo Uriah Heep!

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Design | 11/2/2011

    " Like all of Charles Dickens books I LOVE this one!!! This book is Charles Dickens most autobiographical. (I do hope that is the right word :) ) It is a great book to show people in the growth from childhood to adulthood! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thom | 10/15/2011

    " In my recollection, I have not read a better novel, so it's time to read it again. I love this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Waleed | 10/15/2011

    " i like this book to much it's interested story

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gray | 10/14/2011

    " I read David Copperfield this summer for a course I was taking. On initial read, it seemed just a great tale. I had forgetten Dickens' ability to conjure mood, location, etc. with just a few words. As a result of class discussion I also discovered great depth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 10/14/2011

    " One the best of Dickens -- before his stories get even darker. Basically his autobiography before his more realistic autobiography in Great Expectations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 10/11/2011

    " Delight to read, very funny, dark in places, exuberant and vivid characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cristy_padova | 10/8/2011

    " la inceput era ok, dar cand am ajuns pe la jumatate incepea sa devina prea ordinara si am abandonat.o. intradevar e greu sa povestesti viata intreaga al unei persoane, dar mi sa parut prea lunga cartea, o prefer pe "narciso e boccadoro" a lu h.hesse "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Earlita | 10/7/2011

    " I've read this book so many times, and it's just as touching and entertaining each time. Along with A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, and Nicholas Nickleby, it is Dickens at his very best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deusprimus | 6/20/2011

    " Sometimes a bit rambling, but that is why we read Dickens! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jordan | 6/19/2011

    " I've read my share of books...and this is my favorite of all time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 6/17/2011

    " I found it to be rather tedious and i was unable to finish it though I got past the midway point.
    "Great Expectations" was much better. Date read is a guess. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Planetcall | 6/16/2011

    " An excellent sad story of a young boy. I read it around 10 years ago from now when I was in high school. Touches young hearts to make a memorable mark. I would love to read it all over again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 6/15/2011

    " Whaddaya mean, you've never read any Dickens? What are you, crazy?? Read it, already!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rayme | 6/13/2011

    " Finished this and like all other Dickens, loved it from beginning to end. I just knocked off a star due to his wordiness. Less would have been more, but how many perfect books can one person write in a lifetime? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cameron | 6/8/2011

    " I honestly don't know why I like this book so much, not a great deal of plot per se, just a life story of a fairly normal but good person. I just kept finding myself drawn to each character and event. This book is somewhat ofan undertaking for me who is not much of a reader but well worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chelsea | 6/8/2011

    " The plot was fairly predictable, but I felt like the plot was just a means to create some fantastic characters. There were some really beautiful moments, too. "

About the Author

Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was born in Landport, Portsmouth, England, the second of eight children in a family continually plagued by debt. A legacy brought release from the nightmare of debtors’ prison and child labor and afforded him a few years of formal schooling. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his early writings brought him the amazing success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. He was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, and he remains popular, responsible for some of English literature’s most iconic characters.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and narrator. He has earned more than fifty Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration thirteen times. He was named Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008 and has been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London. He is also an actor who has appeared on both stage and television.