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tagesmann

David Copperfield

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I've just finished listening to an excellent audiobook of this novel that was read by Frederick Davidson. It was unabridged and lasted for 36 hours 13 minutes.

The narrator handled all of the characters very well even if some of the female characters sounded a bit weak.

I haven't read any Dickens for a long time. I have problems committing to long works. So I thought I would try an audiobook. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it worked really well. The medium could have been made for Dickens.

 

This is a fantastic story which I thoroughly enjoyed. It tells the story of David Copperfield (in the first person) from childhood to adulthood.

 

 

David is born in the early 1800s. His father dies before he is born, and when he is about 10, his mother re-marries. David dislikes his step-father and his sister. David's mother dies and he is sent to work in London. His landlord Mr Micawber is sent to a debtor's prison and David escapes the factory.

He walks all the way from London to Dover, to find his aunt who agrees to bring him up.

 

 

That summary doesn't do the story justice. The characters (minor and major) and so well imagined that you can't help but believe that they could be real. The villains of the piece are particularly well drawn and believable.

Uriah Heap is especially creepy.

But what stood out for me was how Dickens used the comedic features of many of the characters. This book is so funny.

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I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, tagesmann. You're absolutely right: the audiobook format is very appropriate for Dickens, though I've never actually tried it - I really should! With the right reader Dickens' prose and dialogue would be superb, and of course he loved giving readings himself (something that ultimately hastened his death!).

 

DC is often a favourite and is a great example of Dickens' humour. I think one of the reasons people connect so well with this particular book is because it's the most autobiographical of his works, so I think inevitably there is a greater warmth and sense of personal engagement with the characters.

 

It's a long time now since I read it, though. Perhaps I should get that audiobook and catch up with some old friends!

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I've just finished this and I'm not entirely sure what I think. I certainly enjoyed reading it. I set it aside at one point when I needed something more portable to take on the train with me and found that I was wondering what everyone was getting up to. My only problem with it was that nothing much happened. The book is obviously written as an autobiography rather than a 'story' but for some reason, I kept expecting more.

 

I'm sure that I'd read somewhere that Copperfield poisons his wife so I was on the look out for that. When this didn't happen, she just died naturally, I was still waiting for a plot to be uncovered. That didn't happen either, so I was left hanging a little bit. Is there another Dickens where the protagonist kills his/her spouse? Why did I get the wrong idea?!

 

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I'm sure that I'd read somewhere that Copperfield poisons his wife so I was on the look out for that. When this didn't happen, she just died naturally, I was still waiting for a plot to be uncovered. That didn't happen either, so I was left hanging a little bit. Is there another Dickens where the protagonist kills his/her spouse? Why did I get the wrong idea?!

 

Not really sure where that comes from, Jen, though oddly as I read it I had the sense I've heard that said somewhere before, but I really can't think where. As the hero (drawn from Dickens himself) it would be odd if David had poisoned Dora, though it may have seemed tempting at times since she's pretty useless. I've tried to think of other cases that could have caused the confusion but Dickens' murders tend to be a bit more dramatic than poison generally allows for. Quite apart from wives I can't think of any, actually, but there's such a wealth of characters there's probably one somewhere!

 

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I picked this up at the weekend - it is one I have been meaning to read for ages.

 

When I started the first book (my copy is in two volumes - are they all?) I felt it was a little weak and as Jen said 'nothing much happened'. It did really, but Dickens disguises his pace so well I just did not realise it. Then, I got pulled into the story and last night could not put it down for hours (not much sleep last night!!). I am a slow reader, so I have only reached the point where

David's mother and baby brother die

but I can't wait to have another hour or two free to pick the book up again!

 

I have not looked at the spoilers (hence my own) because I want the story to unravel before my eyes. I can't believe I have lived all these years and know nothing of the story!

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Ah, takes me back to the 80's and school again doing GCE O Level English Lit. We studied this book and always had to take turns reading chapters to the class. Dickens will always be a different class and actually out of all of his Novels i like Great Expectations the most, just something about the way Pip goes on an adventure from poverty to then entering a different upper class world but still holding on to his roots. :)

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Finally finished David Copperfield. I actually took volume 2 into hospital with me, but had so much fun with my fellow 'inmates' that I never read one word. During my enforced convalescence I have now managed (between naps) to finish the story.

 

And what a lovely story it is. As usual Dickens has woven his tale around intriguing characters both obnoxious and weird, tragic and comic, loving and lovable. The story is long and wordy too, but somehow the pace never falters in its progress to the conclusion and tying up of all loose ends.

 

Heep, of course, is wonderfully written, as is the fantastical Micawber and his wife. In fact there are so many characters I could bring to the fore but could never do them the justice Dickens serves them. They are whole creatures who leap off the page and amuse or disgust, entertain or annoy all in the way they are meant to.

 

I am pleased to say I have enjoyed yet another of Dickens works. At some point I would be interested in seeing a film version (assuming one had been made) and also listening to the spoken word version. I agree with you David, a good reader could make this story perhaps even better.

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At some point I would be interested in seeing a film version.

There was quite a reasonable TV adaptation a while back now which was Daniel Radcliffe's big break.

 

You can order it through the BGO Amazon link here. ;)

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There was quite a reasonable TV adaptation a while back now which was Daniel Radcliffe's big break.

 

You can order it through the BGO Amazon link here. ;)

Done! Well, it's in my shopping basket along with The Uncommon Reader for my BGO read - I'm just waiting for MOH to decide what he needs from Amazon this week before sending the order off. Many thanks David.

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Done! Well, it's in my shopping basket along with The Uncommon Reader for my BGO read - I'm just waiting for MOH to decide what he needs from Amazon this week before sending the order off. Many thanks David.

 

Agree with Cobboldblue and Barbleu, David Copperfield is a book for all seasons, as, indeed, is Great Expectations. (Why so many blues incidentally on this Dickens thread. I know, just coincidence, but one wonders . . . )

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i liked this book because it talks about alot of real life subjects and wonderful achievements that David has done, although he has been treated incorrectly by his stepfather and his mother dies.

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I read this aloud to my daughter one summer and caught so much of the story that I hadn't really understood as well before. I'm sure part of the reason was that I had to explain some of it to her. But also, some of the meaning was much clearer when read aloud. She and I could hardly stop laughing when reading the chapter where David gets drunk.

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This was my first Dickens and is still a favourite, though I now read the simplified edition with pupils. I rather prefer Great Expectations for its early scenes, and its maturity of outlook. Agnes in DC is such an unreal creature and David's tears over her are so yucky. But you're right about the humour of Dickens, his sense of the absurd in human nature - and his geniality.

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I read DC when I had just discovered my love for literature. It was after I had read Great Expectations. DC remained my Favourite book for a long time. I still like it very much. But the characters that have really stayed with me are Micawber and Heep. I still remember I would read it for hours together sometimes through the night. But that's happened with many of Dickens' novels I've read.

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David Copperfield! My first and, to date, only Dickens (shame on me!). Loved Mr Micawber, especially the income and outgoings speech, and the "donkeys on my green" lady, whose name temporarily escapes me (and who I'm now panicking is from some completely different book. Am clearly going dotty!). I've got all enthusiastic and can't decide whether to re-read it or follow the recommendations on this thread and give Great Expectations a whirl...

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the "donkeys on my green" lady, whose name temporarily escapes me (and who I'm now panicking is from some completely different book. Am clearly going dotty!).
No, you're OK, I think that'll be Miss Betsey Trotwood :)

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I've got all enthusiastic and can't decide whether to re-read it or follow the recommendations on this thread and give Great Expectations a whirl...
Great Expectations was my first Dickens and is definitely worth a go. But so is revisiting DC.

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This is one of my favourite Dickens. Sometimes I struggle with his wandering, too many over created minor characters. I know that a lot of people like that his novels are peopled by so many full and fleshed out characters that just appear for a 'walk on part', but for me I just wish he'd concentrate on the story in hand.

 

Which is what I recall liking about this novel.

 

Saying things like he writes a good story is like saying Everest the mountain is a bit high. Praise for Dickens has all been said before so suffice to say, Dickens, go on you know you want to! :)

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