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Summary

Exclusively from Audible

In true Dickensian fashion, The Old Curiosity Shop offers a humorous yet devastating depiction of both the most honourable and most corrupt members of 19th-century English society.

Hailed by Queen Victoria as being 'interesting and cleverly written', The Old Curiosity Shop introduces listeners to the uniquely colourful characters of Nell Trent, her young friend, Kit, her doting grandfather and the evil moneylender to whom they all fall prey, Daniel Quilp.

A gentle and caring young orphan, Nell works in her grandfather’s shop alongside her only friend, the honest and hardworking Kit.

Upon discovering that their shop and income has been gambled away and is now in the hands of the wicked and grotesquely deformed Daniel Quilp, Nell and her grandfather are forced to flee from their hometown and throw themselves on the mercy of strangers; forever to be hunted by the malevolent ghosts of their past.

First published in 1841 in serial form, The Old Curiosity Shop experienced worldwide success and was praised by the public and critics alike. In this modern and original adaptation, Jessie Buckley delivers an astute and powerful performance which is guaranteed to intrigue listeners from the start.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Ltd.

Behind the scenes with Jessie Buckley

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What listeners say about The Old Curiosity Shop

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Glorious narration

A marvellous Dickens tale, a huge range of characters wonderfully performed by Jessie, I’ll look out for more by her.

5 people found this helpful

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(Spoilers) Marvellous performance from Jessie Buckley

If anyone doubts the genius of Dickens, then in my opinion they should just read the following description of grief. It takes a genius to write this:

“If there be any who have never known the blank that follows death—the weary void—the sense of desolation that will come upon the strongest minds, when something familiar and beloved is missed at every turn—the connection between inanimate and senseless things, and the object of recollection, when every household god becomes a monument and every room a grave—if there be any who have not known this, and proved it by their own experience, they can never faintly guess how, for many days, the old man pined and moped away the time, and wandered here and there as seeking something, and had no comfort.”

This is a wonderful rendition by Jessie Buckley, and I will certainly be checking out other examples of Audible’s Dickens Collection, featuring performances by professional actors. They help bring Dickens to life.

5 people found this helpful

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  • kk
  • 07-04-21

Awful narration

I bought this as part of a two for one deal - never again. Ruined by poor narration. The cadences fell and rose all over the place as if the narrator didn't understand the meaning of what she was reading. I couldn't wait for it to end.

4 people found this helpful

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Apalling narration of a below average Dickens

First things first: In my view, Dickens was a writer of such greatness that even works falling into the second rank of his output trump the absolute pinnacle of many another popular author. This story, then, though far from his best, is still well worth reading.
It's also well worth listening to but not with this particular reader.
To give her her due, Jessie Buckley has a very pleasant reading voice and enunciates very well.
However, she gives the impression of reading the words without actually listening to their meaning. Whilst the words are correct, the emphasis and intonation are not. Dickens' sentences are frequently long and complex and J.Buckley often sounds as if she's finding her way through them for the first time, with little idea of what he was trying to say by the end. This sort of thing often happens once or twice in an audiobook when the reader clearly loses concentration momentarily but, in this case, it's continual and persistent. There are barely two sentences together that are correctly read. It is jarring for the listener and, for me, detracts from appreciation of the story.
I wouldn't recommend Jessie Buckley reading this kind of work. I'm not suggesting she's a bad reader per se - it's just a case, I'm sure, of a mismatch between reader and book.

4 people found this helpful

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Couldn't get into it like other Dickens tales

not one of my favourite Dickens. Narrator had same voice for several characters. Maybe better with different narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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Not Good

Bad voice or recording. I couldn't tell which but it got screechy in places and was unpleasant to listen to.

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Loved it!

Beautifully narrated, I found the whole thing gripping. The description of Dickens's characters made me laugh out loud on several occasions.

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Epic Dickensian journey

Classic Dickens delightfully brought to life by the many voices (and gentle Irish narration) of Jessie Buckley.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful story

Usual and intriguing Dickens themes beautifully read by J Buckley. Her voices for each character are amazing

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Not the best of Dickens

I am a keen fan of Dickens but had never read The Old Curiosity Shop. I wish I had left it at that! This is if it’s time; whilst some of the descriptive passages are brilliant (the journey through the industrial town is of particular note) the plot is sentimental and maudlin to the point of making one lose sympathy with the main characters. In addition, even for Dickens, some of the sentence construction is extraordinarily verbose - was he getting paid by the word for this one?

So if your looking for your next Dickens do not start here.

6 people found this helpful

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  • PoppyZu
  • 22-03-19

Great narration

Jessie Buckley’s narration was excellent. This is my 4th Dickens I’ve listened to on audible & I wish she would have narrated all of them. Each voice was unique making it easy to picture each character. Worth listening just to hear Quilp’s evil laugh!! So entertaining.

11 people found this helpful

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  • PS123
  • 28-03-21

Fantastic performance

Jessie Buckley is an amazing narrator. She told the story so well, with such nuance and charm, that I sometimes forgot that I was listening to someone read a book. At times, I felt like I was actually right there, observing the story as it unfolded.

6 people found this helpful

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  • R
  • 17-02-21

Narrator was amazing

This recording of The Old Curiosity is one of the best Audible books I’ve heard. The narrator was masterful, and the story very engaging. Dickens was a true virtuoso at setting a scene, sketching characters, and building suspense.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Rachael mayle
  • 06-06-22

Interesting story

I found this story interesting and full of surprises for sure and I felt as if I would have feared Daniel Quilp myself. A sad ending to this one for Nell.

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  • OliviaL
  • 30-04-22

Amazing

I love Charles Dickens. I find some more characters to fall in love with and some hilarious passages or dialogues that will forever be imprinted on my mind lol. I love good humor. And the performance, was amazing.

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  • Logophile
  • 28-04-22

The Old Curiosity Shop - very Dickensian!

The Old Curiostity Shop was Dickens as if he were paid by the word. Don't get me wrong; I'm a diehard Dickens fan, but this one took me 25 chapters to wrap my head around the myriad characters, plots, sub-plots, peripheral backstories, plot-twists, and surnames. It was Dickens meets Dostoyevsky meets Chesterton (both of whom I also enjoy.) This was a test of endurance, hope, and faith in the author; it required a confidence that perseverance is its own reward, but that in the end, this would be worth it. It was.

About chapter 25, (!) I began to catch on, care, and enjoy the story. In the last two chapters I cried.

I have struggled with the star rating - between 3 & 4. It started as a 2, slowly escalating to a five. I've decided to give it a qualified four, because I'm very glad I read it. I saw people I know in the characters! Scary! And saw what I would like to be in a few.

To audio listeners: Jessie Buckley did an amazing job as narrator, coming up with nearly as many voices as there were characters, while maintaining clear enunciation and cadence. She discretely enhanced the story without calling attention away from it.

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  • LitM7
  • 20-04-22

Can’t continue with these character voices

I love dickens. Most of thThe narration is fine, but most of the male characters have the snow easily snorting voice that I could just cannot handle it a quarter of the way through.

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  • Sunshine
  • 15-04-22

Amazing Narrator

The narrator voice really made the listening so much more enjoyable
I wish all his books was narrated by her.
The story was really sad but also such a cruel reality

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-03-22

Clark

A classic Dickens story. Takes awhile to get into but so worth it. The narrator was excellent and never made it boring.

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  • Rich Thornton
  • 18-03-22

Powerful tale of love and reality

Without a doubt, Charles Dickens is an amazing author. His stories have so many words in them, partly because he got paid per word, but also because he is so very descriptive. When you hear him tell a story you have heard a story that is worth hearing, reading, taking into your very being.

The beauty of this story is that it has not only heroes but also a villain who is one of those villains that it is hard to feel sorry for and thus not feeling sorry for them seems OK. The beauty of young Nell and the story of her with her grandfather is one of magic in love and sorrow and redemption.

The reader of this book is fantastic. She reads and makes you come to the story at various levels. She has a way of voicing the characters magnificently and yet not taking away from the story itself. Kudos to her.

This book is so worth listening to or reading if that is your preference that I encourage you to do so. I certainly was not disappointed.