Charles Dickens: A Life

Claire Tomalin, Author, Alex Jennings, Read by
Claire Tomalin, read by Alex Jennings. Tantor Media, unabridged, 13 CDs, 16.5 hrs., $49.99 ISBN 978-1-4526-0864-8
Reviewed on: 09/24/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Tomalin’s sprawling biography of one of history’s most revered literary figures—with its dizzying cast of characters and mixture of literary criticism, detailed historical record keeping, psychological insight, and human drama—would present a challenge to any audiobook narrator. Thankfully Alex Jennings is more than up to the task, successfully rendering the complicated inner struggles that shaped the temperament and life of Charles Dickens. Jennings also provides spot-on dialects and accents, particularly in sections of the book that detail Dickens’s travels to the United States and dealings with his American contemporaries. Keeping pace with this audio edition requires active listening, but Jennings’s narration is more than rewarding. A Penguin hardcover. (June)