Get a free audiobook

The Pickwick Papers

The Dickens Collection: An Audible Exclusive Series
Narrated by: Rory Kinnear, Neil Gaiman
Length: 32 hrs and 27 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

This edition of The Pickwick Papers features an exclusive introduction, written and narrated by Neil Gaiman.  

This Audible Exclusive retelling of Charles Dickens’ first novel, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, or as we now know it, The Pickwick Papers, is brought expertly to life by multi-award-winning actor Rory Kinnear.

A huge success, The Pickwick Papers catapulted young Dickens to fame and sold over 40,000 copies by the release of the last instalment. Stage adaptations were soon performed and merchandise quickly sold out to a public who dreamed of owning their own Pickwick cigars, song books and china figurines. 

About the book

When Samuel Pickwick decides to establish and preside over a travelling society, he unknowingly brings together three of the oddest men in all of London: Tracy Tupman, the loveless self-professed ladies’ man, Augustus Snodgrass, the poet who’s never put pen to paper, and Nathaniel Winkle, the endlessly clumsy sportsman. 

Introductions made and plans established, the ‘Pickwickians’ set off in search of new adventures outside of the confines of the city. Along with a host of other colourful Dickensian characters such as Mr Pickwick’s love-struck landlady, Mrs Bardell, and his trusty sidekick, Sam Weller. 

The Pickwick Papers manages to both move and amuse the listener as the protagonists find themselves in a whole host of bizarre situations they had not bargained for. 

About the author

With his father incarcerated, Charles Dickens had to abandon his studies at a young age and worked in a factory to support himself. Despite his short-lived education, Dickens went on to write 15 novels, various articles, novellas and short stories. He lectured and led campaigns for children's rights and education and arguably became the ultimate self-made man. Dickens had strong values, and they pervade The Pickwick Papers, which is not only one of his most comical texts but one in which he lays the groundwork for future satires expressing his deep-felt discontent with Victorian values. 

About the narrator

Rory Kinnear is an award-winning actor for his work both on stage and on screen. He is known for his portrayal of Bill Tanner in the James Bond films and is also recognisable for his television work including Black Mirror and Count Arthur Strong. His audiobook credits include Anthony Horowitz’s The Word Is Murder, Nutshell by Ian McEwan, and now this fantastic version of The Pickwick Papers.

Public Domain (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No reviews are available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tad Davis
  • 2019-12-26

Done with gusto

Audible started listing this title months before it first appeared. I wasn't familiar with Rory Kinnear’s work, so I didn't know what to expect. Having listened to it now, I’m happy to say that Kinnear is a brilliant narrator, and the symphony of voices he employs here is masterful. I do have one (very small) reservation, which I'll get to shortly.

The Pickwick Papers is one of my favorite works of Dickens: just thinking about reading it makes me smile. Rory Kinnear does it justice.

The novel starts off with a series of loosely-connected comic episodes, originally intended to accompany a set of commissioned illustrations. As Neil Gaiman points out in his introduction, this was Dickens’ first novel, and you can see his skill expanding and his sympathies deepening as he writes. His haphazard structure eventually develops a plot without sacrificing the wonderful characters. Everyone gets his moment, even Jingle, the actor, cad, and con-man. Episodic it may be, but Dickens has an unerring instinct for picking up each thread of the story at exactly the right moment.

It’s not all sweetness and light. Long before the main plot takes a serious turn, Dickens gives us glimpses of life on the other side. At several points, he pauses the action to record a traveler’s tale, usually a grim or spooky one: the death of an actor in abject poverty; the tragic career of a son who turns to crime and breaks his mother’s heart. One or two concern a drunken thug who beats his wife — a dress rehearsal, possibly, for Bill Sykes. Pickwick Papers is a comic masterpiece, but it’s not an unclouded one.

Kinnear rises to the challenge. He populates the novel with several dozen voices, each instantly recognizable. His Wellers, father and son, Tony and “Samivel,” are masterpieces: they alone are worth the price of admission. (Already grinning about the book itself, my smile threatened to split my face open whenever one of the Wellers showed up.)

Mr Pickwick himself begins as a figure of fun, but by the end of the book he's attained genuine stature and a kind of moral greatness.

My one reservation? Depending on whether I was using my “treble” or “bass” earphones, I occasionally had to fiddle with the volume. The treble ones seemed more prone to this. There were times when a moment of almost whispered narration was interrupted by one of the Wellers, who both have voices that “carry.”

The book is an international treasure. There are two or three other recordings of the unabridged novel on Audible, all of them excellent. But this one, for me, captures more of Dickens’ comic gusto.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kim C.
  • 2019-10-23

Wonderful old english story

Rory Kinnears performance is pure perfection! I hope he does many more readings with that voice!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • libbromus
  • 2020-03-15

Unrelenting hilarity

Rory Kinnear is a marvel. I have gotten so much more out of listening to this story than I EVER would have gotten by reading it. He has given depth and range to characters I will NEVER forget (looking at you Sam Weller (Vellah)). This performance, for it is no mere reading, is well worth your time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Juli A. Dunn
  • 2020-01-29

A Great Favorite Well-Done

I already had the David Timson reading of this book and loved it. I enjoy Rory Kinnear’s voice so decided to splurge. So. Glad. I. Did. This was brilliantly performed and every bit as enjoyable as Timson’s version. Highly recommended!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jill F
  • 2019-12-21

Best narrator ever!

This was a long lesson, and if the narrator hadn’t been so good, I might’ve given up. The story was sweet, but not really a plot, just small vignettes knitted together. I’m glad I stuck it out to the end as it was a very sweet conclusion. But iMessage me at there were times when my mind wandered during the story. The narration was amazing. I’m really hoping he branches out and as many other works.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elsie
  • 2019-11-24

Hip Hip Hurrah

Mr Kinnear brings this classic story to life. Listening to this enriched my experience in a way I never could have anticipated— similar to watching a Shakespeare play brings new depth and meaning to a work only previously read. Dickens was meant to be read out loud, and how lucky are we that this incredibly talented actor is around to bring humor, pathos, and an occasional wink to this timeless chronicle.