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The Old Curiosity Shop
Cover of The Old Curiosity Shop
The Old Curiosity Shop
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Death, innocence, sacrifice and corruption—The Old Curiosity Shop is vintage Dickens. Provoking an unprecedented outpouring of public grief when it was first published, it follows the story of Little Nell and her feckless grandfather. Forced to leave their magical shop of curiosities in London, they are pursued across the English countryside by the grotesquely evil dwarf Quilp. They escape—but at what cost? Part tragedy, part allegory, this is Dickens at his most intense; drawing on his own experiences, he weaves a story of extraordinary emotional power.

Death, innocence, sacrifice and corruption—The Old Curiosity Shop is vintage Dickens. Provoking an unprecedented outpouring of public grief when it was first published, it follows the story of Little Nell and her feckless grandfather. Forced to leave their magical shop of curiosities in London, they are pursued across the English countryside by the grotesquely evil dwarf Quilp. They escape—but at what cost? Part tragedy, part allegory, this is Dickens at his most intense; drawing on his own experiences, he weaves a story of extraordinary emotional power.

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  • OverDrive Listen
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Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    1320
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    10 - 12

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Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Anton Lesser is well known to those who love Dickens on audio. He's a consummate professional who brings the nuanced phrases and finely honed humor of Dickens to life. One of the author's darker tales, shot through with villains and fools led astray by the perceived power of money, this title requires an expert narration to deliver this story successfully. Lesser provides just that, switching deftly from the sweet and gentle Nell to her beloved grandfather and his tortured decline into a senile, conniving old man. Lesser's vocal strength is mesmerizing. He even manages to make Quilp, the grotesque dwarf obsessed with Nell's downfall, seem a little sympathetic as he depicts the character's tormented existence. D.G. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 2, 2008
    Canadian Galloway (Ascension) delivers a tense and haunting novel following four people trying to survive war-torn Sarajevo. After a mortar attack kills 22 people waiting in line to buy bread, an unnamed cellist vows to play at the point of impact for 22 days. Meanwhile, Arrow, a young woman sniper, picks off soldiers; Kenan makes a dangerous trek to get water for his family; and Dragan, who sent his wife and son out of the city at the start of the war, works at a bakery and trades bread in exchange for shelter. Arrow's assigned to protect the cellist, but when she's eventually ordered to commit a different kind of killing, she must decide who she is and why she kills. Dragan believes he can protect himself through isolation, but that changes when he runs into a friend of his wife's attempting to cross a street targeted by snipers. Kenan is repeatedly challenged by his fear and a cantankerous neighbor. All the while, the cellist continues to play. With wonderfully drawn characters and a stripped-down narrative, Galloway brings to life a distant conflict.

  • AudioFile Magazine Dickens milks pathos for all it's worth in this famously tear-jerking account of the trials and tribulations of Little Nell and her poor grandfather, proprietor of the title emporium, at the hands of fate, a feckless relative, and, especially, an evil dwarf. Nell's death scene is one of the most famous passages in all of Victorian literature. The fustian prose and numerous memorable characters are ably represented by Anton Lesser. Vocally, he paints a cloudy sky over the entire oral landscape, neglecting the irony and touches of humor that occasionally relieve the gloom. The abridgment he reads from retains much of the style, as well as the plot, of the original. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
  • AudioFile Magazine This BBC production of Dickens' evergreen tearjerker could benefit from Callow's showmanship and understanding. It exemplifies the generic house style of the London studios in the 1970's and '80's, as opposed to some of the more contemporary and dynamic work being done at the time in the Beeb's regional operations. Competent but superficial, efficiently adapted and performed, deficient in personality, enjoyable if not first rate. Y.R. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
  • Library Journal

    May 1, 2010
    Naxos adds to its collection of some 20 abridged and unabridged Dickens recordings this novel following the lives of orphan Nell Trent and her loving grandfather, both residents of The Old Curiosity Shop in London. Though wildly popular when first published in the early 1840s, this is not among Dickens's best worksit is short on truly memorable characters and flawed by sloppy blending of its complex story lines. Still, narrator Anton Lesser's ("Great Expectations") strong performance helps to compensate for these weaknesses. "Curiosity Shop" is not good as an introduction to the author, but those familiar with his oeuvre will appreciate the added value Lesser's evocative narration brings to the audio edition of this work. [An abridged alternate recording of this title, read by Paul Scofield, is available from Phoenix Audio.Ed.]R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA

    Copyright 2010 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Naxos AudioBooks
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Old Curiosity Shop
The Old Curiosity Shop
Charles Dickens
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