Library Ed. BBC Audiobooks America/ BBC Radio 2003
CD ISBN 978-056349684-7 $39.95 Three CDs
There's so much exuberance in this production of one of Dickens's lesser known novels, so much devotion and care, that it feels churlish to find fault. Yet, as a listening experience, it's hard to conclude that the production is other than seriously flawed. The problem is not one of acting--generally, the performers are engaging--but writing. In condensing Dickens's sprawling novel and adapting it to radio, the work has become nearly incomprehensible. The producers attempt to keep the main elements of the story--love and murder against the backdrop of the anti-Catholic riots in London in 1780. But their dramatization makes it nearly impossible to keep the many characters and subplots straight. Dialogue alone is insufficient as narrative in this case. And the melodramatic use of music is almost parody. M.O.
(c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 04]