Library Ed. BBC Audiobooks America 2007
CD ISBN 9780792747130 $64.95 Six CDs
In his third novel, the author casts three impoverished, virtuous innocents -- the plucky 19-year-old of the title, his beautiful sister, and their addled mother -- out into the cruel Victorian world, where, in spite of grotesque villains and with the help of equally grotesque heroes, they eventually triumph. The usual Dickensian tropes pertain, with humor predominating. This BBC dramatization is best appreciated as a diverting melodrama with humorous elements, without reference to the source material, which it overcompresses and cheapens. It has two chief virtues, a playable script and very listenable performers. For this listener, however, the good guys come off irritatingly sappy, the overall energy forced, the humor flat, and the production values merely functional and perfunctory. Y.R. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 07]
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