Bleak House (version 3)


Read by Mil Nicholson

(4.9 stars; 178 reviews)

The Chancery Court had jurisdiction over all matters of equity, including administration of estates, the guardianship of orphans, and disputed property disbursement. In Dickens’ time, some cases could take years to be settled, changing the lives of those involved. Esther Summerson, a young woman raised in a tough and unloving atmosphere, is unexpectedly requested to be a companion to two teenage orphans, Richard Carstone and Ada Clare, for whom the court has appointed as guardian, John Jarndyce. They take up residence at Mr. Jarndyce’s home, Bleak House. The story of their lives and fortunes is the main thrust of the novel, and is related at times through the eyes of Esther, whose gentle point of view gives the reader a different and more intimate perspective. Richard is sure his fortune is ‘just around the corner’ when the case of Jarndyce-v-Jarndyce, of which he and Ada will be beneficiaries, is settled. He tries his hand at a career or two, but he becomes obsessed with hastening the probate of the willed fortune he feels must soon be theirs. Further difficulties arise when he and Ada fall in love, while he, penniless, continues the quest to bring his case to justice. A scriber of legal documents dies, and from his death, questions arise which unearth secrets that the Jarndyce’s neighbour, Lady Dedlock, has kept hidden for years. Inspector Bucket enters the case, and begins investigating the disappearance of Lady Dedlock. In the dirt poor part of London comes a young boy called Joe who claims to ‘know noffink’ but who has witnessed something very important. Several other colorful characters are wound into the story. Nearly insane Miss Flite, who for years has attended court every day, with her little folder of documents, is ever hopeful of a settlement. Mr. Boythorn is a boisterous friend of Jarndyce who has a vendetta with Sir Leicester Dedlock. The Jellyby Family, invariably on the verge of a disaster, is neglected by their Mother who is obsessed with an overseas project. The Smallweed family is mean and avaricious – squeezing money from poor clients. Mr. Skimpole is the childlike captivating friend of Mr. Jarndyce who sees no harm in living off everybody else. Mr. Guppy fawns after Esther, and plots to steal documents with his friend Weevle. Mr. Woodcourt is a gentle surgeon and family friend, who becomes a hero. Since the writing of Bleak House, the property laws of England were changed, and disbursements were thenceforth conducted in court with the object of swiftly coming to a settlement for the benefit of inheritors. (Summary by Mil Nicholson)

(39 hr 24 min)

Chapters

Preface 5:40 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 1 17:10 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 2 18:22 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 3 52:03 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 4 30:42 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 5 38:07 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 6 58:39 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 7 27:38 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 8 51:50 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 9 40:32 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 10 28:08 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 11 38:23 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 12 37:14 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 13 41:50 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 14 56:31 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 15 44:01 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 16 22:33 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 17 38:13 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 18 48:18 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 19 38:06 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 20 36:30 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 21 46:11 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 22 35:17 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 23 48:14 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 24 47:47 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 25 24:15 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 26 34:57 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 27 31:22 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 28 29:55 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 29 24:53 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 30 40:39 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 31 42:20 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 32 33:35 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 33 37:29 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 34 40:58 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 35 42:47 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 36 42:29 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 37 50:43 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 38 27:52 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 39 41:58 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 40 32:20 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 41 22:48 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 42 19:57 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 43 44:28 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 44 20:10 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 45 32:37 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 46 24:26 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 47 42:11 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 48 41:37 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 49 35:55 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 50 25:49 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 51 31:20 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 52 29:00 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 53 30:27 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 54 58:53 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 55 41:41 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 56 20:18 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 57 46:44 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 58 44:53 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 59 35:54 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 60 33:13 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 61 29:54 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 62 25:51 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 63 21:50 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 64 31:07 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 65 23:46 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 66 11:44 Read by Mil Nicholson
Chapter 67 11:46 Read by Mil Nicholson

Reviews

(4.5 stars)

Four stars for the novel itself (it would be five but it is a bit long!) and five for Mil Nicholson's fabulous reading of it. I've always loved adaptations of Dickens' novels as his characterisation and description are so incredibly vivid. However, I struggle reading his work as his writing can be rather verbose. But this recording actually kept me on track. I'm really looking forward to tackling more of his works with the help of Ms Nicholson.

Dickens at his amazing nest

(5 stars)

I love every single thing that Charles Dickens has written, but my 4 favorites are Dombey and Son, the old curiosity shop, little Dorrit, and now Bleak House. Mill Nicholson the narrator is absolutely unbelievable in her ability to portray so many different characters seriously she's unbelievable and has spoiled me when it comes to Dickens so I'm hoping she will read Pickwick papers hint hint

Wow! Great story brought to life by reader

(5 stars)

Huge props to Mel Nicholson for delivering a wonderful, professional level performance and really bringing this story to life. I loved the story- don't be fooled by the name- it is happier and funnier than it seems- though some classic Dickens style drama.

Long but oh so worth listening to!

(4.5 stars)

Mil does a great job with the complex cast of characters. Thank you, Mil. Having only ever watched the movies which are so dark, I was unaware of Dickens humor. Listening to this book, i find myself laughing over many of his descriptions, especially Mr smallweed and his wife. A friend told me that i would not want the story to end...even after so many hours of listening. She was right. It was difficult to say good bye to Esther, my guardian, George, and so many others. Take time to enjoy Bleak House.

top quality reading brings dickens to life

(5 stars)

This is an impressive accomplishment, it's hard to see how a professional team could improve on that was done by volunteers with this reading of bleak house. Lively and consistent reading and very polished recording and editing, hour after hour after hour. Bravo.

Amazing

(5 stars)

A very big thank you to Mil Nicholson - what an amazing reader. The book is complex and has countless principal characters to follow; each are given a distinctive, believable, individual voice by the reader. Thank you for Dickens record of the folly of The Chancery Court and his social observations during that historical period, presenting the injustices which prevailed. Amazing novel; amazing author and a most amazing reader, who brings each character to life. This is by far the best version to listen to. You will not be disappointed. Thank you Mil Nicholson for giving your time, so that others can enjoy this classic.

Bleak House

(5 stars)

This is certainly a complex book and you need to "keep" going or loose the flavor and characters. Most fortunate that one can rerun and get back on track. Nonetheless, it is an outstanding accomplishment of Mr. Dickens and Mil Nicholson's skill and ardor bring it alive. This is an example of how it should be done.

Bleak House

(5 stars)

Am only 1/3 of the way through the book ... and ... already don't want it to end. Anyone who knows Dickens knows how well his characters develop and weave in and out and mingle with each other. As a Librivox devotee I am always on the hunt for new narrators to listen to. This is my first time listening to Mil Nicholson who is fast, in a single story, is moving up my list of narrators. I cannot help but marvel at her range of voices to depict the myriad of characters ... Mil does it with ease.