When Audible released The Chimes at the end of 2015, it was a Christmas gift – and a taster for what was to follow when they released Charles Dickens’ massive and best-loved work, Richard’s equally massive (36 hrs and 36 minutes) and now very well-loved performance of Dickens’, David Copperfield on 9th February, 2016 (exactly one year after Classic Love Poems). The work has been nominated for a 2017 Audie for Literary Fiction and Classics.
Told from the point-of-view of the main character, David Copperfield, it takes us through his life from the moment of his birth as he encounters villains, saviours, eccentrics, and grotesques. Many of its characters are as recognisable as any in literature – Uriah Heep, Mr Micawber and Mr Murdstone almost have lives of their own beyond the world that Dickens has created in this novel.
Dickens is slightly different because I’d read a lot of Dickens through my youth but then I was in a stage production of David Copperfield, which strangely didn’t really influence the, what I was visualizing as I read this particular book, but certainly voices and performances of my friends that I was on stage with have kind of remained in the back of my mind as, as sort of echoes. (New York Times Podcast with Richard Armitage – David Copperfield Book Review with Pamela Paul. (March 4, 2016)
I mean, I was given a choice of books, but I picked David Copperfield because I … you know, I think there is a perception of the Victorian novelist which has, is a sort of slightly stuffy, stifled, overly-verbose writing style, which I wanted to, to sort of just, you know, break out of. I know that David Copperfield was written in, in third person as a diary form, I just thought that’s a perfect opportunity to read the voice of the character and to be author in the same, in the same book; and, you know, Dickens’ humor and his observation of his society that he was living in, particularly the legal system that he was working in, I just thought there was something relevant about it, but at the same time it was an amazing story. (New York Times Podcast with Richard Armitage – David Copperfield Book Review with Pamela Paul (March 4, 2016)