David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

From AudioFile magazine:
At 34 hours in length, this is quite a tome, but there’s no one better qualified than Simon Vance to lead us through this audio journey. He parses the author’s long sentences well, pausing sufficiently to make the details easy to follow while still maintaining a quick enough pace to keep the story going. Most enjoyable is his voicing of the myriad characters who appear in the narrative—and characters they certainly are. Vance times their occasionally hilarious exchanges especially well. All of this is delivered in a manner that suggests that Vance revels in Dickens’s prose and sly humor, and the listener cannot help but revel along with him. Three cheers for Vance—and not the least for his stamina! A.E.B. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2009

About Simon

Simon is an actor who found his way into audiobook narrating as a side-gig and seems to have made a success of it. With some training as an actor as a child (just a couple of hours a week, but it stuck) and 15 years working inside the BBC (ending up as one of the presenters/newsreaders on BBC Radio 4 in London) he found the ideal combination for an audiobook narrator. Found his way to California two decades ago and never left.

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8 Responses to David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

  1. Brian Selman July 8, 2014 at 11:06 am #


    I have just finished listening to David Copperfield and wanted to thank you for such a wonderful experience. This is the fifth or sixth book I have listened to that you have narrated and I am in awe of your ability to impart so much expression into the narrative and to hold such meaningful and varied characterisations throughout the length of the book. I love Dickens prose and you have a superb ability to imbue the required nuances.

    Do keep up the great work you are doing and I look forward to more immersion in this!

    Thanks again!

  2. Raegan December 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    After listening to many of your superb readings of Dickens’ novels, I find your voice as the quintessential narrator of all things British.

    Any chance you would release a complete collection of all of Dickens’ novels in the future?

    • Simon December 25, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

      That would be quite an undertaking and I doubt that any publisher would invest so much time and money – too bad, as I agree the idea is tempting.

  3. Kathryn Gibboney April 7, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    I am also halfway through listening to David Copperfield and am simply enchanted by your reading. I managed Great Expectations on my own, but Dickens is a bit difficult for twenty-first century readers, and the audio brings his prose and characters to life. It’s a book I can barely put down and carry from room to room to listen to as I do my household chores. Thank you!

    • Simon April 8, 2013 at 7:11 am #

      Thank you, Kathryn. It’s always good to recieve such compliments. Happy listening!

  4. Fred Wemyss March 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    I just finished listening to this audiobook (which took me three weeks as I drove back and forth making deliveries) and must thank Simon Vance for giving such nuance to the prose of Charles Dickens. For a writer whose creations are hard-wired into the collective unconscious, Dickens is, nonetheless, difficult. I read random paragraphs just to see if I was getting the right sense of them. I found myself stumbling. Then I played the same paragraphs as read by Simon Vance and found his interpretations revelatory. Having listened to all 34 hours of this work, I can say Simon Vance made what has to be the ultimate Victorian novel extremely accessible to me. Dickens rang all the changes here. He has a great interpreter in Simopn Vance.

    • Simon March 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      Thanks, Fred. I am a huge fan of Charles Dickens and I couldn’t be happier making his language clearer to modern audiences.
      Happy Listening
      – S.

      • Fred Wemyss March 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

        I’m halfway through your reading of GREAT EXPECTATIONS! I’m noticing Dickens had many variations on several themes through his work. For example, I would say the character Traddles is to David Copperfield as Herbert Pocket is to Pip.

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