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by Charles Dickens | Read by Nicholas Boulton

Probably any well-trained actor can make a good thing of Uriah Heep. Still, Nicholas Boulton’s Heep is miraculously visual. You’ll remember that in addition to being poisonously "’umble,” Heep writhes a good deal. Boulton somehow makes his voice sinuously whiney, such that you actually see Heep coiling one horrible leg around the other while he smarms somebody. Still, it was Boulton’s Betsy Trotwood who completely undid me. At her first cry of strangled outrage, "Janet! Donkeys!” I laughed out loud in the garden and startled the dog. If you haven’t read Copperfield since school, you’ll be surprised. The sentimentality seems worse than ever, but Dickens’s eccentrics are even more shrewdly conceived than you remember. Pair that with this glorious performance, and you’ve got audio heaven. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine