Paul Dombey is a heartless London merchant who runs his domestic affairs as he runs his business. In the tight orbit of his daily life there is no room for dealing with emotions because emotion has no market value. In his son he sees the future of his firm and the continuation of his name, while he neglects his affectionate daughter, until he decides to get rid of her beloved, a lowly clerk. But Dombey's weakness is his pride, and he falls prey to the treacherous flattery of others. Combining an intricate plot, vivid language, and
Dickens's customary social commentary, Dombey and Son, explores the possibility of moral and emotional redemption through familial love.
This dark study of pride is a pivotal—if unappreciated—work in Dickens's oeuvre. Dickens focuses on the Dombey family, eschewing his idiosyncratic panoramic scope and ensemble casts. David Timson is a dream casting; he endows each character with depth, personality and pathos, again displaying why he is a perennial favorite in audio narration. This abridgment offers about one-third of the full text, which will serve the casual listener well without burdening their wallet or commandeering the listening schedule. (Sept.)