Naxos to release all unabridged Dickens titles

Naxos to release all unabridged Dickens titles

Audiobook publisher Naxos will join the fray surrounding the Charles Dickens bicentenary as it completes a five-year programme of Dickens recordings.

In the first five months of 2012, Naxos will release five unabridged recordings of Dickens’ novels­—Great Expectations, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, The Old Curiosity Shop and A Tale of Two Cities—as well as Oliver Twist retold for young listeners, in both CD format and as a digital download. By the end of the year, it will have recorded all the major 16 novels unabridged, and 15 abridged, as well as Selections from Sketches by Boz. Its spoken word voices for the Dickens releases include those of actors Anton Lesser and David Timson. The 16 unabridged recordings constitute 325 CDs and 410 hours of reading.

Publisher Nicolas Soames said, despite the glut of extra Dickens content being created this year, there will still be a sizeable market for the author’s works as recordings: "Many people love listening to Dickens. He was an actor, he knew how to entertain, and he wrote how he would speak the words in a performance. He is very good to listen to and very popular for borrowing from libraries."

The audiobook publisher has also created a series of eight hours of free podcasts, downloadable from the Naxos site featuring additional material on the characters and plots of the novels. Soames said: "There are so many major novels that people only have a vague recollection of, so each of the podcasts will bring the novels to people’s attention and into focus."