Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 3 hours and 42 minutes
Publisher: Audible Studios
Release Date: December 11, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audiobook from Audible
Rating: 3/5 stars
“This classic story is the second in a series of five Christmas books Dickens was commissioned to write – beginning with A Christmas Carol. A haunting tale set on New Year’s Eve, The Chimes tells the story of a poor porter named Trotty Veck who has become disheartened by the state of the world – until he is shown a series of fantastical visions that convince him of the good of humanity. Though much different from and certainly a bit darker than A Christmas Carol, the moral message of The Chimes is equally poignant – touting the importance of compassion, goodwill, and the love of friends and family.”
I got this audiobook from Audible as part of their free Christmas audiobook release. This was a like a much darker version of A Christmas Carol by Dickens.
The narration is well done but a bit hard to hear at times (I listen to these in the car while driving). The heavy accents on the character voices make them a bit hard to follow when you have background road noise. When I listened to this in more quiet environments it was a pleasure to listen to. I love Richard Armitage as a narrator and was excited that this was narrated by him.
As for the story itself I enjoyed the imagery throughout, but thought the story lagged at times. Dickens definitely has a way with words and creates quirky and intriguing characters.
However, you can’t help but compare this story to A Christmas Carol. It’s shorter than A Christmas Carol and darker but has the same basic storyline. A ghost visits an old man named Trotty Veck and teaches him the power of compassion and goodwill towards his family.
This isn’t a story that is appropriate for kids though; it involves the topics of suicide, destitution, implied prostitution and mental illness. It’s set in a dark time and the story reflects that.
Overall this was an okay story but not one I would necessarily recommend. A Christmas Carol delivers a very similar story and with a much less sinister tone to it. If you are interested in a lesser known Dickens story check it out; just be aware that it’s not a very uplifting tale…in fact it’s downright depressing.