Charles Dickens gave us some of the best books ever written in English (David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol). He also gave us a few clunkers (Old Curiosity Shop), and some middle-of-the-road stories. The Cricket on the Hearth is one of those middling stories.
For a while I thought Dickens had gone against his usual type and cast a woman we first thought was his standard perfect young devoted wife and made her an adulterer. But … no. The characters here are pretty static, pretty standard Dickens fare and, sadly nearly all reminded me of other, more fleshed-out characters from his better works.
This audio recording was a free gift from Audible.com this year. It was an okay story, but falls well short of the masterful A Christmas Carol. For the price, I didn’t feel cheated, anyway.