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||A more or less self-contained excerpt from the novel, in a creative abridgement done by Dickens for one of his public readings (Anthea Bell's afterword provides notes about these performances and the texts Dickens prepared for them). The fragile pen-and-ink drawings have been flooded with watercolor and given a smudged, atmospheric look. Marks (The Fisherman and His Wife, 1991, etc.) zeroes in on the basic dramatic premise of each scene - wet and dark exteriors, warm and dry interiors, characters engaged in lively conversation or sending each other meaningful looks. Marks's storytelling skills are further demonstrated by the different sizes of the pictures, their distribution, and layout - they evocatively conjure this hearty tale, and will send readers off to the original. (Kirkus Reviews)
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