The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain (version 2)

Read by Ruth Golding

(4.4 stars; 87 reviews)

The last of Dickens' Christmas novellas (1848), The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain centres around Professor Redlaw, a teacher of chemistry, whose personal life has been marred by sorrow and, he feels, by wrongs done to him in his past. He is haunted by his ghostly twin, who offers him the opportunity to forget completely all 'sorrow, wrong and trouble', claiming that this will make him happier. Redlaw wavers, but finally accepts this offer, discovering too late that there are conditions attached to it which cause him to infect with this unwanted 'gift' nearly everyone with whom he comes in contact.

The story is populated by Dickens' archetypal comic figures - the Swidgers, who are servants of the college, and the hard-working but poor Tetterby family who run a nearby shop.

As tends to be the case with these Christmas books, this one is awash with sentimentality, so suspend your 21st century cynicism for a few hours if you listen. (Introduction by Ruth Golding) (4 hr 14 min)


1 Chapter 1 The Gift Bestowed, Part 1 42:19 Read by Ruth Golding
2 Chapter 1 The Gift Bestowed, Part 2 27:23 Read by Ruth Golding
3 Chapter 2 The Gift Diffused, Part 1 35:20 Read by Ruth Golding
4 Chapter 2 The Gift Diffused, Part 2 31:47 Read by Ruth Golding
5 Chapter 2 The Gift Diffused, Part 3 42:22 Read by Ruth Golding
6 Chapter 3 The Gift Reversed, Part 1 42:02 Read by Ruth Golding
7 Chapter 3 The Gift Reversed, Part 2 33:21 Read by Ruth Golding


(5 stars)

I had never heard of this book and decided to try it because Ruth Golding narrated it. It contains many of the elements of A Christmas Carol within an entirely different story. As always, there are delightful and unusual characters and detailed descriptions that would be tiresome if they didn?t have the master's touch. Ruth does a wonderful job of creating the appropriate atmosphere and bringing all characters to life. I'm listening to it a second time right now.

Good narration, but poor story

(1.5 stars)

The narration is very good, but the story is just one long conveyor belt of depression and misery. I’m not quite sure I even followed the story, because it never gripped me at any point. In fact I would say it was quite monotonous and I almost gave up on it and number of times, and now wish I had! I fail to see how anybody could give this five stars, but there you go. Shame, as I was looking forward to it.

So relieved to see this was narrated by Ruth Golding

(5 stars)

I love these Christmas stories by Dickens. Having them read by Ruth Golding turns them from charming tales into a memorable experience. I would love to hear her record all of our famous British authors. Her accent, diction and phrasing really does justice to these Victorian novels in a way that almost no other readers can.

(5 stars)

An outstanding reading! The narrator adopts many voices and displays the wide range of emotions that the story requires. The story is in the second rank of Dickens’s output but nonetheless it’s essential reading for anyone who wants to see how Dickens practiced and polished his themes and his style.

(4.5 stars)

I totally agree with the previous reviewer. Not a story I had heard before and I found it a bit difficult to understand at first. But so beautifully read that this helped a lot and I listened to it twice.

Beautifully done!

(5 stars)

I was delighted to discover The Haunted Man in the Librivox library. What a pleasure! The reader has done a splendid job with this somber, powerful story.

(5 stars)

always excellently read by ruth who makes an already good story an excellent story like the chimes by dickens a must read listen to story

I just don't understand

(2 stars)

I have tried to understand this storu, twice.I just can't. Ruth does a great job as always.