Abstract

This article interprets Barnaby Rudge's fraught murder mystery plot through contemporary true crime podcasts. It argues that true crime podcasts illuminate a way of reading Dickens's crime plot as intrinsically connected to his historical plot. It begins by discussing true crime podcasts, the position they enjoy in our present-day, true-narrative-consuming culture, and their stylistic techniques. From there, it explains how Barnaby Rudge preempts many of these same stylistic techniques: Dickens's novel and true crime podcasts are comparable not only for how both feature a storyteller/participant and are heavily reliant on stories being told, but also on how crime is narrated messily and asynchronously. Finally, this article concludes by exploring some of the implications of bridging these forms of media—implications for reading Dickens as well as for listening to podcasts.

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