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Found 13 results

  1. I know that Dickens is one of the big names of English literature and all that - but whenever he comes up in conversation the only response I hear is people saying, "I know he's supposed to be good.....but I find him really, really hard going" I'd love to hear from those who do genuinely enjoy reading him. What are the rest of us missing out on? Why is he such a good read? Have tastes changed, so he's temporarily out of favour? Anyone else struggle with him? I tend to get stuck after a couple of pages and give up, I'm afraid. Though somehow, I made it all the way through
  2. I read the Wordsworth Classics version because it had illustrations and said that it was complete and unabridged. The phrase 'hear me out' was used quite a lot and I wondered if Dickens had actually written that. It certainly seemed to jar with the other more formal prose. I struggled a little bit with the more formal prose but I like to struggle with my reading so enjoyed it all the more. The story is the life and times of one Nicholas Nickelby. Too long to even surmise here and anyway it's well enough known. The characters (and their names!) were flawless and the story also
  3. I have been listening to an audiobook read by Wanda McCaddon. At first I wasn't to sure about the narator because I had previously listened to an excellent version of David Copperfield read by Frederick Davidson. However Ms McCaddon grew on me. As for the story, well for a change there weren't any characters that I really disliked. And that is unusual for Dickens. He usually manages to have at least one annoying cloying person in his novels. In this case he didn't. Also, the villain of the piece was not black and white but had shades of grey making him less clichéd.
  4. This is my favourite of Dickens' novels, it's so complex. It's long but if you're thinking of reading Dickens for the first time I don't think you can really go wrong with this novel. The story is complex and intriguing. It's maybe a bit predictable to the modern reader, but at the time readers would have been on tenterhooks, especially as it was published episodically! I do think the main narrator, Esther is a bit of an old priss, but it doesn't affect my enjoyment of the book. What do other people think? Do you think Esther is a bit two faced or just a wet rag?!
  5. Well, I'm a few chapters into this and quite enjoying it. I do try to read a few classics in between my fantasy/sci fi novels so I look slightly better read than I actually am! I have very little to compare it to- having only read 'A Christmas Carol' by Dickens before.
  6. If you asked someone to name three Dickens novels off the top of their head, the chances are that Hard Times would not be one of them. People would tend to go for Great Expectations and David Copperfield (or whichever one had been serialised on the telly most recently). But it is certainly one of the easiest of the novels to read. I mentioned in my review of Little Dorrit here that I found Dickens distinctly uneven, and I would maintain this position. It is true from novel to novel, and also within a particular novel. But Hard Times, stylistic unevenness aside, is a highly unified piece of
  7. Anyone here read this one? I'm chugging my way through this as a kind of bedtime read, one chapter a day - it's a long book! Only about a third of the way through so far. Initially I thought it felt very like a "novel" that was produced in parts, with fairly artificial divisions between episodes. But as it goes on, I find I'm more and more hooked on the ongoing experiences of Mr Pickwick. A bit random, but does anyone else think Tolkien's Samwise Gamgee is a bit derivative of Sam Weller, Mr Pickwick's man-servant? Or does using the name Sam make it homage, and therefore okay? ;-)
  8. I've just finished listening to an excellent audiobook of this novel that was read by Frederick Davidson. It was unabridged and lasted for 36 hours 13 minutes. The narrator handled all of the characters very well even if some of the female characters sounded a bit weak. I haven't read any Dickens for a long time. I have problems committing to long works. So I thought I would try an audiobook. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it worked really well. The medium could have been made for Dickens. This is a fantastic story which I thoroughly enjoyed. It tells the story of David Copperfield (in the fir
  9. Just a brief note to mention that I really enjoyed this. I've read a lot of Dickens but this is one novel that I've left out until now. Starting a new job, I needed to read something quite enjoyable. Who needs Valium ? Just pick up Dickens ! I understand that the serial caused a sensation at the time, akin to Harry Potter mania. Harry never had this effect on me but the story of Little Nell captured my attention and I felt that the story rolled along very nicely. Recommended. The title of the story intrigues me, though. Not spoiling anything, the old curiosity Shop features
  10. Restored Thread #1 17th September 2006, 10:32 PM Phoebus I'm going to start reading Little Dorritt in about six weeks. Is anyone interested in reading it with me? Phoebus Post Script: Have just realised that I've already asked this in another post but never got around to starting it with anyone... #2 19th September 2006, 07:01 PM Barblue I am on a Dickens trip at the moment. After getting involved with the Great Expectations thread I feel totally immersed in it. Added to this my local reading group has decided to read Hard Times over the next few we
  11. I have started this book today. I'm only a few pages in and already I'm feeling low level outrage at the treatment of the poor big sister of the Son in the title! I'm expecting it to increase! It's rather odd entering into a Dickens book with only the sketchiest of outlines of the plot.
  12. The Classic Serial adaptation of Dickens' litte known collection of short stories, Mrs Lirriper's Lodgings and Mrs Lirriper's Legacy starts on Sunday 7th October at 3pm on Radio 4, starring Julia McKenzie as Mrs Lirriper and John Fortune as The Major. Is anyone familiar with this lady, and the stories of her lodgers? Why are Dickens' short stories not better known?
  13. Having been encouraged to read this book by the lively discussion about Dickens that have recently taken place on BGO, I feel I should start a new thread. This seems like an onerous responsibility. How to summarise the plot...? Amazon have this neat one-liner: Anyone who has read this book will realise that this is a succinct but woefully deficient summary of this wonderful, complex novel. I'm (very) slowly getting to know Dickens and his work and I'm hoping that others will enter in to discussion on this book to help me appreciate it more. To me, this seemed like a social commentary, r
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