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?!
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 "Great Expectations" and I really enjoyed it - especially the first half with the convict and the moorland and the grave yard. It was wonderful stuff - so why do I struggle with the rest of his novels so much?
#1 17th September 2006, 10:32 PM
I'm going to start reading Little Dorritt in about six weeks. Is anyone interested in reading it with me?
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
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 weeks. I have also promised myself I will go back to The Old Curiosity Shop if only to look at Nell following some comments made by David recently.
I have never read Little Dorritt but would love to. Provided I can find the time in a few weeks, I will start to read it and watch for any further comments on this thread.
#3 21st September 2006, 06:41 PM
Thank you Barblue. I'll look forward to reading this with you. Let me know when you're thinking of starting it about two weeks before and I'll try and pace myself to finish the books that I'll be reading in time. PM as well just to make sure that I see your post.
All the best,
#4 1st November 2006, 07:57 AM
You know Phoebus, I really do intend to read Little Dorrit just as soon as I can, but somehow a lot of other books have got in the way lately. I have two reading group reads, one of which is Middlemarch - slightly time consuming - and also some other reads I have committed myself to for various reasons. It looks, at this moment in time, as if I will be making Little Dorrit a New Year's Resolution. Not sure if you want to wait that long, but I thought it only fair to let you know my situation. Many apologies for my tardiness. Barblue
#5 5th November 2006, 12:10 PM
No worries Barblue. I've lot of other reads to ge through. Ready when you are !
#6 5th January 2007, 08:13 PM
I've been moving house in the last couple of weeks so haven't had much time for reading and posting. I started Little Dorrit on New Year's Day and having read a couple hundred pages, I'm loving it. I'll keep you all informed.
#7 5th January 2007, 08:45 PM
Well done, Phoebus. There seems to be a general groundswell of good vibes towards Dickens on the forum at the moment so I'm sure someone will join you soon, especially if you are able to tempt us with an effusive review.
#8 Yesterday, 07:46 PM
Phoebus, I am so sorry that I have not joined you on this exercise. I will try and start it this week, but can't promise anything. Great to know that you are enjoying it though and like Mungus I will be delighted to hear more of your comments in due course.
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, rich with minor characters (caricatures?) allowing Dickens to satirise the extremes of the class system of the time. It explores the effect of money, the lack of it and the desire for it on human nature and human relationships. There are also many examinations of the institution of marriage, both good and bad, and the effects that this has on people. Plenty, in fact to exercise the mind.
The book itself is 900+ pages and I did find it hard going at times, especially the third of the four books into which it is subdivided. By the end, I was keen to find out how it all worked out (and was nicely surprised by the ending) but I really sat and forced myself to get it finished. This is not to say that I didn't enjoy it, just that long books do take a toll on me personally. I did like the way that all of the loose ends were tied up so neatly (which I understand was required of Victorian authors) and that the goodies generally did well and the baddies got their comeuppance in a number of appropriate and amusing ways. There was a lot of humour running through the book, but a fair dose of cynicism too, not a bad thing.
To summarise, a fantastic read, worth sticking with. I will be attempting more Dickens, but a little light reading will do me fine for now.