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David Copperfield (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 1 May 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 976 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099511460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099511465
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 4.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (314 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 563,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Product Description

Review

"The greatest achievement of the greatest of all novelists" (Leo Tolstoy)

"David Copperfield is Dickens's Hamlet... I can't remember being so moved by one of his novels... What puts David Copperfield right up there with Bleak House and Great Expectations, however, is its sweet nature, and its surprising modernity... Completing David Copperfield has left me feeling bereft" (Nick Hornby)

"I couldn't put it down" (Barbara Taylor Bradford)

"There were never such people as the Micawbers, Peggotty and Barkis, Traddles, Betsey Trotwood and Mr. Dick, Uriah Heep and his mother. They are fantastic inventions of Dickens's exultant imagination...you can never quite forget them" (W. Somerset Maugham)

"Dickens is huge - like the sky. Pick any page of Dickens and it's immediately recognizable as him, yet he might be doing social satire, or farce, or horror, or a psychological study of a murderer - or any combination of these" (Susannah Clarke)

Book Description

'The most perfect of all the Dickens novels' Virginia Woolf

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jan. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was Dickens' own personal favourite of all his novels, and here we are presented it with an active table of contents. There is no doubt that this is a great novel and has been admired by Tolstoy and Woolf amongst many authors who have enjoyed it or have been given inspiration due to it. Of all Dickens' novels this is also his most autobiographical.

The story although long is simple in itself, it is the tale of David Copperfield from his birth through to his maturity, what obstacles he faces in life and what friends he makes. With a whole host of great characters there is nothing to dislike with this tale, and in the case of Betsy Trotwood, were inspired by real people. Betsy was based on Mary Strong who lived at Broadstairs and really did chase the boys and their donkeys off her lawn, resulting in legal proceedings being initiated. Other characters and events were based on real happenings.

If you like to read for pleasure and want to immerse yourself in something that is really great then you can't really go wrong with this book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Justix on 14 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not just a book, it's more of a whole of life experience. You will have to prepare yourself for the long haul and almost breathe your way through Mr Copperfield's life. But it is worth it because it is quite a life story and you will get to know and like or even dislike quite a few people along the way. I read it because I had enjoyed Oliver Twist and Great Expectations and love to understand and appreciate the simplicities and difficulties of the Victorian way of life and the great characters Dickens always invents.... and to be sure, he didn't let me down with this one either.

It's a long read and not for the faint hearted in any way. Some passages are long and by todays standards very cumbersome and long winded but if you like a good story, great characters and fancy a step out of the digital age for a while then this is for you.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 29 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing and touching. Normally I would not attempt to read such a big book but I felt like a challenging read and I can not put it down. It is the story of David's life and I would recommend it to anybody since it is the only novel that has ever brought a tear to my eye. For me, this is not a book that I can read and return to a library, I need a copy of the magic within. The language may be difficult to understand at first but if you are patient, you will get the hang of it and it will be many times more rewarding. When reading a book, I like to read the story and come to the end of the book so that I know how it ends but with David Copperfield, of course I want to come to the end, but I also want to make the book last. I have been reading it for a month now and I still have 1/4 of the book to read. Because it is taking to long, it feels to me as though I am following David slowly through his life and I believe that is how this novel should be read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Origen on 20 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
Copperfield is Dickens' masterpiece and it is his semi-autobiographical approach which makes the work doubly fascinating. The similarities between Copperfield and the historical Dickens- which are numerous- add a potency and extra interest to the narrative.

Still, it is the wonderful likeability and absurdity of so many of the characters in DC which really make the story. Barkiss, Peggotty, Ham and Agnes are wonderfully virtuous and kind- if uncomplicated in their different ways.

Heap and Steerforth- who share in common their eventual villainy- are, by no coinicidence, contrastingly complex, unfathomable throughout and misguided.

However, the problems of simplicity are evident in Dora: Dickens acknowledges limits to the virtuosity of simplicity. Her downfall is nevertheless tragic, but we know it is in the interests of David's long term happiness to marry Agnes.

Dickens' achievement in the book is his profound sympathy for the human condition: there is virtue in every rank, but virtue takes many forms. Moreover, Dickens shows how inextricably he perceives one's life as constructed around the lives and fortunes of those one encounters in youth. It is striking that Copperfield's life is essentially determined by those he encounters in his formative years. The most important and complex role and character is that of his Aunt, almost an eccentric fairytale godmother character, whose contibution almost suggests her metaphysical condition as a kind of guiding light. She rescues David and looks after him when noone else will. The tenuous conditions upon which humans succeed and fail are clear because of her role.

The book is memorable, complicated and profound: it immortalised Dickens himself as well as his characters.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harris on 9 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've now read D.C. three times and it gets better every time. It was apparently his own favourite book and certainly seems to draw heavily on his own past at times. But ... there's always a point, just after the first half of the book, when it loses its initial momentum and brilliance - basically as David starts to grow up and become an adult. And at times it lapses into the mushy sentiment and melodrama that is always a bit of a mountain to climb for modern readers. In other words, it's at its best when David is a child, and the vulnerability that Dickens must have experienced so painfully himself, is always present. But there's always such a wonderful parade of characters throughout the book: Betsy Trotwood is one of the best female characters throughout his novels (and one of the few convincing ones to my mind) with her fear of intruding donkeys and blunt ways, and the sympathetically drawn mentally-fragile Mr Dick. The Micawbers, of course, and 'umble' Uriah Heap, who has to be one of the most loathsome villains in the history of fiction, and then there's the terrifying Murdstones, who never get the come-uppance you feel they deserve.
Although the narrator is the adult looking back, one feels that he never loses the boy he describes so well, and that I'm sure is probably true of Dickens, who unlike most adults, retained that inner child to an unusual degree. The caricatures that are such a hallmark of Dickens style, singling out oddities and building on them to create characters, is straight out of a child's mind, and never does he do it better than here.
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