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126 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complex work of genius
"Bleak House" opens with an astonishingly atmospheric description of a London fog … an imagery which has come to dominate our vision of 19th century London. Think how many films and television productions use this image! But fog, for Dickens, is not just a meteorological phenomena - it describes much of human life, particularly the actions and inactions of the...
Published on 31 Oct 2005 by Budge Burgess

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book - terrible Kindle version
The book is a wonderful example of Dickens at his best, full of the usual rich tapestry of characters and beautifully written, although I'd suggest that this may not be the ideal introduction if you are new to Dickens.
However,the Kindle edition is awful. Almost every page is littered with an irritating matrix where certain characters have not been formatted...
Published on 9 Aug 2012 by SuzanneB


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126 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complex work of genius, 31 Oct 2005
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bleak House (Paperback)
"Bleak House" opens with an astonishingly atmospheric description of a London fog … an imagery which has come to dominate our vision of 19th century London. Think how many films and television productions use this image! But fog, for Dickens, is not just a meteorological phenomena - it describes much of human life, particularly the actions and inactions of the law and lawyers which form the backbone to this novel. At the heart is the court case of Jarndyce versus Jarndyce, a family squabble which has dragged on for decades and kept many a lawyer in employment. Dickens slowly unravels this mystery for us.
'Bleak House' has a huge cast of characters and its plot is as extensive and complex as the London Underground system. It also employs a double narrative - one of the characters, Esther, acts as narrator and comments on the personal and emotional world of its characters, while an unnamed, third person narrator comments on the social and economic ills of the era. We get, therefore, a paralleling of the individual and the social. The Court of Chancery and the aristocracy are presented as a social fog - deadening, confusing, misleading, a blight on the world. Dynamism comes from the individual's emotions, hopes and fears.
While the impersonal narrator writes in the present tense and comments ironically on corruption, greed, abuses of power, and the plethora of social ills Dickens exposes and satirises in this work, Esther's account is written in the past tense, a diary reflecting on her life with optimism and hope. Dickens thus gives his reader a sense of the triumph of the individual - a comparatively lowly young woman - over the dead hand of an archaic, oppressive social system.
Esther is an orphan who seeks to discover her real identity and learn who she is - a major theme in the book is the abdication of parental and familial responsibility. She feels a sense of purpose in life - unlike the philanthropists Dickens exposes, who rush around interfering in the lives of the poor and destitute, oblivious to the unhappiness and misery of their own families. Esther genuinely cares about others - it is no fashionable pretence. Dickens emphasises the social nature of life - no one is alone or apart from society, all its peoples and institutions are interconnected. 'Bleak House', therefore, becomes a metaphor for the complexities of life and society.
In terms of the sophistication and complexity of its plot and style, 'Bleak House' can be seen as Dickens masterpiece - though less well known than other works. It is written in an astonishingly visual style - from the opening fog, Dickens doesn't obscure his world, he lays it open as moving tableaux. At times the writing can be a trifle dense and overly precise for modern tastes, but this is a master of language at work. Dickens draws his characters with deceptive ease. He ruthlessly exposes their flaws and foibles, yet reserves a tender affection for them.
It's a brilliantly written, brilliantly worked, vast world of a novel. Complex - no idle read this, you will need to concentrate to remember who the many characters are and what they are up to. A very visual, very socially concerned, very dynamic book, if you can get into Dickens's style it's likely that this will be one you'll want to read again. Indeed, it may be a book you have to read twice to appreciate its depth. Now revitalised by an epic BBC production, a viewing of the novel as television drama may be a stimulus for many to read the book. It is an extraordinary read and one to be commended to anyone with a love of language or fascination with Victoriana … or who simply loves a great tale, told by a master.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest novel in the English language, 9 Feb 2001
By A Customer
The greatest novel by the greatest novelist England has ever produced, and in my opinion, the greatest novel in the language. That is how highly I regard this novel.
Bleak House is a giant book by any measure, physical or literary, triumphantly covering so much ground that it successfully paints a multi-faceted, multi-layered portrait of the whole culture and society of the Victorian Age in Britain. Bleak House is a savage satire upon the class system, the law, politics, and public morality. At the same time it is a wonderful crime novel of murder and detection, a love story, a comedy, and a piece of high Victorian melodrama. Yes, Bleak House is all these things and more.
In addition, the novel also displays Dickens' artistry as a writer of prose to the full. The famous first chapter alone - which consists almost entirely of a magnificent description of a foggy day in November - is a masterpiece of English prose. From there onwards the standard of writing never slips.
Dickens' is justly famous for the wonderful casts of characters he assembled for his novels and here again, Bleak House doesn't disappoint. It boasts a vast and interesting array of characters, especially Mr Jarndyce, Esther Summerson (the partial narrator and heroine of the book), Jo the crossing sweeper whose story will break your heart, the villainous Mr Tulkington, and the detective Inspector Bucket, one of the first detectives to appear in fiction.
I rate Bleak House as Dickens' most mature, supreme achievement as a writer. The satire is biting. The moral indignation at the injustices of the world is brave and honest. As a whole experience, no reader can afford not to read classics like Bleak House at least once. If you do miss out, you're only letting the finest things in life (reading life anyway) pass you by.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly great literature., 5 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Bleak House (Paperback)
If the tags of "classic" and "victorian" have given you the impression that Dickens is a stuffy old duffer, then please read this book. It will totally blow your preconceptions apart.
Dickens, it seems to me, was a genuine humanitarian and a rebel at heart. His contmept for the ruling classes, and his anger at the suffering of the poor would on their own make this a worthwhile read. But add to that his mastery of the language, and his comic genius, and you have here one of the most compelling stories ever written.
Occasionally his heroine, and some other characters, are so saintly you could scream. Similarly, his villains are so grotesquely despicable, you might think that the man had no grasp of human subtleties. But this is his style - he paints in broad brushstrokes. Reading Dickens is like listening to a tall tale spun by a master storyteller who can't help but exaggerate, so anxious is he that you can see what he sees.
With so many of the so-called "greats" of English literature, you need a classical education to understand the work. With Dickens, all one needs is a love of stories, of laughter and of language. And if you have a healthy contempt of the rich and powerful, then all the better.
Since we are still ruled over by pompous lawyers, I recommend this as a novel which maintains its relevance and its wit.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly and Memorable., 10 Nov 2003
By 
S. Hapgood "www.sjhstrangetales.com" - See all my reviews
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Anyone who hasn't read this before is in for a treat, and at nearly a 1000 pages long it is certainly a book to get your teeth into. To say it is complex is an understatement, and the size of the cast of characters can seem formidable, but I guarantee that you will find scenes in this book which will stay with you forever. Dickens' writing is at times pure poetry. It's hard to list all of the great descriptions he does here but the ones that, for me, stood out are London under fog, and at midnight, the snow-swept countryside, anything to do with the neighbourhood around Krook's downbeat shop, and summer's evenings in Lincolnshire. What was most memorable though was the build-up to the legendary spontaneous combustion scene. It's impossible not to feel unnerved as the smell of burning flesh gradually seeps through the building late at night. This is a scene worthy of Hitchcock at his very best.
And the characters! Where do you start? Mr Tulkinghorn, the lawyer so shifty and slimy that you can almost hear him slithering when he walks, Mr Guppy the chancer, the vile Smallweed family, the strong but haunted Lady Dedlock, the terminally selfish Harold Stimpole, ready to excuse all his sponging off his friends on the grounds that he's so innocent of life he can't be held responsible for his actions, the iexhaustible do-gooder Mrs Jellaby, so busy being bountiful to strangers that she chronically neglects her own family, the young man Richard Carstone who becomes obsessed with the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the beer-drinking housewives witnessing all that happens at Krook's shop, and the great Inspector Bucket, with his collection of handcuffs ready to snap on at a moment's notice. Bucket is like a Victorian version of Detective Columbo, even down to Columbo's famous trick of pausing at the door for one final word, his knack for buttering up his witnesses with an affable exterior, and frequent references to an unseen wife!
This is a hugely satisfying read. There isn't a scene in the whole 1000 pages that Dickens doesn't make fully-rounded and colourful. We know the names of all Miss Flite's birds, the painting on the ceiling of Mr Tulkinghorn's office, the layout of Bleak House itself, and what Inspector Bucket has for breakfast just before setting off for a climatic showdown (two mutton chops as it happens). It's also a satirical swipe at the law courts. Whole hordes of characters are born, get married and die, as the interminable case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce grinds on. This must surely be contender for one of the greatest English novels ever written, and if it isn't then there is truly no justice to be had!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the effort, and the edition is excellent, too., 30 Oct 2009
By 
William Burn "gingerburn" (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
As I find so often to be the case, this review will be in two parts. The first is intended for someone who is shopping for a good read, and is in two minds about this meaty chunk of Dickens, and the second is for those who know they want the book, but can't choose between this and other editions.

So, for Part 1: this is a pretty hefty book, even by Dickens' standards, weighing in at 900 pages of fairly small print. However, it's definitely worth the effort taken in reading it. The plot is, in many ways, relatively simple, following the well-worn path of the abandoned child growing up to discover their true identity. However, that is to ignore the wonderful richness of the book as a whole. At turns it is gloriously funny, and at others deeply moving. The descriptive writing (about London in particular) is remarkable, yet the plot is utterly compelling. There are, too, some memorable characters here, from the thoroughly unpleasant Mr Smallweed to the hopeless Rick, and the magnificent Sir Leicester Dedlock, but what struck me was how easy it was to sit down and read simply for pleasure. A hugely enjoyable read, and one of Dickens' best works.

Part 2 of this review is for those of you who already know they want to / have to read this novel. There are many good editions of this work available, and each has their strengths and weaknesses. The Penguin edition is utterly reliable, and the Norton presents a fabulous wealth of critical material, if perhaps at the cost of simple readability. Where the Oxford edition shines is firstly in its newness: the paperback was issued in 2008, so the text and the commentary are as up-to-date as it is possible to get. What's more, Stephen Gill has done a marvellous job of providing annotations to this dense, allusive text, treading a fine line between illuminating the tricky corners and not overburdening the reader with unnecessary details. It is fair to say that this edition presupposes a serious, well-informed reader, so beginners may be better served by the Wordsworth text. Lastly, these Oxford editions are simply a pleasure to use. They are printed on excellent paper in a clear typeface, they are well bound and will stand a good deal of fairly rough treatment. In short, this is well worth your purchase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long but a worthy dramatic story, 30 Sep 2010
This review is from: Bleak House (Kindle Edition)
I first decided to read Bleak House after the excellent BBC drama of 2005. I immediately bought the paperback but waited to read it allowing time enough for the story to be forgotten in mind - 5 years on I now read it but having decided to try it on my new Kindle instead. The reason the BBC drama was so annoyingly memorable (hence 5 years wait) was the characterisation, plot and dramatic scenes leading to an exciting conclusion - well that's exactly why the Dickens' novel itself is so brilliant. It is easy to see why the story lends itself to a film; the BBC drama came flooding back to my memory because Dickens' style is so cinematic and theatrical.

Dickens is undoubtedly a most excellent story teller. His characters, though tending to caricature for minor people, are always rounded, sympathetically portrayed and detailed. I love the way Dickens names his people in order to help the story telling (in exactly the same way Russian translations of their classics don't) - this is admittedly quite important with Bleak because it is really a dense and detailed story (originally serialised I think) and people come, go and reappear and so might be more difficult to recall. The author has a brilliant vibrant style and his choice of words is an entertainment all its own (a little example being that a friendly copyist was always `in a state of ink').

The basic story is that poor Esther Summerson doesn't know who her mother is; rich Lady Dedlock learns that her ex-lover has died. Three different but connected sets of people begin to connect the two events, most notably the somewhat sinister lawyer Tulkinghorn. All this is enveloped around the perpetual legal inheritance case of Jarndyce & Jarndyce in Victorian London. The 800 page story keeps up the pace and never slacks, not least because I've not mentioned the over 50 characters all of whom play their part in the tale; Mr Bucket (the smart detective), Smallweed (the one needing 'shaking up'), Mr Guppy (Esther fancier) and Mr Turveydrop (of the highest deportment) were amongst my favourites. I understand that Bleak House is an oddity for Dickens in that it has a dual narrator: Esther herself and the author.

There some down sides though: the minor characters can be easily misplaced or forgotten before they reappear. Here I have an interesting point - by reading Bleak house on the Kindle it meant I could search the text for all the occasions a person was mentioned, in comparison to my paperback version which had a cast list at the beginning (which most books don't have and also tells you it's probably needed) but would have been quite a thick book to carry around. I suppose I did occasionally have to reread a paragraph or two because the old wordy style was a little confusing.

I've read quite a few Dickens now: Bleak House has the drama of `Tale of Two Cities', the pathos and characterisation in `Oliver' and the humorous style in places of `David Copperfield'. I suppose I enjoyed all these slightly more than Bleak House mainly, if I'm honest, because they didn't take quite so many words to tell the tale and hence read. This really is a very long book and so needs a certain amount of commitment (I tried to complete it in 3 weeks, about 1.5hr/day and just failed) so unless you think you can read it at a pace I can imagine it might drag on a bit like the Jarndyce case itself. If you haven't the time then the BBC drama captures the story just a well but do read the other Dickens I've mentioned.

The Kindle was an excellent way to read this story. (My paperback version can go on the shelf with the inch thick spine undamaged)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Wonder of Bleak House !, 27 Nov 2007
By 
J. S. Lewison (Bolton, Lancs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
'Fog everywhere. Fog up the river...fog down the river...chance people on the bridges...with fog all round them.'

Repetition breeds a delicious sensory pleasure. This is Dickens's incantatory requiem to visual perception. Indeed our perceptions of the real are under review. This marked investment in temporary blindness is a metaphor for the secrecy and moral misjudgement that contaminates the novel on all levels. For Bleak House is a labyrinthine novel which attempts to conceal as much as to reveal; a novel peopled by isolated, lost individuals, clinging to their secrets and stories buried deep beneath the complex narrative web that is Bleak House.

Everything stands for something else in Bleak House, nothing is ever just itself. Dickens's use of the dual narrative, with the seeming transcendence of the third person narrator set against the apologetic observations of Dickens's only female narrator, Esther Summerson, engenders displacement at every turn. For this split responsibility for disclosure serves to protect the innocence of Esther as mid-Victorian heroine, whilst also tantalising the reader with hints at erotic passions that lie way beyond the permitted script of the upstanding Victorian novel.

Every reader will have their favourite moments in Bleak House for it is a truly gorgeous novel. My personal favourite was revealed to me years ago in a letter from Steve Newman my most inspiring tutor at Liverpool University , and it has never been supplanted in my affections:

'For I don't,' says Jo,'I don't know nothink.'
It must be a strange state to be like Jo! To shuffle through the streets, unfamiliar with the shapes and in utter darkness as to the meaning, of those mysterious symbols, so abundant over the shops, and the corner of streets, and on the doors, and in the windows! To see people read, and to see people write, and to see the postman deliver letters, and not to have the least idea of all that language-to be every scrap of it, stone blind and dumb!'

This must be one of the most Romantic moments in fiction. The sense of wonder grants the street boy Jo a temporary human story that his abject inhuman poverty precludes elsewhere. Not knowing is rescued from ignorance and becomes a creative 'other' experience, where the narrator revisits the known and retranslates it from Jo's point of view.
The lostness of Jo in terms of his illiteracy becomes a metaphor for the novel's own search for significance. For everyone is lonely in Bleak House. Everyone in Bleak House is lost. Everyone is attempting to decipher something, or someone, or somewhere, and these imperatives destroy as much as heal.

Dickens repeatedly employs the infinitive in this passage and in doing so creates an overriding sense of separation and even suspension. Seeing is not believing, it is bewildered incomprehension. Like Pip in Great Expectations when he gazes at Miss Havisham still dressed in her ancient wedding gown, Jo's encounter with the world involves stasis and fear. Jo's impotence in the world is represented through this deployment of the infinitive, rendering the finite a place way beyond the scope of Jo's destiny.

Wonderful!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good edition, 22 Feb 2012
I am delighted with this edition of Bleak House. I have read half of it and have found one typo,(I think). It is a very low price but I highly recommend it as it seems pretty much error-free.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complex work of genius, 31 Oct 2005
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
"Bleak House" opens with an astonishingly atmospheric description of a London fog … an imagery which has come to dominate our vision of 19th century London. Think how many films and television productions use this image! But fog, for Dickens, is not just a meteorological phenomena - it describes much of human life, particularly the actions and inactions of the law and lawyers which form the backbone to this novel. At the heart is the court case of Jarndyce versus Jarndyce, a family squabble which has dragged on for decades and kept many a lawyer in employment. Dickens slowly unravels this mystery for us.
'Bleak House' has a huge cast of characters and its plot is as extensive and complex as the London Underground system. It also employs a double narrative - one of the characters, Esther, acts as narrator and comments on the personal and emotional world of its characters, while an unnamed, third person narrator comments on the social and economic ills of the era. We get, therefore, a paralleling of the individual and the social. The Court of Chancery and the aristocracy are presented as a social fog - deadening, confusing, misleading, a blight on the world. Dynamism comes from the individual's emotions, hopes and fears.
While the impersonal narrator writes in the present tense and comments ironically on corruption, greed, abuses of power, and the plethora of social ills Dickens exposes and satirises in this work, Esther's account is written in the past tense, a diary reflecting on her life with optimism and hope. Dickens thus gives his reader a sense of the triumph of the individual - a comparatively lowly young woman - over the dead hand of an archaic, oppressive social system.
Esther is an orphan who seeks to discover her real identity and learn who she is - a major theme in the book is the abdication of parental and familial responsibility. She feels a sense of purpose in life - unlike the philanthropists Dickens exposes, who rush around interfering in the lives of the poor and destitute, oblivious to the unhappiness and misery of their own families. Esther genuinely cares about others - it is no fashionable pretence. Dickens emphasises the social nature of life - no one is alone or apart from society, all its peoples and institutions are interconnected. 'Bleak House', therefore, becomes a metaphor for the complexities of life and society.
In terms of the sophistication and complexity of its plot and style, 'Bleak House' can be seen as Dickens masterpiece - though less well known than other works. It is written in an astonishingly visual style - from the opening fog, Dickens doesn't obscure his world, he lays it open as moving tableaux. At times the writing can be a trifle dense and overly precise for modern tastes, but this is a master of language at work. Dickens draws his characters with deceptive ease. He ruthlessly exposes their flaws and foibles, yet reserves a tender affection for them.
It's a brilliantly written, brilliantly worked, vast world of a novel. Complex - no idle read this, you will need to concentrate to remember who the many characters are and what they are up to. A very visual, very socially concerned, very dynamic book, if you can get into Dickens's style it's likely that this will be one you'll want to read again. Indeed, it may be a book you have to read twice to appreciate its depth. Now revitalised by an epic BBC production, a viewing of the novel as television drama may be a stimulus for many to read the book. It is an extraordinary read and one to be commended to anyone with a love of language or fascination with Victoriana … or who simply loves a great tale, told by a master.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Summit, 5 Aug 2004
By 
It's a monster of a book, and that's not really a reference to the length necessarily (although at 900+ pages, you can't help but be a little daunted). Bleak House has big plans for you, it wants to grab you and shout at you and whisper at you and tell you ten thousand things all at once in dozens of different accents. It's a book, really it is, with a mission, and an appropriately large dollop of missionary zeal.
Dickens was already a household name when he wrote it. He'd already cast his net far and wide over an increasingly eager audience (Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickleby had all garnered great praise for him, and Martin Chuzzlewit's extensive American episode - after his trip there in 1842 - had helped his popularity no end in the US). He was world famous. He had also just begun editing the weekly journal Household Words, a publication he hoped would help highlight the social injustices of the age. Bleak House is confident and furiously angry in many respects addressing, as it does, much of the same agenda that Household Words railed against week in week out.
The plot centres on the interminable case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce, a years-old law suit creaking its way through Chancery (a reference to two cases: Day v Croft, a suit begun in 1838 and still being heard in 1854; and Jennings v Jennings, begun in 1798 and finally settled in, wait for it, 1878, although, as Dickens says in his Preface, 'if I wanted [more]...I could rain them on these pages, to the shame of a parsimonious public').
"Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, in the course of time, become so complicated, that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least; but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes, without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce, without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendary hatreds with the suit. The little plaintiff or defendant, who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce and Jarndyce should be settled, has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world. Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grand-mothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps, since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee house in Chancery Lane, but Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the Court, perennially hopeless."
Circling this legal colossus is a cast as memorable as any that Dickens assembled before or after. The demure and impassive Esther Summerson, a resilient young woman carefully uncovering her past; Lord and Lady Dedlock, landed gentry living in a shadow-filled mansion in rural Lincolnshire; the threatening and ultra-clever lawyer, Tulkinghorn; Jo, a wretched street boy; and a whole swathe of legal junkies, obsessed acolytes flitting around the Courts of Chancery and Lincoln's Inn Fields. Every one always mentions the characters in Dickens - ah! the characters! they say - but then, they're remarkable, and wonderfully realised. But, as the case drags on, things fall apart and the centre - definitely - cannot hold.
When an affidavit is discovered amid the J v J papers, written in a sinister and familiar hand, Tulkinghorn's investigations kick off a series of events that lead down a mazey, dark path towards an unexpected conclusion. The plot becomes ever more labyrinthine and to help us shed some much needed light on the matter we get Inspector Bucket (great name) one of the earliest detectives in fiction.
All is division in Bleak House. The Dedlocks and the suit's lawyers on one side, everybody else on the other. When the two sides meet (weighty social irony in use here) the sparks light up the dark corners of the filthy London streets and someone invariably comes off worse. This is where the anger creeps in. Creeps in? Nah, floods in. This is where Dickens's agenda falls into place like a guillotine and you wonder how he ever managed to get on the side of the Toffs six years later for A Tale of Two Cities:
"Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead, Right Reverends and Wrong Reverends of every order. Dead, men and women, born with Heavenly compassion in your hearts. And dying thus around us, every day."
There's humour though, in fact there are plenty of real laugh out loud moments. The moment when Lord Dedlock discovers that someone has the audacity to stand against him in the election and that he's - egad! - an 'industrialist', is a splendid attack on the baronet's smug pomposity.
Narrative hops around from player to player, resting most often on a first-person account by Esther, who is the conscience of the story, but beyond her everybody gets a focus and story line, and the extended sequence of tying it all together, starting with the solving of the murder about 150 pages out, heralds a very satisfying series of dénouements.
So, is it one of the best books ever written? I'm not at liberty to say, of course, that's a question I'll have to come back to in my dotage. Certainly, I can't think of anything to put in the negative column. Dickens is fastidious in his plotting, there's nothing he leaves unsaid. There's no filler here (an amazing thing to say you might think, but it's true), no dull chapters, no extensive flowery prose, no muttered 'get on with it' moments. He fulfils his obligations to his social concerns, he creates sympathy and antipathy where he requires it. The villain, Chancery, gets a roasting ... yet he has a surprise for everyone at the last.
But, I am smitten with it, yes. I do think it's going to stay with me forever and - get this - I'm already looking forward to the re-read. I was blown away.
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