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4.2 out of 5 stars57
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 10 February 2016
It's Charles Dickens, what's not to like? The true delight with any Charles Dickens novel is that they are so rich in style, the use of language and the ability to stir both positive and negative emotions in regard to the characters portrayed. The true test of any novel must be whether or not it engages the reader, causes the reader to invest in the characters and, at the end, leaves the reader either happier or sadder in regard to their own true nature. Charles Dickens does this with bells on.
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on 12 September 2015
I have to say this is one time I wish I had the paper book as flicking back and forth is not as easy on the Kindle. First time I have ever read Dombey and Son and enjoyed it.
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on 15 September 2013
Sorry to state the obvious but this has always been a problem for me with Dickens although when he does, eventually, get to the point his powers of observation and description are superb.

I particularly liked his description of the trees in the garden of Mr Dombey's London mansion that "rattled rather than rustled, their leaves were so smoke dried" (shows how far we have come in terms of air quality since then), his first hand account of the way that Staggs Gate was changed by the coming of the railway and of a journey on an early train.

Carker, the villain, is also a splendid character, even though he doesn't do much until near the end of the book, as is Biler, a fireman and then driver on the newly built railway. There is a fascinating meeting at the start of the train journey between the old (Mr Dombey who, despite appearances to the contrary, has actually passed his peak and is fast declining) and Biler (representing the new industrial order).

Downside, what is the point of Captain Cuttle, Walter Gay and the like (except to fill some space)? Mr Toots is much the same, at least for me.

So be prepared for a long read but it's worth it in the end.
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on 22 November 2013
This long story is worth the read but can change direction at times suddenly which is little disconcerting. One has to remember this book was written for monthly instalments so one has to take a chapter at a time. This story of a lonely girl ignored by her father because of his commitment to business is a theme that is a relevant today as it was then. His preference to a son on whom all his future hopes rest is also a theme that never goes away. The scene is of course the 19th century and the characters introduce us to a world that very different to the 21st century we live in. Dickin's descriptions of the people who lived then, their class differences, their lives of extreme wealth or extreme poverty is riveting. The story becomes more exciting as it progresses through Mr Domby's long life as he is affected by those about him who love, betray and support him in equal quantities makes for interesting reading . The ending gives the reader much food for thought. OPur book club enjoyed this book and most finished to the end.
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on 2 July 2015
Dickens is always brilliant and Dombey no exception. His description of rach character covers every aspect of their personality and appearance - often in a very amusing way. The story is compelling and absorbing. I read this book on holiday and couldn't go anywhere without my Kindle so that I could dip into it whenever possible. A great read.
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on 28 January 2014
I could not put this book down.Wonderful to be drawn back into an earlier period where women were considered iinferior to the male even where great intellegence was apparent The hypocristy of those who considered themselves superior is a real eye opener. Where are the writers of today who will relate present society for a future generation?
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on 23 July 2013
My issue is not with Dickens or the story (who could take issue with Dickens!!) This version has not been well proof read. Because Dickens is quite hard work to read at the best of times, I could do without having to try to work out what the typos(and it's full of them) are meant to say.
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on 13 March 2015
This has grown on me to be one of my favourite Dickens. It doesn't really have a villain so to speak or indeed the usual host of eccentric characters but it boasts my favourite character so far, Captain Cuttle. As with all the other Victorian books I have read the hardest thing to adjust to is the plots are so sparse compared to modern novels. Sometimes one wishes things would move along, not so here. I revelled in its long windedness.
Dickens treats the arrival of the railways brilliantly, using potent symbolism. They are both progress and destruction and having recently read The Museum of London's brilliant photographic book about Victorian London those images were at the front of my mind. Houses and streets destroyed to make way.
Having never drunk Mediera I am tempted to give it a go.
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on 13 January 2015
This story is one of the lesser known books from Dickens. Most people read all the standards including Tale of Two Cities, Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House but this one really is up there with the best. The title might lead the reader to think the whole story revolves around the title characters..but to the contrary..the central is the life of his daughter Florence. The trials of growing up as a child rebuffed by her father, her meeting and interwoven life plot with Walter Gay and his family. The plot thickens with the introduction of the despicable Carker and the contradictory yet tragic step mother Edith. This is a triumph and unlike some other Dickens, the end is not quite what you expect. Wonderful, beautiful story that every one should read.
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on 13 January 2013
I'm re-reading this novel after many years. A Kindle tends to make one concentrate more on stylistic details, and the emphasis on sentimentality and on "character" for its own sake can be somewhat tedious. The psychology of a father who cannot show love for his daughter, and a daughter who grieves as a result is interestingly explored. On a social history level, there is much about railways and their impact (literally at one point) on Dickens's society. There are at least 6 plot-lines skilfully handled through what was once a serialised story.
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