6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Charles Dickens (Paperback)
Every page of this biography, for which Mr Slater's career as a specialist in Dickens studies has been a preparation, is full of acute insight, dry humour and revelations which are the fruit of deep immersion in the sources. Mr Slater has facinating pages on the relationship betweeen Dickens and the works of his great precursor, Scott, making clear just why - and how early in his plans, however deferred - Dickens was impelled to achieve a historical novel in the style of the Wizard of the North. The Dickens novel turned out to be Barnaby Rudge, which no one thinks was Dickens greatest, though it contains great things. Mr Slater is as judicious about the life as he is about the works.
Don't bother with the Jacks (and Jills) of all trades who think they will turn their hand to Dickens having written about everyone else and sometimes everything else (yes, we mean you, Peter Ackroyd). Read Mr Slater's excellent work and then re-read the novels, starting with Great Expectations, not neglecting Martin Chuzzlewit (the funniest - and you can leave out the American chapters and come back to them when you like without missing much): then plot you own course.
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Initial post: 10 Jul 2013 18:02:47 BDT
George Stevenson says:
A great review, which does what a review should: make one want to buy the book! Many thanks.
Posted on 21 Nov 2013 10:47:42 GMT
After such a concise and witty review, Captain, it would be a shame to leave the word `your` in the last sentence without its final letter!
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