Buy Used
£67.50
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Sam Store US
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Bleak House Paperback – 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 351 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 2008
£66.70 £67.50
Audio Cassette
"Please retry"
£5.93
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback
  • ASIN: B001E3VX1M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (351 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
Read more ›
2 Comments 147 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
4 Comments 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 5 Feb. 2002
Format: 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.
Comment 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By John Austin HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Oct. 2004
Format: Audio Cassette
Generally regarded as one of Dickens' best novels, "Bleak House" comprises many special features.
Firstly there are several social evils of Dickens' time, evils which he either helped to expose or whose exposure by others he thought it prudent to incorporate. The aim of lawyers to make business for themselves he dramatized in the case Jarndyce v Jarndyce. The misguided missionary zeal of self-appointed philanthropists who set their vision on far away places, peoples, and cultures while ignoring the needs of the family and the situation at home is personified especially in Mrs Jellyby and Mr Chadband.
Secondly, there is the narrative format: the narrative is shared between one of the principal characters, Esther Summerson, writing in the past tense, and an anonymous narrator who writes in the present tense. The latter narrative contains some of the best imagery and most powerful prose to be found in Dickens' works. The novel's famous opening, depicting a London fog, is an example of this.
Thirdly, there is the presence of a detective, Mr Detective Bucket. Detective fiction, so large a section in book shops nowadays, was unknown in Dickens' time. He foreshadowed most of its elements in "Bleak House", although his incurable reliance on coincidence and rudimentary grasp of psychology militates against the creation of genuine suspense.
Finally, I identify the novel's structure as one of its special features. "It is the best constructed of all his books," wrote G K Chesterton.
On every page there is the stamp of genius, I believe, but I also believe that the novel has many flaws.
Read more ›
Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Look for similar items by category


Feedback