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Dickens for a beginner

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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Mar 2013, 19:04:58 GMT
HI. I'm pretty new to Dickens by my opinion was altered radically by the Brilliant Channel 4 adaptation of Bleak `house which i then read. I also read Oliver Twist. I have a long flight coming up: what should i read next?

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Mar 2013, 19:18:16 GMT
Little frog says:
Try David Copperfield

Posted on 1 Mar 2013, 19:22:58 GMT
I Readalot says:
Bleak House is his most complex novel so having read that you could pick any of them. However I would go for Great Expectations, David Copperfield or Nicholas Nickleby.

Posted on 1 Mar 2013, 19:52:53 GMT
gille liath says:
I agree with the above, but Pickwick Papers and Martin Chuzzlewit are the most fun. And all the books mentioned so far are miles better than Leek House imo.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Mar 2013, 21:26:27 GMT
I Readalot says:
How could I forget Pickwick? It actually took me quite a while to get through Bleak House, kept having to take a break from it. Hard Times is another good one, though not so well known, I had to study it for an OU course but it didn't put me off reading it again a few years later.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Mar 2013, 22:00:44 GMT
gille liath says:
I gave up halfway on BH. I thought it quite a dreary book, and the changes of POV don't work.

Similarly, I've been put off Hard Times as it looks like embodying the didactic, 'issue' side of Dickens.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Mar 2013, 22:17:00 GMT
I Readalot says:
Hard Times is really 'a state of the nation' novel but there are some great characters. The education the children receive concentrates on facts, to the extent that as you don't walk on flowers in fact then it is wrong to have carpets decorated with flowers, and other equally bizarre notions. Imagination is frowned upon in Gradgrind's school and the aim is to fill them to the brim with 'facts'.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Mar 2013, 23:34:10 GMT
Thanks. I have a copy of DC on the shelf so this might be next. How about "Tale of Two Cities" ?

Posted on 1 Mar 2013, 23:41:56 GMT
graingirl says:
Great expectations by dickens is very easy to read. I read it as a teenager years ago.

Posted on 2 Mar 2013, 03:35:32 GMT
F Mundo says:
I second Great Expectations.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Mar 2013, 08:50:18 GMT
Little frog says:
John, it is many years since I read Tale of Two Cities, but I do remember enjoying it immensely. Very different, worth a try!

Posted on 2 Mar 2013, 09:05:24 GMT
Sou'Wester says:
I agree that "Hard Times" is one of Dickens's weaker novels. This is possibly because he moves out of his familiar territory around London and the south, and tries his hand at a "Trouble a t'Mill" type northern saga. For me, it just didn't ring true. I was not particularly keen on "Martin Chuzzlewhit" either; Dickens apparently considered it as one of his best novels but I found it rather tiresome, particularly the long section set in America. If forced to pick two favourites I'd probably plump for "David Copperfield" and "Great Expectations" and, from his later period, I also liked "Our Mutual Friend".

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Mar 2013, 09:06:35 GMT
Steven says:
and I third it. :)

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Mar 2013, 13:27:17 GMT
gille liath says:
I wouldn't bother if I were you, it's one of his weakest and least characteristic.

Posted on 6 Mar 2013, 11:51:22 GMT
TomC says:
"...like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield."

Charles Dickens.

Posted on 6 Mar 2013, 12:37:43 GMT
Wuff says:
All good comments. Great Expectations is, I think, his most complete book so I would leave that for later. Pickwick Papers is a young man's book (he was so young when he wrote it) and so it is really great fun. Dickens had some really, really good jokes and Pickwick Papers has one or two of the best. I would recommend if for a long flight.

Posted on 7 Mar 2013, 07:05:47 GMT
S Riaz says:
Good choices so far, but how about a biography of the man? I really think Dickens is an author you understand more (and forgive the worst excesses of) if you understand a little about who he was. Charles Dickens: A Life is a good edition. Also, I really, really enjoyed watching Charles Dickens's England - extended version [DVD] [2009].

Posted on 11 Mar 2013, 09:11:08 GMT
My high school teacher had to force me to read Nicholas Nickelby - I'd never read anything written before about 1920 before that. Its size was daunting. I started it grudgingly, sure I was going to be bored to tears. Soon, I was laughing out loud, and utterly engrossed. God knows why I thought someone in the 19th century wouldn't have a sense of humour! NN is hugely enjoyable.

Posted on 11 Mar 2013, 12:42:57 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 11 Mar 2013, 13:05:44 GMT]

Posted on 11 Mar 2013, 12:51:07 GMT
Anita says:
Wow!! It must be a new find. Anybody else has read "Sammie Miller written by Sonya Dunkley" by Charles Dickens? Was it a manuscript buried for centuries in some obscure corner of some long forgotten library? Any evidence that it is really written by Dickens?? Bloody interesting!

Sorry, folks, just couldn't resist

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Mar 2013, 13:07:16 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Mar 2013, 13:08:28 GMT
Marand says:
This is this dimwits fourth post and I imagine there are a few more yet to come. This one is funnier than the last one which appeared in the urban fantasy thread! I mean, would you really buy a book by someone this thick!

Just hit the post button and lo! - Az have deleted her post. Lets hope they continue with the robust approach.

Posted on 11 Mar 2013, 16:34:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Mar 2013, 18:14:50 GMT
I Readalot says:
I noticed that she had been spamming in several threads and I clicked on this one thinking 'I wonder' but surely no one could be that stupid, apparently they can. And some people wonder why we get so annoyed. Nice one Amazon, much appreciated.

Would you believe it she even posted in the 'why don't we write our own book ...' thread and included the title of book and her name, how? why? what the?

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Mar 2013, 17:41:04 GMT
Marand says:
Urban fantasy was stretching it but Dickens! As you say, you think no-one could be that daft - it is really rather depressing.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Mar 2013, 23:10:43 GMT
TomC says:
"My high school teacher had to force me to read Nicholas Nickelby ... NN is hugely enjoyable."

Indeed - for anyone at school, the school scenes are especially enjoyable. Squeers is a wonderful creation, and the scene in which he gets a taste of his own medicine and receives a thrashing is one of the high points of the book.
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  1 Mar 2013
Latest post:  11 Mar 2013

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