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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
9
4.4 out of 5 stars


on 29 March 2017
Dickens at his observant best. The USA with all its faults, and slavery still rife in the South. Read and learn.
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on 10 April 2017
Amazing insight,
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on 28 July 1999
Someone please pick up this book! I've already mentioned it to two of my English professor who knew almost nothing about what I consider a true classic. Just because there is no movie to accompany it does not mean it should'nt be read for fear of confusing a public accustomed to Dickens' supposed "classics". Please take the time to open one of my favorite books. I am sure it will surprise and delight you. Remember, a "classic" is what we make of it!
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on 7 September 2012
If you are serious about American Culture and it's history, this is a must read. Charles Dickens describes his experiences in the United States with his usual humour but also a keen eye. These notes caused quite a bit of controversy in the time they were written. On both sides of the Atlantic.
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on 25 September 2012
An incise view of the American attitudes which still prevail today - especially if you're a Republican! Greed conquers all and to the devil with the hindmost, irrespective of need. A must for both social studies students and lovers of Dickens.
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on 5 May 2016
Whether or not one agrees with Dickens's views on America, it's difficult to deny that his writing style is- probably unintentionally- quite funny. A good read.
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on 3 December 2010
An interesting portrayal of the East Coast of America in the 19th Century from the perspective of probably the most famous author of the time. Dickens wrote fascinatingly (and was complimentary) of institutions he visited such as prisons and mental hospitals, but did seem ridiculously patronising of the American "lower class" with merciless parodying of their "common" habits. He describes feeling disappointed by the legendary prairie which is a shame as he thus neglects what could have made a wonderful descriptive addition to the book. He also becomes increasingly irritated and intolerant of American fans of his who seem to be hounding him throughout his visit. Interesting travel writing but by no means comprehensive.
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on 11 June 2016
Great!
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on 26 November 2013
I had been aware of Dickens' American Notes for quite some time and finally got round to reading them - or at least attempting to read them.

I was drawn to the book by my curiosity of Americans of that era. I was quite disappointed. There are passages where I gained some fresh insights but these were more or less overwhelmed by great wadges of verbiage on 'institutions'. Dickens seems to have had an obsession with prisons, orphanages, lunatic asylums and government. None of these are of any particular interest to this reader.

One aspect that he does cover - and at length - is the quaint habit, popular amongst males of that era, of chewing tobacco. Dickens seems to have been both fascinated and revolted by this custom. He goes to some length to describe how the carpeted floors of the grand buildings in Washington were extensively stained and splattered by the expectorations of the tobacco chewers. Nice!

All in all I found these American Notes quite hard going and gave up on them quite easily at the half way mark.
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