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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Review: Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Title: Bleak House
Author: Charles Dickens
Format: Paperback
Publisher: My version was published by Barnes and Noble Classics.
Publish Date: My version was published in May 2005
Source: Owned


Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're a fiction fan.
  • You're a classic fan. 
  • You love lots of characters.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "Opening in the swirling mists of London, the novel revolves around a court case that has dragged on for decades—the infamous Jarndyce and Jarndyce lawsuit, in which an inheritance is gradually devoured by legal costs. As Dickens takes us through the case’s history, he presents a cast of characters as idiosyncratic and memorable as any he ever created, including the beautiful Lady Dedlock, who hides a shocking secret about an illegitimate child and a long-lost love; Mr. Bucket, one of the first detectives to appear in English fiction; and the hilarious Mrs. Jellyby, whose endless philanthropy has left her utterly unconcerned about her own family.

As a question of inheritance becomes a question of murder, the novel’s heroine, Esther Summerson, struggles to discover the truth about her birth and her unknown mother’s tragic life. Can the resilience of her love transform a bleak house? And—more devastatingly—will justice prevail?"


My Two Cents: 

I read this book as part of a read-a-long, which I'm really happy that I did. This is a very long book and as this was really my first experience with Dickens (other than The Christmas Carol), I was happy to have a couple people along for the ride. We read the book from March until May. It was so nice to discuss everything with everyone else reading the book. Bleak House is considered one of the most Dickensian books (link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/pictu...).

Bleak House has been called the original detective story and you can definitely see why. There are a lot of twists and turns in the book. It was interesting to see where Dickens was going to take you next. At first, there seemed to be a lot of set-up for some of the story lines but you eventually see where Dickens is trying to take you.

There are a lot of characters and they are all very different. I love how Dickens was able to give the many different characters very different thoughts and personalities. I think when you have so many different characters, it can be really difficult to keep them all different and separate. And this is probably just one of the reasons that Dickens is still considered one of the masters!

This book is not without the typical Dickens dreariness (it's called Bleak House for a reason). But that being said, you really get how much Dickens cared about the plight of some of the poorest people during the Victorian times.
 

14 comments:

  1. I have tried Dickens a couple of times and I just do not enjoy his books at all. I love reading classics, but Dickens is one of the few authors I cannot read. That was a great idea to do it as a read-a-long, maybe I could get through a Dickens book with other people to read it with!

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    1. I am not sure that I would have gotten through this book without a read along. It definitely kept me going!

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  2. Excellent--thanks for the review. My last Dickens was the Old Curiosity Shop, but David Copperfield holds a special place in my heart. Bleak House is next on the list! I can't
    http://www.alexroddie.com/

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    1. I do want to read more by him now. Besides Bleak House, I've only read The Christmas Carol :/

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  3. Ahh, I love Dickens. One of my favorite authors. Still haven't gotten to Bleak House, though, as it's not one of his more popular titles. But it's long, and I LOVE long books, so I should probably get around to it soonish.

    Thanks for the review!

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    1. It took a lot for me to get through it but I'm so happy that I did!

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  4. I like you honest review, and some of the things you brought up are the reasons I have a love/hate relationship with him. I think I own Bleak House, but have been hiding all my Dickens so I'm not sure(he's one of The Brits, as I call them).

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    1. Why has Mr. Dickens been relegated to a hiding place???

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  5. Bleak House is magnificent and my favourite Dickens tho Copperfield is very close.

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    1. David Copperfield is definitely on my list of Dickens to be read!

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  6. Thanks for reviewing this gem, it's been way too long since I've read it and this was a reminder to put it on my to be REread pile!

    http://therelentlessreader.blogspot.com/

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    1. I also love coming across book reviews for books that I loved that I haven't read for a long time.

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  7. Ah, how I love the Dickens' dreariness, but I've never read this one. Nice review.

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    1. I'm definitely happy that I finally got to this classic!

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