Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bleak House

Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Barnes and Noble Classics 2005/Originally 1853
817 pages
Classic; FITG
3.5/5 stars

Source: Bought

Summary: A sprawling narrative touching on almost everything conceivable topic for 1850s London: love, death, religion, law, money, etc.  At the center is Miss Esther Summerson, a girl with mysterious origins.  Her guardian Mr Jarndyce is involved in a generations long law suit that seems like it will never be resolved.  Then there are Sir Leicester and Lady Dedlock, the latter with a secret she'd die to protect.  Additionally some of Dickens' famous comic characters occur here as does an instance of spontaneous combustion (seriously, I never get tired of that.)

Thoughts: I've been participating in a readalong of Bleak House where I posted more detailed thoughts but I wanted to do a proper review of the book as a whole. So if you're tired of BH, I'm sorry and feel free to skip.  I'm glad I did the readalong; with such a big (and often in the beginning boring) book, I probably would have given up.  I would love to read Little Dorrit, Oliver Twist, or David Copperfield like this in the spring.  I liked reading what other people thought (generally they liked Esther more than I did) and where we agreed (mass hatred for Skimpole).

I'm really glad that I read this, both because it now means I've read three Dickens novels (along with Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities) and because it means that I can check off another book in my FITG challenge.  But I did not love this book although I wanted to.  Dickens just writes such long sentences and stuffs so much unnecessary information in there; he really wrote for his time which had a different attention span and different expectations of their authors than this time.

Overall: A big, sprawling read but I'm not sure it's a must-read for anyone.

Links: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, and Week 10.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I pretty much agree with you. I mean, I like the story, but it's painful to actually read the whole book. That's why I love BBC and their literary adaptations.:)


Thank you for commenting-I love to read your thoughts! Feel free to leave a link to your latest post so I can stop by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...