The Amazon.com Reviews of Dicken’s BLEAK HOUSE

There’s some extremely fine writing about this book on Amazon.com, dear blog readers.

Here’s one self found particularly helpful (posted by a reader in Cambridge, UK):

Dickens was already a household name when he wrote it.  He’d already cast his net far and wide over an increasingly eager audience (Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickleby had all garnered great praise for him, and Martin Chuzzlewit’s extensive American episode —  after his trip there in 1842 —  had helped his popularity no end in the U.S.)  He was world famous.  He had also just begun editing the weekly journal Household Words, a publication he hoped would help highlight the social injustices of the age. Bleak House is confident and furiously angry in many respects addressing, as it does, much of the same agenda that Household Words railed against week in and week out.

(And, since it is a very long review, self will move on)

Here’s an excerpt from another review, this one by a reader in Chicago:

It’s dark, it’s absurd, it’s mysterious, and so complicated that one character actually spontaneously combusts.  It took me nearly six weeks to work my way through this book, and keeping track of the characters (many of whom have more than one name) was a serious challenge, but the book absolutely (if you’ll pardon the pun) blew me away.

And, finally, the last quote, from a reader in Boston:

As G. K. Chesterton said, when Dickens wrote this book, he had grown up . . .  One of the most amusing subplots involves various women involved in charity.  As the character Mr. Jarndyce says, there are two kinds of people who do charitable work.  Some accomplish a great deal, and make very little noise, and some make a great deal of noise, and accomplish nothing.

Yesterday, self was on p. 19.  Today, she is on p. 35.  Since the book is 900 pages long, and she’s reading at the rate of about 20 pages a day, that means it will probably take her over a month (and probably the whole of her trip to the Philippines) to finish it.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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