Liked It5 of 5 members found this review helpful
““Bleak House’ is generally agreed to be Dickens’ greatest work, and I constantly go back and forth with myself as to whether or not to agree or to champion “Our Mutual Friend” instead. I think it's ultimately a draw. Both novels are akin in their darkness of vision; each offers a truly fallen...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“Perhaps this is an unfair rating but I just couldnt get into this book despite several valiant attempts. The crippling detail continued for page after page and I completely lost interest and gave up half way through. Cudos to those who have finished it though, its not an easy task.”see full review » see other reviews »
“My favorite of all of Dickens's novels! How can you not love a complex literary text featuring spontaneous combustion as means for getting rid of a character?”Mrs. Houghton wrote this review Wednesday, November 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A very satisfying book. Long enough, and complicated enough to engage without being depresseing.”Shelley Kotz wrote this review Tuesday, October 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“So this is considered by many to be Dickens' finest work. Considering that it was originally serialized and has so many subplots, that readers of the day could remember what happened in the issues a year before. I had to refer to a synopsis to keep track of who interacted with who and how. I think it may be more enjoyable to read in sections in a class where you could discuss it. It was not very enjoyable straight through read for me.”Jen wrote this review Tuesday, October 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bleak House opens in a London shrouded by an all-pervading fog that swirls around the Court of Chancery, where lawyers are enriching themselves in endless litigation over a dwindling inheritance. Considered one of Dickens's greatest works, Bleak House scathingly portrays his belief: "The one great principle of the English law is to make business for itself." His genius for characterization, dramatic construction, social satire, and poetic evocation is memorably evidenced in this work as in no other. Peopled with characters both comic and tragic-including one of literature's first detectives and a case of spontaneous combustion-in settings ranging from the mansion of a fear-haunted noblewoman to the squalor of the London slums, this superb narrative was hailed by Edmond Wilson as a "masterpiece".”LuvJMB wrote this review Sunday, September 15, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is Dickens critigue of the legal system. I believe Dickens once worked as a clerk in the system so he knows of what he writes. I constantly use this case Jarndyce v. Jarndyce in my world as a lawyer. This case according to the author was the longest case ever in the equity courts. The lawyers litigated it until there was no money left in the estate! So, the only people who made money were the lawyers.”jerry-book wrote this review Sunday, August 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Okay, so I read a third of it. I just couldn't take it any more. I could only follow half the story. I found myself doing anything to avoid reading. I thought I may start hating reading due to this book. Sorry Charles. (I've been much happier since I stopped and read something else).”Lynne S wrote this review Tuesday, August 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Spontaneous Human Combustion, oh yea! Took me a while to get into it but what an amazing insight into life in the UK in the 1800's. It grew on me big time. ”Thomas Whitaker wrote this review Thursday, June 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Beautiful, brilliant Dickens at his best. Esther, Allan, John Jarndyce, Ada, Guppy, Jo, Mrs. Roundswell - Sir Lester. How I love every one.”Kellie wrote this review Monday, June 17, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The celebrated case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce - an edge-of-the seat thriller.”CLAUDIA NICHOLS wrote this review Monday, May 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Oh my lord, I have finally - FINALLY - completed this monster of a book. And I don't mind telling you that reading it on the Kindle makes it an altogether different experience to reading it as a paperback. (Not that I've read the paperback, but oh you can definitely tell how much of the book you've made it through and how much is left and you can SEE the thickness left). Can't quite say which one would be easier though. Anyway. It's DONE! Oh yes!
It was surprising when it finally came to a close. You read it thinking, oh but I think I could do with some more detail here, and oh I should like to know what happened THERE second by second. But Dickens wraps up the end rather quickly.
It's like climbing a hill, I might say. The beginning is laborious and slow as going up a hill often is, but you're taking in the scenery and sometimes that's distracting and you don't notice the work you're putting in. You notice all the birds and their families, and the particular shapes of clouds, and the characters of great mansions as look over verdant pastures. You notice it all but you pay it no great attention, there being so much to see that you can't possibly remember it all.
But you finally reach the top of the mountain (yes, you're realized the sheer size of it) and you know it's a monumental point and you can feel how the mountain is defined by where you're standing. Slowly those different observations that you made on the way up seem to suddenly link into each other as you stand at the highest point of the journey and take everything in. Oh, how many fragmented mysteries and plots seem to come together as you look around the landscape below you. It's starting to make sense.
Now for the final run. You take a step forward and you're tumbling, everything's rushing into each other, forging links as soon as you notice them, blending seamlessly. And you're going so fast that you can't stop turning the pages because you know you're nearly at the end and what better reward for having climbed a mountain than to also climb down it and fully claim your conquest? So the end of the book goes.
And it's a relief and a disappointment at the same time to have reached the end. You wonder at it. You can't believe it's over, that a part of your life was spent on this mountain and here you are, at the bottom again. You gather yourself and rest for a while, catching your breath, taking it back from the mountain, from the wind that caught it on your way down, remembering what it was like at the slow start and the pregnant middle and at the doubletime descent.
And as you regain your senses, you notice there are yet more mountains and mounds to conquer. Yes, indeed, there are. And you'll set out again, to do it all over.”