“As a lawyer, I particularly enjoyed Bleak House and its references to the case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce which, although fictional, became a byword(s) for cases that drag on interminably with legal costs outweighing any potential outcome. Dickens used Bleak House to attack the legal system, believing people were better off suffering wrongs than seeking justice in the courts.
You had a sense right from the outset in Bleak House that nothing would be left of the Jarndyce inheritance by the time the lawyers had finished and you wanted to intervene, warning the litigants (beneficiaries in two conflicting wills) to share the spoils rather than lose it all in legal fees.
Bleak House has a vast repertoire of interesting and complex characters and sub-plots. Initially you might wonder how it would all come together but it does. I loved to hate the lawyer, Tulkinghorn and revelled as I saw the pieces of the story uniting that would result in his eventual demise.
The story is told partly by the novel's heroine, Esther Summerson (first person), and partly by an omniscient narrator. These two narrative strands do not intersect but run in tandem throughout the story. This has been a criticism of Bleak House. I however agree with others who think this narrative structure is Dickens at his most brilliant. I liked it so much, I used this structure in my novel, RAIN.”
“Dickens must have been going through a long stretch of writer's block when he wrote this. He seemed to be continually searching for something to do with all the characters he'd created, but after 900 pages gave up and invented 100 more pages of very predictable, unimaginative quick "end of story" for each character. So many words...so little story”phil m wrote this review Friday, June 15, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“My favourite Dickens novel. Satire, social criticism, humor.”Lise Lyng Falkenberg wrote this review Wednesday, June 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Gave up -- life is too short. The characters are wonderful, but the prose is so staggeringly slow-moving when he gets into Esther's cooing over her "darling"--a young girl in her care--that I just can't keep plodding on, wading through treacle up to my waist.”mef wrote this review Thursday, May 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Didn't like it much better the second time. Some interesting characters--Tulkinghorn, the despicable Skimpole, Smallweed Sr.--but some annoying characters as well--most notably the sugary narrator Esther (which just doesn't quite land). Bucket, one of his more complicated creations, is intriguing but tends to stay in the periphery and often, trying to parse what and why is unclear. Consider Dickens at his best, I can't recommend it.”Jeffrey Sanzel wrote this review Friday, May 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is the immortal story of the wards in Jarndice v. Jarndice. I can't think why I haven't written a detailed review. I guess I'll have to read it again. Most worthwhile and one of Dickens best.”AuntB93 wrote this review Thursday, May 10, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Probably would have liked this book better if I had read it earlier in the class...by the third Victorian novel that involves an orphan child and a lady with a secret, the plot becomes a little transparent. Of the ones we read, this one was enjoyable.”Autumn M. Paxton wrote this review Wednesday, April 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Now it is obvious why this is #12 on the 100 Best Novels of All Time (Burt) and the highest ranked Dicken's novel. The depth of Dicken's characters and intertwining of plots into a nice mystery to boot! Will have to read/reread more of Dickens!”Marathon Man wrote this review Tuesday, April 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Top of the reading group list. Even those who did not know Dickens at all loved it. It is readable and despite the size of it, one wants to keep going. We all loved the characters' names.”Broompark and District WI wrote this review Monday, April 16, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No