“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
“Characteristic Dickens. Not easy for the modern reader.”Tom Kilcourse wrote this review Sunday, March 4, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“ I've said it before and I'll say it again, Charles Dickens is a genius with his cast. Another thing I find really enjoyable about his work is he has a way of making you assume things that aren't true, to the point you don't even question them, which makes for good plot twists.
I think this is my favorite Charles Dickens novel (though to be fair, this is only my second novel) because I adore Esther and Woodcourt. I spent the majority of the book practically aching for them to be together, which is a feeling I don't get in a lot of "modern" or "contemporary" romances. ”
“Reading Dickens requires a great deal more concentration than other books. Bleak House is regarded as one of his greatest masterpieces but moves very, very slowly. As I get older, I appreciate more his ability to damn while pretending to praise.”Mike K wrote this review Tuesday, January 24, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Bleak House – Charles Dickens
Audio version performed by Simon Vance
Bleak House is much lauded as Dickens’ most innovative novel. There are at least 57 characters moving about the stage set of the Chancery lawsuit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. The elaborate plot design is even more extremely convoluted than in Dickens’ other novels. The story is told partly by an omniscient narrator and partly by Esther Summerson, the novel’s heroine. The novel is an overt attack on the British judiciary system, but has numerous underlying themes. As usual, Dickens lampoons the aristocracy, but he shows surprising empathy for the final tragedy of Sir Leicester Deadlock. Dickens showcases the appalling conditions of the poor and he seems to be making a case for the rising working class. There is an embedded murder mystery that introduces what may be the first fictional detective, Mr. Bucket. One particularly annoying character, Harold Skimpole, is said to be based on Dickens’ friend Leigh Hunt. Another, more or less, evil character dies of spontaneous combustion! The book is dense with subplots and long, long descriptions.
I’m a huge Dickens fan, but even though this was my second time through this novel, it was hard for me to follow. I found it difficult to believe in Esther Summerson. The perfect Victorian female, she’s just too good to be true. I found her saintliness distracting during the parts of the book that were told in her voice. There are any number of humorous characters sprinkled through the complex plot: Caddy Jellyby and Prince Turveydrop, (19th century dance instructors), Mrs. Jellyby and Mrs. Pardiggle (the competing do-gooders), Miss Flite and Mr. William Guppy ( the crazy spinster and the crazed law clerk). However, in the end, the title states the overall atmosphere of this book. It’s a masterpiece, but it is bleak.
“Took me 2 months to finish it (a side effect of reading a book with "old" language, having a 14 month old and it being so thick anyway) but I loved every moment of it. As a writer myself, I've tried to channel his brilliance...but fall painfully short. ”raindog517 wrote this review Monday, January 9, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“If I had to choose one word to describe this book, it would be "complex." This book was enjoyable and wonderful, but it was also very long and sometimes slow. Dickens, in my opinion, would be a much more enjoyable read if he had a modern editor to tell him that he doesn't have to take 3 entire pages to tell the reader that London is cold, wet, and dirty. The plot was incredibly complicated with dozens of characters, which were sometimes hard to keep track of, but that's part of what made it brilliant! Everything linked to something else. If I were to draw a plot diagram for this book, I think it would look like a spider web; a very intricate, delicate, and beautiful spider web. I loved the characters in this book and the themes that Dickens portrayed. I also loved the little witty remarks and cutting sarcasm that Dickens uses in this book! I liked this book and it was altogether incredible and deep and meaningful, but I thought it was tough to get through so I give it 4 stars.”Lindsey Whitesides wrote this review Friday, December 30, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really enjoyed Little Dorritt, so I was looking forward to reading this one. However, I just can't get into it. I gave it 200 pages, but realized that I was dreading tackling the book. I may try again later, but it's not for me right now.”Tracy wrote this review Thursday, November 17, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“its good so far ”trevor wrote this review Tuesday, October 18, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“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.”Adelle wrote this review Tuesday, September 27, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No