I can't believe a book of this quality has only 948 Shelfari readers. Yes it is intimidating, but you will be rewarded upon completing it. A great book which is sadly overlooked too often, even after the airing of the BBC adaptation ( which was fantastic).
I agree. It's a shame it gets so little recognition. I don't think it's anywhere near Dickens' best work, but it's extremely good, and Chesterton said it was his most realistic novel. The miniseries was okay. I didn't like all the changes they made.
The low number of readers is surprising, Steve, but then again this is perhaps the Dickens novel that has aged the worst. By "aged" I don't mean that its themes are any less relevant, but the tone of the book, the concept of "debtor's prison" (in an era when we all live in debt willfully), the rather forced romance between Arthur and Amy Dorrit, and the 1st-half/2nd-half structure that loses a lot of people halfway through all tend to make this a harder-sell in the 21st century.
I do think this is maybe the most idiosyncratic Dickens story (I believe he was going through a mid-life crisis) and thus perhaps has the least engaging narrative voice for the casual reader.
It was, however, a massive success -- his biggest seller to date -- when originally published!