What is your favorite Dickens novel?

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casper
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Re: What is your favorite Dickens novel?

Post by casper »

Our Mutual Friend, with A Tale of Two Cities close second. I love Dickens' books and it's really hard to pick s favourite.
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PashaRu
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Post by PashaRu »

casper wrote:Our Mutual Friend, with A Tale of Two Cities close second. I love Dickens' books and it's really hard to pick s favourite.
Interesting! You are the first to mention Our Mutual Friend. It's not one of his more popular novels. I like it too - for me, David Copperfield and Bleak House are my favorites, but Our Mutual Friend is among my top 4 or 5.
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Post by David Dawson »

Agree that Our Mutual Friend is up there. I mentioned on another thread that I recently read them in order of publication and, while Pickwick Papers is great and I think Barnaby Rudge is massively underrated, I think from Dombey and Son onwards he just moves into another gear.
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Post by PashaRu »

Agreed, he really was writing at a different, much more mature level from Dombey and Son on. It's hard to group Pickwick with the rest of his novels, as it's more a series of disconnected "adventures" with a thread of continuity between them. I haven't read Barnaby Rudge in years, but I would like to read it again. It has an interesting historical backdrop, much like A Tale of Two Cities. I think Nicholas Nickleby is also underappreciated. The only "disappointing" novel for me is The Old Curiosity Shop. It seems that Dickens, when he started it, didn't have a clear idea of where he wanted to take the story, and it tends to meander and lack purpose or direction.
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Post by David Dawson »

Nicholas Nickleby is one of my least favourites; I think it is the novel that suffers most from the fact they were originally written as serials, so it seems by about 2/3 of the way through that it's just a repeating pattern of life getting better, then something going wrong over and over. Which would make sense reading it as a serial but does get a little dull. In terms of his greater maturity as a writer I think the comparison between Squeers in NN and Gradgrind in Hard Times is quite instructive. On a similar vein, I read parts of Our Mutual Friend almost as a recantation of the anti-semitism of Oliver Twist, which I found very alienating as a modern reader.
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Post by casper »

David Dawson wrote:Agree that Our Mutual Friend is up there. I mentioned on another thread that I recently read them in order of publication and, while Pickwick Papers is great and I think Barnaby Rudge is massively underrated, I think from Dombey and Son onwards he just moves into another gear.
Dombey and Son was the first Dickens I ever read, bought from a second hand book shop for 3p when I was eleven, and that got me hooked. I haven't read Barnaby Rudge for years so that really deserves a reread when I can get hold of a copy.
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Post by PashaRu »

casper wrote:
David Dawson wrote:Agree that Our Mutual Friend is up there. I mentioned on another thread that I recently read them in order of publication and, while Pickwick Papers is great and I think Barnaby Rudge is massively underrated, I think from Dombey and Son onwards he just moves into another gear.
Dombey and Son was the first Dickens I ever read, bought from a second hand book shop for 3p when I was eleven, and that got me hooked. I haven't read Barnaby Rudge for years so that really deserves a reread when I can get hold of a copy.
Dickens' works are online. You can read them all for free without even downloading anything. One site is literaturepage.com.
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Post by casper »

Thanks for that PashaRu, I've just downloaded Barnaby Rudge (free) and it's my next book to read. I wonder what Dickens would think of the internet ...
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Post by anomalocaris »

Not really a Dickens fan, but I did enjoy A Tale of Two Cities.
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Post by Little House »

I enjoyed Oliver Twist when I read it last year, but I don't remember any of his other novels. I do remember that I read at least Great Expectations in high school, but somehow I don't remember much of the required reading of high school. (The fact that high school was almost 30 years ago has nothing to do with it, right? ;) ) I didn't realize that Dickens wrote so many other books. I did know that for his serials he got paid by the word, and this explains a lot of his wordiness. I am going to add some of his other books to my list of books to read.
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Little House wrote:I enjoyed Oliver Twist when I read it last year, but I don't remember any of his other novels. I do remember that I read at least Great Expectations in high school, but somehow I don't remember much of the required reading of high school. (The fact that high school was almost 30 years ago has nothing to do with it, right? ;) ) I didn't realize that Dickens wrote so many other books. I did know that for his serials he got paid by the word, and this explains a lot of his wordiness. I am going to add some of his other books to my list of books to read.
Dickens wrote 14 novels and was working on a 15th when he died. Oliver Twist was one of his earlier works, before he really hit his stride as a storyteller par excellence. May I suggest some of his later works: David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Our Mutual Friend. These works represent, in my opinion, the apex of Dickens' creativity as both a writer and storyteller, and solidify his place as one of the greatest English language novelists.
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Post by Paliden »

David Copperfield with Oliver Twist in second
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Post by Little House »

PashaRu wrote:
Little House wrote:I enjoyed Oliver Twist when I read it last year, but I don't remember any of his other novels. I do remember that I read at least Great Expectations in high school, but somehow I don't remember much of the required reading of high school. (The fact that high school was almost 30 years ago has nothing to do with it, right? ;) ) I didn't realize that Dickens wrote so many other books. I did know that for his serials he got paid by the word, and this explains a lot of his wordiness. I am going to add some of his other books to my list of books to read.
Dickens wrote 14 novels and was working on a 15th when he died. Oliver Twist was one of his earlier works, before he really hit his stride as a storyteller par excellence. May I suggest some of his later works: David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Our Mutual Friend. These works represent, in my opinion, the apex of Dickens' creativity as both a writer and storyteller, and solidify his place as one of the greatest English language novelists.
Thank you. I came back to this thread to request a recommendation and you have answered my question before I asked it. Now that is service. :)
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Post by chiliabowl1998 »

A tale of two cities

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Post by PashaRu »

Little House wrote:
PashaRu wrote:
Little House wrote:I enjoyed Oliver Twist when I read it last year, but I don't remember any of his other novels. I do remember that I read at least Great Expectations in high school, but somehow I don't remember much of the required reading of high school. (The fact that high school was almost 30 years ago has nothing to do with it, right? ;) ) I didn't realize that Dickens wrote so many other books. I did know that for his serials he got paid by the word, and this explains a lot of his wordiness. I am going to add some of his other books to my list of books to read.
Dickens wrote 14 novels and was working on a 15th when he died. Oliver Twist was one of his earlier works, before he really hit his stride as a storyteller par excellence. May I suggest some of his later works: David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Our Mutual Friend. These works represent, in my opinion, the apex of Dickens' creativity as both a writer and storyteller, and solidify his place as one of the greatest English language novelists.
Thank you. I came back to this thread to request a recommendation and you have answered my question before I asked it. Now that is service. :)
My pleasure. We aim to please! :)
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