4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2011
This is truly a marvellous and captivating work of story-telling. My volume, at over 800 pages, is so eminently readable. Of course there are passages that are - Oh so very Victorian - the love between Esther and Ada is gushy beyond words. But there are many chapters so the story is constantly on the move.
There are at least 25 characters depicted and the settings are unique and artistically rendered. The anchor of it all is Esther. Some of the characters are but caricatures - I found Skimpole tiresome and Ada hardly convincing. There are great confrontations throughout this complex story that all comes together at the end - although I could not quite understand the significance of that last letter of George to Esther. Perhaps, as well, some of the characters like Gridle die rather quickly - at least unexpectedly.
Dickens portrayal of the downtrodden is always so emotional and vivid. There are so many different plots and lively characters that one is constantly entertained at so many different levels throughout this long story.
Dickens is truly a master storyteller in love with his craft.