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David Copperfield (Penguin Classics) Paperback – December 28, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
It is rich. I tend towards modern fiction nowadays, fiction that, unexpectedly, takes you deep inside the heart of its characters sometimes bewildering behavior and humanity. What strikes me about the complex nature of the characters in Copperfield is the way it seems that no effort at all has been used to distinguish each of them, yet there is no doubt as to how vivid they are. Each character speaks in a tone that is a perfect elucidation of who they are - you can hear, just in the dialogue, the calm wisdom of Agnes, the parasitic obsequiousness of Uriah Heep, the punctilious rambling of Micawber, the pleasantries that barely mask the aggression of Miss Dartle, the rigid boredom of the Murdstones, the spoiled impishness when Dora speaks (so precise I heard her voice in cloying and nasal babytalk in my head). It's a delicate balancing act to keep this level of detail so hidden in his work, and it makes the plot machinations speedy and exciting.Read more ›
When David is born, his father is already buried in the churchyard nearby. He, his mother, and their servant Pegotty live happily enough as a family until his mother remarries. The new husband does not like frivolity or friendly association with servants but more than that, he does not like David. David is sent off to boarding school and then sent out to work. Barred from his mother's affections by his stepfather, Pegotty becomes a full mother figure and his ties to her and her family only deepen with time. Through her, he meets her brother, Mr. Pegotty; her nephew?, Ham, the widow Mrs. Gummidge and Mr. Pegotty's niece, Emily. At school, he makes fast friends with many boys but most especially with the privileged James Steerforth and the not so privileged Tommy Traddles, both of whom show up again in David's adulthood. In the bottling warehouse where he is sent to work as a child, he lodges with Mr. And Mrs. Micawber who are always in debt. They also show up again in his adulthood.Read more ›
To enjoy Dickens you have to let go, sit back, and enjoy the ride and not worry about the destination. Because although you can see the destination early on, like a mountain far off in the distance, the road to get there is entirely unpredictable and the distances traveled are deceiving to the minds eye. The trick is to enjoy the here and now, wherever the story happens to be, because Dickens will never follow the predictable path, and can leave one exasperated waiting for a plot closure. Consider a Dickens journey never-ending and you can just relax and enjoy the ride.
The primary theme of the novel is how Copperfield learns to have a disciplined heart and morals. In other words, he grows up and becomes a man. This is seen throughout all the relationships in the book: love, business, friendship -- the mistakes of an "undisciplined heart". He learns self control to do the right thing even if his initial impulse is something else (Dora versus Agnus). He learns confidence in his dealings with the world (his innocent days of being ripped off all the time such as by waiters and cab drivers "my first fall"). He learns respect through the mistakes of others such as Steerforth. Self control, Confidence and Respect are all hallmarks of a grown man and we see Copperfield develop a sense of these, and the misfortunes that happen otherwise, to himself and those around him.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a really excellent book. While this is definitely not a comedy, I think Dickens's humor is underrated. The descriptions of some of the characters are hilarious! Read morePublished 5 days ago by Bob Rivera
I love this book. I read it at age twelve the first time. I've now lost count. I am very picky about my reading material too.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
The combination of Simon Vance and this particular book of Dickens is a marriage made in literary heaven. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Diane C. Fox
This is not the real book! This is abridged, watered down, dumbed down. When I first read the book, it was 700 or 800 pages. This "book" is 300 something pages. Read morePublished 11 days ago by E. Whiteford
I've heard this is one of Mr. Dickens' favorites, but I personally like some of his others better. Still, it's a great story, and deserves to be a classic.Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a wonderful story, superbly written by the master author, Charles Dickens. It should be read by all who hope to be considered educated persons in this dumbed-down society... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Jeremy Pederson
It was very long and I hated when it was over. The language is beautiful and many of the discoveries Copperfield made about himself were very profound. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is a wonderful story, superbly written by the master author, Charles Dickens. It should be read by all who hope to be considered educated persons in this dumbed-down society... Read morePublished 16 days ago by shorefun