- Hardcover: 991 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 9, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192100432
- ISBN-13: 978-0192100436
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.7 x 4.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 1,283 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,268,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hardcover – March 9, 2000
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David Copperfield is such an empty vessel, such s pliable lump of clay. How could anyone take interest in him?
He does not mark the world but seems to take on the shape impressed on him by those around him. He does not affect the world but is affected by it. If you stop there,, he is the most boring character in the world.
But if you watch closely, you will see that he gathers shape from the honest and good hearted around him and seems unaffected by the cruel and heartless people around him. As he grows, he becomes more worthy and more a magnet to the honest and. good hearted. As he becomes more worthy, his story becomes more profound and insightful, if you can see it. Is Dickens a moldy 18th century relic or a mirror to wholeness and richness in your life? It is more up to you than to Dickens.
Dickens stated David Copperfield was his 'favourite child' .... he was well pleased with the result and many claim it was largely autobiographical.
Yes.... I love it...although very wordy and descriptive... but not my favourite. I much prefer Great Expectations or Tale of Two Cities.
However once again the reader is treated to a bevy of unforgettable characters. Apart from David Copperfield, there is his austere but warm and giving Aunt, Betsy Trotwood.... the charming and loquacious Micawber and his doting wife, the dreadful Murdstone siblings, the vile and undulating Uriah Heep and the simple but loveable character of Mr Dick. Dickens somehow manages to name his characters in such a way the name befits the character.... like the loving Peggotty... David's childhood nurse. Long before a descriptive word was read I could picture this warm and loving woman.
Sadly Charles Dickens died early in life at the age of fifty eight. Nonetheless he was incredibly prolific, and in an era where the production of a novel must have been quite a task, this in itself is remarkable. I salute Charles Dickens.... who wrote many masterpieces and is still being read almost two hundred years later and perhaps for many years to come.
Having made it through this longest of Dickens' works (at least, the longest I've read so far) my conclusion is that this is evidence that bigger/longer doesn't mean better. According to Wikipedia this book was Dickens' personal favorite (no doubt because of the strong autobiographical elements) but in my opinion it is definitely not his best. It ranks better than Dickens' worst (Bleak House, Hard Times, Little Dorritt) but not nearly as good as his best (A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations).
The main problem with David Copperfield? It is waaaay too long. It is the most thoughtful and contemplative of Charles Dickens' books, but at the same time it drags on interminably. Rather than have one main compelling story line, with conflict, climax, etc. that drives the narrative, David Copperfield has numerous storylines, each with their own conflict and climax, so that the reader is left weary and glazed-eyed. Rather than stuff all of them into this one overlong book, Dickens would have done better to break this book up into several books.
All that being said, David Copperfield does contain some of Dickens' most quirky, interesting and unforgettable characters. Even Dora ended up being one of my favorites, if only because she is that rarest of Dickens' characters, one who actually grows and changes (or perhaps in this case she didn't so much change, as reveal a different side of her character as the story progressed). At any event, I started out feeling neutral about her, then didn't like her, then admired her greatly.
If you're a Dickens fan then by all means read this. If you're not particularly a Dickens fan, or new to Dickens, then don't start with David Copperfield; it will wear you out and probably turn you off to Dickens entirely. Start with one of his more compelling books (those I listed above among my favorites).
I actually listened to two different audio versions of this; the first one I was unable to finish before it had to be returned to the library (and couldn't be renewed). So I purchased a second version in order to finish. In comparing the two (this version produced by Blackstone Audio vs. the version produced by Recorded Books narrated by Patrick Tull which doesn't seem to exist on Amazon) I like the narrator of the Blackstone Audio version slightly better. His characterizations are nearly as colorful as the narrator of the Recorded Books version, but he doesn't make everyone sound quite so old (particularly David Copperfield).
I will definitely listen to this again, if for no other reason than to catch the parts I missed the first time around due to my attention wandering.