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Customer Review

79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Dickens novel, August 8, 2006
This review is from: Little Dorrit (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I truly don't understand why this novel is not more widely read or discussed. Thanks to the BBC dramatization, it has been saved from obscurity. Even though the television adaptation is quite good, it is no substitute for reading the full text of the book. I would disagree with those who say this was not one of the author's best novels; on the contrary, I feel it is one of his very best. Dickens wrote so many great books of which I am a fan. Among my favorites are: Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, and David Copperfield. Of all these masterpieces, Little Dorrit is my absolute favorite. I heard somewhere that Shaw felt Little Dorrit was Dickens's best work. Who am I to argue with Shaw? I believe many critics and those who study Dickens would agree. Ironically, the work was wildly popular during Dickens own life when it was published in serial form. In fact, that is the best way to read the small portions. You will choke to death if you try and consume it in one bite. This novel is too big and rich to devour quickly. I had a difficult time getting into the book after the initial few chapters but was richly rewarded as I continued on. This is not a book for lightweights. The length of the book is quite intimidating, the plot is complex, and the characters numerous; that being said, it is well worth the effort to read. I could not put it down as I came to the last few hundred pages. I absolutely loved it by the time I finished the book. It is one of Dickens's darker novels, which may put some off. Even so, many, if not most, of Dickens novels deal with unpleasant topics, and there is quite a bit of humor (Flora, her aunt, Afferty...) in Little Dorrit to balance the darkness. In fact the book is full of balance - wonderful Dickens prose, masterful characterization, as well as one the best plots ever devised. As others have said so well, this novel stands up to multiple readings. I certainly plan to reread and savor it many times.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 10, 2012, 11:06:40 AM PDT
AGoldin says:
so glad you said the first few chapters were difficult, because I'm stuck there now and was wondering how to keep on with it...

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2012, 11:21:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 13, 2012, 11:23:02 AM PDT
S. Cornell says:
All I can say is you may want to hang in there and keep reading. I did it in very small portions, maybe even a few pages. You may be one who ends up not liking the book in the end, but if you can, see if you can continue or even take a break and go back to it. As you can see from the ratings, most people gave it 5 stars. Still it's not an easy book to read at all, and it is not to everyone's taste. Good Luck!

Posted on Feb 11, 2013, 7:49:18 PM PST
My favorite too, and I could not agree more or have expressed it better myself. Thank you for a wonderful review!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 11, 2013, 8:39:02 PM PST
S. Cornell says:
So glad the review was helpful. I am always gratified to find others who have read or are reading the book. Too few attempt it, and even fewer complete it.

Posted on Jan 8, 2014, 4:31:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2014, 4:31:44 PM PST
This was one of the most amusing of Dickens' books to me. I loved Fanny and her aunt. Mrs. Plornish, who fancied herself an interpreter, was hysterical. I also loved Pancks and Afferty. I have to say that the main characters and their story became secondary to me after awhile. I enjoyed the scenes with Plornishes and Fanny and her aunt so much that looked forward to them more the anything. For me, the secondary characters were more memorable than the main characters. I loved this book.
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Location: Flemington, NJ USA

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