I read Great Expectations last fall and wanted to gouge my eyes out nearly the entire time. Now I need to pick up another of his dratted novels off my list. Unfortunately, I'm probably not a fair judge and I need some help deciding what I should read. Here is what is on my list:
- Bleak House
- David Copperfield
- Hard Times
- Nicholas Nickleby
- Oliver Twist
- A Tale of Two Cities
So, taking that into consideration, any thoughts? I know very little about any of those titles, so any advice you can lend would be most helpful!
OH, I totally vote for A Tale of Two Cities. And I hope you can go into it without anti-Dickens prejudice, because I want you to love it!!ReplyDelete
I vote for Oliver Twist because if it drives you crazy, you can turn on the musical to pretend it's a happy thing for a little while :)ReplyDelete
Well I'm going to be hosting a Bleak House readalong starting August 25th, going for 10 weeks until the end of October. We'll be doing about 80-90 pages a week and posting our progress. Readalongs supposedly make long books that might be torture otherwise fun to read, so you're welcome to join us! I'll be posting the information about the readalong on Wednesday.ReplyDelete
Oh, Dicky. Wellllllll, I have a special dislike for Dickens and it all stemmed from A Tale of Two Cities, so I would advise against that one. I do say hurrah to you though -- putting your dislike on the back burner. I still haven't given him another try. ;pReplyDelete
I haven't actually read any of the books you've listed, but I do know that my dad liked Oliver Twist--if I remember correctly, he said it had a lot of dialogue, making it easier to read than some of Dicken's others. I've also heard good things about Bleak House. The BBC adaptation a few years back was great, and I've put that one on my own TBR list.ReplyDelete
I would advise against A Tale of Two Cities only because if you are a Dickens hater you might not like the way he translates the French.ReplyDelete
Go for the most straight forward story Oliver Twist.
Not David Copperfield- it's the only Dickens I've tried to make my way through and well... a few years later I haven't finished it. I'm impressed with you trying Dickens again even after hating it, I'm not sure I ever want to read him again, even though his books are classics.ReplyDelete
I'm probably the wrong person to ask because I generally LIKE Dickens. :) A TALE OF TWO CITIES is one of my favorites, as is BLEAK HOUSE. And speaking of that, there is chatter in the blogosphere about a BH read-a-long sometime in the next few months (or maybe during the winter?) - maybe you want to join that? I'll be revisiting it on audiobook myself. :)ReplyDelete
I've read all of them except "Hard Times"- "Bleak House" is by far the best. It combines all the best of Dickens and leaves out a lot of that over-sacchrine characterization he does sometimes (especially in "Oliver Twist" and "David Copperfield")- plus, "Bleak House" has a female narrator. It's darker, less comedic, and more mature than the others.ReplyDelete
I quite like A Tale of Two Cities and I know my dad loves Oliver Twist so I would recommend those two although I've only read the formerReplyDelete
As someone who isn't a fan of Dickens, either, I did enjoy Tale of Two Cities (granted, I was in 7th grade when I read it, so this isn't exactly a very current thing). I just read Oliver Twist in January and found it pretty tortuous...ReplyDelete
I hated Oliver Twist when I was nine and again when I was twenty-one, so I advise against that one. Watch the musical instead! :p My mother has always said that David Copperfield is head and shoulders above most of Dickens's other books, so maybe try that one?ReplyDelete
Oliver Twist. I hate Dickens as well and I have to read all of those on the list. We should form a Dickens support group!ReplyDelete
Well... I finished David Copperfield a while ago and here's what I thought about it... So, if you're like me and didn't like Great Expectations, I'm pretty sure you're not going to be too thrilled with David Copperfield either.ReplyDelete
After reading the comments, I think you might do well to draw titles out of a hat! I love Dickens, mostly for his sarcastic humor. I loved Great Expectations, so you might not want my two cents. David Copperfield is one of my favorite books for the story; I didn't love Bleak House like I thought I would; Tale of Two Cities is 3/4 slow, 1/4 super intense; and Oliver Twist was entertaining, but I thought it was structurally weak. I haven't read the other two on your list. Good luck choosing, but if it's torture, just let it go!ReplyDelete
Sounds like a mixed bag of suggestions here. I'm NOT a Dickens fan, and I'm an English teacher. Great Expectations has some pretty memorable moments that will stick with me forever! I actually really liked David Copperfield though. It sounds like others here did not, but if you take it in installments, I think it's good. Good luck on whatever you choose!ReplyDelete
Hmm, I was going to suggest Oliver Twist, but there's already an anti-suggestion for that one!ReplyDelete
Oh well, I enjoyed the book, for what it's worth.
Im not a huge fan of victorian lituature in general so Im therefore not a fan of Dickens. But I have got through Oliver Twist so thats what I would recommend.ReplyDelete
Only read Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. Not excited about any of them, but promised myself to try Our Mutual friend because of the great BBC adaptation (unfortunately not on your list). Can’t you exchange your Dickens with other more loved (but still classic!) authors?ReplyDelete
I have an idea: read the shortest :)
I hated Oliver Twist. I would recommend A Tale of Two Cities, because the story is fascinating. If you already know you aren't a big fan of Dickens writing I would go for something that has an interesting plot regardless of the writing. Books like Twist are predictable and cheesy.ReplyDelete
I recommend A Tale of Two Cities too. I read it high school and I remember it being good. I did not like Hard Times but I did like Great Expectations. :)ReplyDelete
I'll add my two cents, especially since - unless I overlooked it - no one has spoken up for Nicholas Nickleby. I enjoyed the perils of Nicholas & Kate vs their "evil" uncle. And the villainous, despicable schoolteacher Mr. Squeers, and his equally loathsome wife and daughter make for interesting reading.ReplyDelete
That said, my favorite CD book is ATale of Two cities, but that may not be 'for everyone'....
I vote yes on TOTC and no on DC and HT. I loved the BH TV-movie on PBS last year and now that's on my list too, but I haven't read it. Ditto on OT, the movie from the late 70s. I know nothing about NN. Good luck! I've been considering doing this myself, but so far haven't.ReplyDelete
I was going to point you to Amanda's readalong of Bleak House but I see she's already done that yourself. I couldn't help you, since I haven't read a lot of Dickens myself (only Oliver Twist) and I didn't like that one.ReplyDelete
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I'm glad to see I am not alone in my hatred for Dickens. ;) I decided to participate in Amanda's read-along of Bleak House, since then I only have to torture myself a little at a time. But I am definitely going to keep your thoughts in mind when I tackle the others on my list at a later date!ReplyDelete
I'm glad to see you're going to read Bleak House, that's the only one I've finished, although I've tried Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities too and just bought Our Mutual Friend for some reason, even though I'm not a Dickens fan! (just keep thinking I need to read more Victorians) I was only able to get through Bleak House because I'd already seen the excellent BBC miniseries of it, although that did ruin the surprises of the book, it was so big I don't think I'd have had the motivation to finish it otherwise... hopefully the read along will help!ReplyDelete
I'm glad you picked Bleak House! It's one of my favorite books! Just know going in that you have to suspend your disbelief about some coincedences and happenings, but overall it's wonderful!ReplyDelete
I also liked David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickleby, but they were a lot slower and if I hadn't been reading them for class I think it would have taken forever for me to finish them.
I started Oliver Twist a few weeks ago and find it incredibly boring and am trying to motivate myself to finish it.
And I liked Great Expectations so our opinions on Dickens may differ!