A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
'David Copperfield' contains more saints per capita than any beatified book by Butler. Dickens is amazing in his ability to be both grand and personal. 'David Copperfield' is sprawling, with dozens of threads that weave around David Copperfield's youth and adulthood. IT is amazing not only how he can transform a character through time, but also show that our perceptions of those same characters are drawn often from imperfect information and overly simple assumptions. Yes, there are parts of 'David Copperfield' that float between the melodramatic and the grotesque, but one doesn't read Dickens for the unmoving, normal or embellished. There are a handful of novels that I would consider to be the literary equivalent of scripture: 'Les Miserables', 'the Idiot', 'Anna Karenina', and for sure 'David Copperfield'.
There are several moments in 'David Copperfield' when, as a reader, you recognize you will never be half the writer Dickens was (on deadline). He might just be second to Shakespeare in my book, or at least be among a small cadre of writers that belong on the silver pedestal below the Bard.
This isn't as technically perfect as 'Great Expectations', but it is top tier Dickens for sure. A massive novel that floats with the weight of a beach read half its size. If you are going to read a Dickens, this might not be your first stop, but it shouldn't be far from your second.
A clever Christian allegory filled with fantastic dialogue and Chesterton's wonderful inversions and paradoxes. I might not always agree with how Chesterton sees the world, but I think my vision is improved by looking through his literary lens.
The Good Samaritan was indeed a bad economist. Without becoming overly didactical, Dickens was able to explore in 'Hard Times' the contest between the oppositional conversations of Christian altruism (Louisa and Sissy) and market-driven, utilitarian self-interest (Bounderby and Bitzer), the novel takes its ethical position from the famous parable's narrative of redemptive love.
You probably don't need to guess which side of this argument Dickens favors. The story was simple but deep. The characters were rich and dynamic. I was a tad let down by the soft ending, but still carried away by the full measure of Dickens' message of redemption, love and fancy.
Tull's narration while absolutely true to the heavy Hand of Dickens' dialogue often approached the weight of unintelligibility. Warning, this is not a book to be listened to above 1.5 speed.
I loved the BBC dramatization and decided to give the audiobook a go. It's an amazing book. Much more than a love story, it gives a contrasting picture of two Victorian worlds: upper middle class London and the working class North. Gaskell creates complex, believable characters and raises questions about social inequity in the Industrial Revoluation. A wonderful listening experience.