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How many people still read Dickens?  And other than "A Christmas Carol," which of his works do you like and know best?
 

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I've read David Copperfield, Great Expectations, and A Tale of Two Cities. My favorite is David Copperfield. Loved it. A brilliant novel.
 
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OUR MUTUAL FRIEND: Amazon story. Had something brilliant on every page. My favorite were the con artist man and woman who married because they each thought the other was rich.
 

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I adore Great Expectations. Copperfield is my second favorite (and Dickens' own favorite). I'm about a third through Our Mutual Friend now, and I'm not into it yet, surprisingly. I'm wondering if it's the Kindle. All the others I'd read dead tree ...
 

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I haven't read nearly enough Dickens (I'm still slogging through Bleak House... not recommending it, to be honest), but I quite seriously hold Great Expectations as the canonically perfect novel. That book is tight tight. You couldn't remove a page from it, and I could not put it down! I've heard some say it's boring, but I just don't see it. It's the epitome of an art form.
 

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foreverjuly said:
OUR MUTUAL FRIEND: Amazon story. Had something brilliant on every page. My favorite were the con artist man and woman who married because they each thought the other was rich.
I admire this work also - but then I'm a Dickens maven - he's one of my mentors.

ECP
 

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Bleak House. So many plot threads consummately interwoven, a huge cast of characters all made distinctive, and a heroine with more depth to her than Dickens' 17-year-old domestic angels sometimes have.
 

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I too love DAVID COPPERFIELD--so many memorable moments and characters.  But in second place is GREAT EXPECTATIONS, which contains not only the spunky (and crazy) Miss Havisham, but also one of my favorite Dickens creations, Joe Gargery.

My family used to read A CHRISTMAS CAROL every Christmas Eve--we'd just pass the book around and take turns reading.  It still makes for great read-aloud fun, and it really does put one in the holiday spirit, more so than the movie versions of it, I would contend.  :)

Julia

 

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I'm reading The Last Dickens right now. Historical fiction set just after Dickens' death, where his publisher seeks to finish a manuscript he had in progress when he died. People steal pages of the novel, etc. It's actually very good. But to get back to the thread--loved A Tale of Two Cities. :)
 

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foreverjuly said:
OUR MUTUAL FRIEND: Amazon story. Had something brilliant on every page. My favorite were the con artist man and woman who married because they each thought the other was rich.
Cool! Someone else who's read and loved OUR MUTUAL FRIEND!

I also love DOMBEY AND SON.

My senior seminar course (and entire semester focusing on one topic) was on Dickens, so I got to swim in his work for a few months and discuss it and have a total party. LOVE me some Dickens!
 

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I really like Tale of Two Cities, and it's one of the few books we had to read in high school that I enjoyed at that time. (I mean, Faulkner when you're 14? Please.)

Least favorite Dickens? The Old Curiosity Shop. I don't think I even finished that one.
 

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I'm most familiar with Great Expectations because I've seen three or four movie versions of it. I've also seen two or three versions of David Copperfield, two of Bleak House, two of A Tale of Two Cities, and two of Little Dorrit. Also seen Our Mutual Friend, Nickolas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, and The Old Curiosity Shop.

I can't even count how many versions I've watched of A Christmas Carol, especially since so many of them didn't actually follow the book. For example, can you count Barby and A Christmas Carol and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past? Obviously they're derivative in some ways but not much like the real thing.

As to Dickens' actual books, I'm not sure I've ever read one cover to cover. I get most of my knowledge of the classics via movies, which is sort of sad.
 

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AnnetteL said:
My senior seminar course (and entire semester focusing on one topic) was on Dickens, so I got to swim in his work for a few months and discuss it and have a total party. LOVE me some Dickens!
Had a seminar course on Dickens myself. Loved it. I'll go with Little Dorrit and Bleak House.

I'll certainly admit that Bleak House was daunting, and while I read it I kept a piece of paper handy, writing down the characters' names and connecting them with lines when Dickens connected them in the book.

It was a spiderweb at the end, but by the time I was at that point, the entire world of the novel was so well-drawn and realized that I didn't care. I was also stunned by the fact that he'd started out with a blank page, written the book in installments over almost two years, and managed to tie it all together.

Plus, it opens with the single best description of Victorian London I've ever seen, and it's in just three paragraphs. Included in those is one of my favorite literary lines ever: "Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakes-gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun."
 

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The Big Glen said:
I haven't read nearly enough Dickens (I'm still slogging through Bleak House... not recommending it, to be honest), but I quite seriously hold Great Expectations as the canonically perfect novel. That book is tight tight. You couldn't remove a page from it, and I could not put it down! I've heard some say it's boring, but I just don't see it. It's the epitome of an art form.
Aww...I'm a Bleak House lover. It and David Copperfield are my favorites. I do think Tale of Two Cities gets a nod for having the Worst Scene in Fiction--the one where Lucy visits her father in prison and gives that god-awful speech where she keeps repeating, "Weep for it! Weep for it!"
 

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Ann Herrick said:
I really like Tale of Two Cities, and it's one of the few books we had to read in high school that I enjoyed at that time. (I mean, Faulkner when you're 14? Please.)

Least favorite Dickens? The Old Curiosity Shop. I don't think I even finished that one.
A Tale of Two Cities was my favorite too. I read it in high school for a class and sobbed at the ending. I think it's the first classic that ever made me cry.
 

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I think Nicholas Nickleby is the quintessence of Dickens early style and captures Victorian England perfectly.

Edward C. Patterson
 

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I read A Tale of Two Cities in high school and couldn't remember anything past the opening line. I decided to re-read the classics as an adult and actually loved A Tale of Two Cities. There are so many other authors I'm happy to have revisited too.
 
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