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Thread: Which Dickens book should I start with and why?

  1. #1
    Whatever... TurquoiseSunset's Avatar
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    Which Dickens book should I start with and why?

    When I was about twelve I tried to read Great Expectations twice (with a few months in between) but found it too depressing. I haven't tried any of his other work after that and think it might be time...it's been almost 14 years

    So which one do you think I should start with and why?

  2. #2
    Something's Gone hoope's Avatar
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    well Great Expectations is not too drepressing ..

    Charles Dickens is my fav. novelist .. and his books are really great.
    However i wouldn't like you to start with HARD TIMES ... i found the language a bit difficult and complicated .. but i read it and its a good book

    Christmas books is lovely .. people say its for kids .. but i don't so.. I hardly admire CHRISTMAS CAROL and its a great short story to start with .
    DAVID COPPERFIELD or the TALE OF TWO CITIES .. are great books of choice and i would recommend it why??? because they are some of the best written by Dickens
    "He is asleep. Though his mettle was sorely tried,
    He lived, and when he lost his angel, died.
    It happened calmly, on its own,
    The way the night comes when day is done."


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    Hi

    I have not read many books from Dickens, but I would also recommend A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
    It seemed to me a bit difficult in the beginning, but it became more and more interesting.
    I think Dickens's writing style is great.

  4. #4
    Of Subatomic Importance Quark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurquoiseSunset View Post
    When I was about twelve I tried to read Great Expectations twice (with a few months in between) but found it too depressing.
    Well, Pip does leave the graveyard eventually. The novel isn't all about abuse and dead parents. Of course, there is quite a lot of that. It's a great novel, but if you're looking for something a little lighter than you might want to read David Copperfield.

    Oh, and if you're looking for someone to read Dickens with, you might want to pick Our Mutual Friend since there's a LitNet discussion of it going on here: http://www.online-literature.com/for...ewpost&t=52203
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    I am reading 'A Tale of Two Cities' right now. I don't know whether I'd recommend it as something to begin Dickens with. It's a great book and there is a a lot of action but Dickens does get a bit prosy here and there. I read the Christmas Carol about 10 years ago when I was in high school. I still remember it as a great read. I think it's simpler on the whole and would make a better starting point than any of his other works. An alternate option would be the Pickwick Papers. Although I haven't read it myself I suppose it's episodic nature ought to make it simpler.

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    dafydd dafydd manton's Avatar
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    I'd have thought, with the best will in the world, any Dickens was enough to depress you at 12. Now, at 26, I'd just get stuck in and not worry which one it is. Try Oliver Twist, nice bit of ati-semitism (they say), a bit of gory, a moral or two, good triumphing over evil, a nice murder, a good honest British hanging and you can learn how to pick pockets at the same time. Ideal. (Actually, it's a favourite, but I still feel sorry for Fagin, and I'm pretty sure that the hanging was more a "go" at the judicial system in Victorian England then ever it was at the fact that he was Jewish, but tell it not in Gath!)
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    I would recommend either Oliver Twist or Pickwick Papers. Oliver Twist is a classic Dickens work, but also very accessible and not as hard to get through as others. Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, and A Tale of Two Cities are his most accessible because of their length and action. When you get into his other works, you will find more reading and they take more dedication to finish. Martin Chuzzlewit is another good one, but again, be prepared to push yourself at times. Mr. Dickens is by far my favorite author, but also one that requires an iron rear end sometimes. Also, I would recommend an edition with notes, such as Oxford or Everyman Library. The more information you can have at hand, the better your understanding will be. I've read all but three of his novels, some of them several times, and each time I'm finding more and more things I love. Hope this helps!

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    Pro Libertate L.M. The Third's Avatar
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    I'm planning to read Bleak House this month. I haven't seen it recommended here for a first time Dickens readers. What do you folks think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by L.M. The Third View Post
    I'm planning to read Bleak House this month. I haven't seen it recommended here for a first time Dickens readers. What do you folks think?
    I prefer more Our Mutual Friend, however, Bleak House is an excellent novel too.
    The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation. Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
    Dum spiro spero ElBennet85's Avatar
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    I've just finished reading Bleak house and I thought it was great.But If you think that Great expectations is depressing I wouldn't recommend it because in my opinion Bleak House is really depressing at some parts.Any way it's a great piece of work, the plot is really interesting and the way it is unraveled is magnificent.Moreover the characters are so well developed that you can really connect with them.Finally this book is full of tragic heroes the greatest of which in my eyes was Lady Deadlock.Great expectations is one of my favorite books ever, and after reading Bleak house I can say without doubt that Dickens is a writer I love.I plan reading more of his works...

  11. #11
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    I would say Nicholas Nickleby

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    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    I like Hard Times by him. This is a wonderful book

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

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    Registered User Sebas. Melmoth's Avatar
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    If one has the time to read the wordy novels of Dickens, I would suggest the time would be better spent reading Proust instead.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sebas. Melmoth View Post
    If one has the time to read the wordy novels of Dickens, I would suggest the time would be better spent reading Proust instead.
    very helpful...

  15. #15
    i would say a bleak house, just to start easy. and the proust comment

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