Log in

No account? Create an account

October 2018



Powered by LiveJournal.com

Dickens Again and a poll

As is well known, Dickens died before he could complete his novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Last week I watched the new TV adaptation , which had the story finished by Gwyneth Hughes. It’s so long since I read the book that I couldn’t remember where it ended; no doubt that’s why it all seemed pretty seamless to me. The second part was more interesting than the first and with all the opium fantasies floating around you could really believe that Jasper wasn’t sure himself exactly what he’d done. I thought the stalking could have been more frightening and it was something of a cop-out to find at the end that Jasper was a bad man because his daddy didn’t love him. Aaah. Or possibly, Aaargh!

At the weekend I watched all six hours of the 1998 series of Our Mutual Friend, thanks to LoveFilm. It’s difficult to adapt such a long and complex novel for television and this was a good shot. It certainly kept me entertained. Peter Vaughan was superb as Mr Boffin as was David Bradley as Rogue Riderhood. Full marks all round for acting.

On one of my favourite blogs, Mary’s Library, Mary was writing about her continued failure to finish The Pickwick Papers. I struggled with it several times, always failing to get past the unbearable facetiousness of the opening chapters. Eventually I persevered until Sam Weller appeared and he was enough to see me through to the end. There are Dickens novels I enjoy so much that I actually worry that I may not have time to read them again but once was enough for Pickwick. Yet this is the book which made Dickens’ name, which shows how new and fresh it must have appeared at the time. Here’s a little poll to find out if it is bottom of everyone’s list.

My favourite Dickens novel

My least favourite Dickens novel


I know I'm boring with regards A Christmas Carol but I just love it. I read Little Dorrit every once in a while.

I didn't really enjoy the TV adaptation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. It just didn't hold my attention for some reason.
Oh, I love A Christmas Carol too! And Little Dorrit. I had three favourites I found it hard to choose between.

I found the first episode of TMOED quite boring, couldn't get into it at all but the second was better.
I should confess that my opinions are based on only having read six Dickens novels, plus the very dull beginning of Pickwick Papers. People keep telling me I need to try Bleak House. Maybe some day.
It's wonderful!
I enjoy that BBC version of Our Mutual Friend too. Also the Little Dorrit one. I had a hard time chosing between The Chimes, Our Mutual Friend and Bleak House, but I like to read former every Christmas.
The Chimes surprised me. I'd better read it!
I am planning to read more Dickens on my Kindle this year - perhaps I'll try some that I don't like again and see if I get on better with them now I am older.
Luckily, there's lots of free Dickens for the Kindle.
I saw that someone else voted for A Christmas Carol, so I picked that one as well. I wasn't sure if it qualified as a novel.

Before this Christmas it was the only Dickens title I had read. I have now added "A Christmas Tree", which is a very odd "story", if you can call it that, and The Chimes, which didn't thrill me either, but it's too soon to call it my least favourite.

I thought The Pickwick Papers was supposed to be very funny, so it seemed a good book to start reading non-Christmas Dickens, but I see I will have to reconsider!
If I were just starting, I'd go for David Copperfield. Or try some of his essays. I have a nice collection called Dickens' London which includes wonderful descriptions of the London streets, theatres etc. I think they were probably 'Sketches by Boz'.

The Pickwick Papers has funny characters (Sam Weller, Mr Jingle) but the beginning is awful.
My answers are perhaps a tad skewed by the fact that I've read fewer than half a dozen of Dickens' novels.
That's more than most people have read!

I heard on the news that sales of Dickens' books have soared in the past month; 6,000 copies of Great Expectations alone. Many modern authors would be thrilled to have those figures.