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Tony Grist

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The Inimitable [Feb. 7th, 2012|10:17 am]
Tony Grist
I read Pickwick Papers as a child and wanted to be Sam Weller.  Afraid that nothing would ever live up to the splendiferousness of Pickwick, I left Dickens alone through early adolescence- and then- at seventeen- fell deeply in love with Little Dorrit. I've read all the major novels except Barnaby Rudge (most of them at least twice).  My politics- an apple-cheeked Christian socialism fuelled by rage at the Merdles and Tite-Barnacles (who still run the world)- are essentially Dickens's politics. I love many other novelists, but Dickens is in a class apart- and there have been times in my life when (like Charlie Chaplin) I couldn't be bothered with reading anyone else. No-one- before or since (and that even includes Shakespeare)- has ever been so lively
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-02-07 11:00 am (UTC)
Which is his best?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-02-07 02:16 pm (UTC)
Impossible to answer.

G.K. Chesterton said they were like lengths sawn off a single log.

The critical consensus seems to have settled on Bleak House, but an earlier generation would have said David Copperfield. Great Expectations is the most nearly perfect. My personal favourite is Little Dorrit.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2012-02-07 04:43 pm (UTC)
My personal favourite is Little Dorrit.

I didn't read that one until after I'd seen Christine Edzard's amazing 1988 film, but I loved it when I did. It might be one of my favorites just for the language alone.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-02-07 05:23 pm (UTC)
I love that movie.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2012-02-08 11:38 am (UTC)
I shall happily settle for four bests, then, and thanks. Being an applied-science type left great holes in my education. I was able to avoid him completely except for a couple of short stories.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2012-02-07 01:11 pm (UTC)
I've never been able to warm to Dickens. I keep trying -- I pick up novel after novel --but there's something about his authorial interjections that sends me away again. I am thinking at the moment about my last attempt to read the Tale of Two Cities. I thought to myself (after he described a nobleman and a cleric), okay, you've made your point that you consider these folk despicable. Now could we please get along with the plot? He didn't, and I moved along to something else.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-02-07 02:21 pm (UTC)
He's a strong flavour. I can understand people not liking him.
I love him for his discursiveness, his humour- and almost everything except his plots. The only one of his books that is conventionally well plotted is Great Expectations.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2012-02-07 02:44 pm (UTC)
I'll try one on Kindle on my cell phone. I can take all kinds of tediousness there, for some reason, including the lesser Anne Bronte novel _Agnes Grey_.
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[User Picture]From: aellia
2012-02-07 01:52 pm (UTC)
I always fancied to be Miss Havisham.
x
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2012-02-07 02:21 pm (UTC)
Miss Havisham is cool.
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