Bleak House – a Review

The book read for March 2011 for the First Wednesday Book Club was the classic Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Here are the comments on the book made by the group:

  • Language too curly but will read other Dickens books;
  • Another member loved the language and could easily see and understand how people looked forward to the weekly episode (was published as a weekly newspaper serial), one member tried to read the book as a serial, one chapter at at time;
  • Witty, sarcastic language and satirical character names;
  • The book echoed one readers past – their great grandfather owned a lot of property in Sydney and died at the end of the 19th century. Tweleve years later, advertisements were in Sydney papers regarding the probate;
  • One reader found the reflection of the complex social situation of more interest than the plot;
  • Found the convoluted sentences tricky;
  • Wonderful characters/characterisation;
  • Some characters did not plan their lives instead waiting for settlement – letting life pass them by;
  • One reader found the book enjoyable but slow going, skipped some bits and watched the DVD first;
  • By watching the DVD it lets the reader have a more vivid picture of the people/characters;
  • Found Esther to be a real person – others found her too good;
  • The tragedy of the mother was a reflection of the reality of life for people who had illegimate children;
  • Dickens social conscience was at odds with his own personal life and his own relationships, however what he said in his books really did describe and reveal the real life of many people. The life of the wealthy women must have been awful, as well, from our point of view.
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