Palimpsest  

Go Back   Palimpsest > User Forums > General Chat

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 30th Nov 2005, 6:56   #1
funes
Junior Palimpsestarian
is a Regular
 
funes's Avatar
 
Join Date: 12 Mar 2005
Location: Usa
Posts: 57
Default Dickens Order

So, I'm looking over my piles and piles of books about the study and thinking "hmmm, most unread author is Charles".

So, for any Dickens fans, what order is he most appreciated? Is David Copperfield worth it? Can I read Bleak House first?

Is a chronological approach best?

Any suggestions? It is getting rather nasty out here in Usa; Dickens might be the ticket to see me till spring.
__________________
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to see."
"Humor is reason gone mad."
Groucho Marx
funes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th Nov 2005, 10:47   #2
gil
Senior Palimpsester
has the freedom of Palimp City
 
gil's Avatar
 
Join Date: 21 May 2003
Location: Farnham, UK
Posts: 3,287
Default Re: Dickens Order

My experience is that any order will do. Bleak House, though, may be the best, so you could leave that till last. David Copperfield is good. Don't skip that one.
gil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th Nov 2005, 10:55   #3
amner
Administrator
is beyond help
 
amner's Avatar
 
Join Date: 10 Apr 2003
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 10,918
Default Re: Dickens Order

Don't skip Great Expectations either. The Old Curiosity Shop and The Pickwick Papers I'd leave until you get hooked.
__________________
amner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th Nov 2005, 13:42   #4
jim
Palimpsestarian
worries mother
 
Join Date: 27 Feb 2004
Location: Essex
Posts: 760
Default Re: Dickens Order

I don't think it really matters although I suppose some are a bit jollier than others. For example I can't remember Little Dorrit having many laughs. I think A Tale Of Two Cities was the first one I read for pleasure (rather than being made to by school) and I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it although I remember nothing about it other than the famous opening lines.
jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th Nov 2005, 16:51   #5
Stradlater
Palimpsestarian
is a Grand High Wizard of the Palimp
 
Stradlater's Avatar
 
Join Date: 9 Oct 2005
Location: London
Posts: 848
Default Re: Dickens Order

What a lovely prospect - all that Dickens to discover.

If I were you, I might start with Great Expectations - it's somehow managable both in tone and length, with great characterisation and story. From there you could move on to David Copperfield. Then what? Hard Times, perhaps? Bleak House? Happy reading.
Stradlater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th Nov 2005, 16:57   #6
Paul
Palimpsestarian
is a Palimpsester Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: 30 Sep 2005
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,001
Default Re: Dickens Order

As mentioned above, don't skip David Copperfield, it's a long, wonderful read. My suggestions for starting out would be either Great Expectations or why not try A Christmas Carol, given the season?
Paul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th Nov 2005, 17:33   #7
Jerkass
Palimpsestarian
eats too much cheese
 
Jerkass's Avatar
 
Join Date: 16 Dec 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 1,289
Default Re: Dickens Order

I haven't read all of them, but I'd recommend Hard Times as a nice quick jaunt (as Dickens goes) for starters, understanding that it's enjoyable and properly Dickensian without quite hitting the heights of his powers, as I see them.

Even without reading all of the rest, I'm willing to bet that Bleak House is the best, so you might want to put that one off until last, or at least near the end. One of my great sadnesses in life (yes, I am fortunate) is that I've already read BH and will not have the pleasure of reading it for the first time again.

I'd be careful about giving BH as a gift to friends, though, as they tend to retaliate by forcing you to read The Alchemist.

Although I did enjoy it, I think I'd leave The Old Curiosity Shop until you're sure that you are a fan of Dickens; if you don't particularly like his style, you may not find it as enjoyable as some of the others.
__________________
"I learned never to drink anything out of a jar labeled 'w-i-s-k-i.'"
Jerkass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th Nov 2005, 17:40   #8
funes
Junior Palimpsestarian
is a Regular
 
funes's Avatar
 
Join Date: 12 Mar 2005
Location: Usa
Posts: 57
Default Re: Dickens Order

It seems that the later novels first, then the rest.

Hope I have the stamina for Dickens. I have read Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Christmas Carol, all some time ago. When I read them, they were dissociated from the idea of a "Dickens novel", and more of a "19th cent English novel". So I'd like to get a feel for his scope.
__________________
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to see."
"Humor is reason gone mad."
Groucho Marx
funes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 12:10   #9
Digger
Senior Palimpsester
has the freedom of Palimp City
 
Digger's Avatar
 
Join Date: 14 Sep 2004
Location: Oxford
Posts: 3,417
Send a message via MSN to Digger
Default Re: Dickens Order

Quote:
Originally Posted by amner View Post
The Pickwick Papers I'd leave until you get hooked.
So having recently had a job in Cobham in Kent, and stayed in the pub where Dickens used to stay (a fact hugely, tackily and unecessarily emphasised by the owners) I thought I should perhaps read The Pickwick Papers, which is partially set there.

amner, is it just a matter of the style that makes you say the above? Is it not quite such a cracking tale? I suspect I shall read it anyway, but I always like the Palimp's collective opinions and thoughts on these things.
__________________
'Don't grow up, just find a bigger playground'
Annie Proulx- Barkskins

Book list | Flickr
Digger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd Oct 2009, 12:17   #10
amner
Administrator
is beyond help
 
amner's Avatar
 
Join Date: 10 Apr 2003
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 10,918
Default Re: Dickens Order

Bear in mind it's 4 years since I wrote that sentence! But I guess what I was trying to get at was that it was pretty much his first, I think? may have to check that, but he's better when he gets into his stride. If you haven't tried David Copperfield yet, I'd go for that instead.

That said, how fascinating a job...do we get pics?
__________________
amner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Jonathan Coe / B.S. Johnson Wavid Book Reviews 49 21st Apr 2010 0:05
Charles Dickens: Bleak House amner Book Reviews 97 1st Dec 2008 18:48
Charles Dickens: David Copperfield Mike Book Reviews 1 17th Jun 2005 21:26
New Order - Waiting For The Sirens Call idioteque Other Reviews 0 4th Apr 2005 1:31
It's only a first edition Dickens, like Jerkass General Chat 8 11th Feb 2004 10:20


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 14:48.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.