Barely a Book Club

Teetering on the edge of a normal book club

The Dickens Decision June 20, 2008

Filed under: Dickens — antof9 @ 11:49 am

Dickens Novel Summaries

Message from Shanda:
Okay, if I would have known how hard this would be I would not have volunteered! It’s so hard to give summaries of these books without giving away story details…and I think I basically ruined the climax of several for myself by doing research! So if you have questions, ask me. Do not go to Wikipedia or the Charles Dickens Page!

But hopefully it’s enough detail for everyone. Just bear in mind that many of Dickens’ novels follow characters from childhood to maturity…or death. So a lot more happens that the summary!

I’ve also listed his short stories & other works. I did not take the time to summarize A Christmas Carol & the Christmas stories. But if it needs to be done I can do it. But to me, it would seem like we’d want to commit to & dive into some of the novels first anyway.

Hopefully everyone has a chance to read this over before we meet so we can have a better sense of what we want to read among the choices.

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4 Responses to “The Dickens Decision”

  1. Inspector Love Says:

    Thanks, Shanda, for summarizing everything. You did an excellent job because you made me want to read almost all of them.

    Here’s my shortlist:

    Oliver Twist (because it’s a classic)
    The Old Curiosity Shop (most evil villain)
    Barnaby Rudge (because it was one of his few historic themed novels and it influenced Edgar Allen Poe)
    The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit (because it upset the American colonies)
    Dombey & Son (first recognition as a talented novelist)
    David Copperfield (most autobiographical)
    Bleak House (not well-known, considered one of his best novels)
    Tale of Two Cities (because it’s a classic)
    No Thoroughfare (because it sounds less political and more of an adventure- perhaps Dickens was starting to deviate from the themes of his previous work)

    Nine! Nine books! I even surprised myself. I have no problem reading them all, but we could start with three or four and see if we want to continue or not.

    If we did that, we could read the most classic ones first:
    Oliver Twist
    Great Expectations
    David Copperfield
    Tale of Two Cities

  2. antof9 Says:

    I’m totally up for whatever. The Inspector’s list looks great to me, honestly. Seems like that could take us right up to the end of the year 🙂

    The long version is a tiny bit daunting, though, and the short list looks equally appealing. I’m ok either way.

    I won’t be there this Saturday because I’m going to my brother’s 25th anniversary party in Vermont. And yes, having a sibling celebrating a 25th anniversary does indeed sound old!

  3. shanda Says:

    I agree that maybe a short list would be better. Then we could evaluate if we want to continue or maybe take a 1 book break between “Dickens sets”.

    The 2 other books that I’d really be interested in other than those that IL mentioned are:
    Our Mutual Friend
    The Pickwick Papers since it was first

    IL, are you going to be here on Saturday?

  4. Inspector Love Says:

    Yes! I’ve started Emma. I don’t like how she’s talking to Miss Smith about the farmer. She’s a bit full of herself, IMHO.


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