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If I were to read Charles Dickens, which book should I start with?

(40 Posts)
UnderRated Sat 12-Jul-08 01:54:35

I have tried and failed to read a Tale of Two Cities.

So, what should I tackle next. Or should I just not bother?

thumbwitch Sat 12-Jul-08 02:00:02

Oliver Twwist - it's the only one I read and understood.

suzywong Sat 12-Jul-08 02:13:03

yes, I've heard to start with OT as well
I loathe Dickens, mightily put off it by having to do Little Bleeding Dorrit for A Level. And the fact he was a wifebeater.

Good Luck

UnderRated Sat 12-Jul-08 03:09:55

Ok, will try Oliver Twist in a couple of weeks when I have recovered from my most recent attempt. Then I'm giving up for good, I think. I don't think I was destined to read Charles Dickens

alipiggie Sat 12-Jul-08 03:22:39

David Copperfield - brilliant book. Go on UR you can do it. Then Our Mutual Friend, then Bleak House. I love Tale of Two Cities, but then I'm rather Dickens freak. On a totally different note read

The Tale of Despereaux. It is the most adorable Children's book I've ever read. We're totally loving it.

bloss Sat 12-Jul-08 07:08:43

Message withdrawn

Sobernow Sat 12-Jul-08 07:14:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mamablue Sat 12-Jul-08 08:10:12

Great Expectations is a good one to start with in my opinion.

plumandolive Sat 12-Jul-08 09:24:37

I loved Bleak House.

castlesintheair Sat 12-Jul-08 09:32:19

I wouldn't bother. You either love Dickens or you don't imo. I've only read Bleak House and I am a English Lit graduate. Why don't you try some 18th century comic novels? Not that I'm a fan or anything ... wink

Stargazer Sat 12-Jul-08 09:36:10

Great Expectations, followed by Oliver Twist, Tale of Two Cities - then roam!! Enjoy

pluto Sat 12-Jul-08 09:38:10

Great Expectations - then read Mr Pip by David Lloyd

AbbeyA Sat 12-Jul-08 09:39:06

I would go for David Copperfield.

mackerel Sat 12-Jul-08 09:42:28

I thought that Bleak House was fab. Give it a few chapters and you'll be hooked.

wheelybug Sat 12-Jul-08 14:56:28

Great thread - have been wondering the same recently. My grandfather loved Dickens and I have some of his old books here (not v. readable so would actually have to get new ones to read).

I read Mr Pip recently so fancy giving Great Expectations a go. My Mum has recently started reading Dickens and has said they are relatively easy to read because they are in short chapters (because I think they were initially serialised in newspapers...).

Let us know how you get on.

jubbie Sat 12-Jul-08 15:02:37

Great Expectations is one of my all time favourites

Nighbynight Sat 12-Jul-08 15:18:04

David Copperfield.

I love Dickens, and have only read a couple of his books, I am saving up the rest and am going to read them spaced out over years, so that they dont all blur into one.

wheresthehamster Sat 12-Jul-08 15:26:52

Great Expectations and Oliver Twist are the only ones I've enjoyed although at school we read a cut-down version of David Copperfield called "David Copperfield's Boyhood" which was good.

Others just bring back memories of losing the will to live - Eng. Lit. lessons disecting Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby etc <snore>

MrsTiddles Sat 12-Jul-08 17:17:14

If you want to start with something short try A Christmas Carol. Its a well worn story in terms of adaptations but when you read it you really do get the sadness and the uplifting nature of the tale.

I've only ever read that and Our Mutual Friend. I can't remember much about that one. It was enormous, i'm sure I skipped chunks and it was very socio-political and I got bored.

ahundredtimes Sat 12-Jul-08 17:22:45

Great Expectations.

policywonk Sat 12-Jul-08 17:24:45

I came on to suggest 'A Tale of Two Cities'. I'll get my coat.

What was it that you disliked? Dickens is atrociously sentimental, for instance. And his heroines are often ghastly. If that's what put you off then you're not going to have much luck with any of the others, I'd say.

ThePettyandIllinformedGoat Sat 12-Jul-08 17:30:45

great expectations! what larks pip!

ahundredtimes Sat 12-Jul-08 17:38:16

I'm not a huge fan. I keep thinking I should be, but I'm not really.

It's all just so over-blown somehow.

policywonk Sat 12-Jul-08 17:41:02

I like him (haven't read 'em all though), but I think you have to set some of your critical faculties to 'zombie' before embarking. Oliver Twist, for example, is both appallingly sentimental and extremely clear-eyed in its depiction of Victorian hypocrisy.

<where the divil have you been 100x??>

ahundredtimes Sat 12-Jul-08 17:43:10

Yes, I've read quite a few too. I just don't LOVE perhaps, like I do others. It's a good show though.

[I've been werkin. Sort of. How you PW?]

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