Advanced search

Which is the best Dickens novel?

(16 Posts)
ItNeverRainsBut Thu 05-Nov-09 09:44:37

I have read Great Expectations and that's it. What else should I read?

Miggsie Thu 05-Nov-09 09:51:15

Christmas Carol: and it's nice and short.

Pickwick Papers

Oliver Twist...those child thieving gangs existed and Dickens wrote it to call attention to them. He was not allowed to say it but Nancy is actually a prostitute.

Hard Times: an endictment of industrial development and the human misery therein

Nicholas Nickleby: the first half. Second half gets a bit mushy

Dombey and Son: I hated it

The Old Curiosity Shop: not my favourite

Bleak House: I don't think Dickens liked lawyers, and a great piss take of women who do charitable works and ignore their own familes. My second favourite

David Copperfield: my favourite

To balance Dickins I would also recommend Wilkie Collins: Armadale, The Woman in White, No Name and The Law and the Lady

WayneKai Thu 05-Nov-09 09:54:41

i was going to say great expectations. the rest are a bit preachy

FlyingMonkey Thu 05-Nov-09 11:03:53

I have only managed to finish two Dickens novels: Dombey & Son and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. And that was only because they were set texts on my English Lit course. I've tried reading Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, etc. but I just become irritated by the populace of ridiculous minor characters and give up in annoyance. However, I might give A Christmas Carol a whirl if it's short and painless.

Is it wrong to say I'd rather watch a BBC adaptation of Dickens than read the actual book?

Oh, and Wilkie Collins is vastly superior IMO. As well as those recommended by Miggsie, I would also suggest The Moonstone.

Deadworm Thu 05-Nov-09 11:07:33

David Copperfield and Bleak House for me. Masterly.

(Flying Monkey -- glad that you managed to finish Edwin Drood.grin I wish Dickens had too: I got to the end of the book before realising it was an unfinished novel and I burst with frustration at not knowing the end. I want to dig Dickens up with a shovel and stick a pen in his shand.)

Sunshinemummy Thu 05-Nov-09 11:11:13

A Tale of Two Cities is my favourite.

Yes there are lots of characters but what is wonderful about Dickens is the way he brings them all together. He's one of my favourite authors.

Agree re. Wilkie Collins though - The Moonstone and The Woman in White are fab.

PuppyMonkey Thu 05-Nov-09 11:17:23

Hard to beat A Christmas Carol, but I do like Great Expectations cos we did it at A Level. And I like saying: "What larks, Pip." Just generally.

KurriKurri Thu 05-Nov-09 12:41:55

I really enjoyed Bleak house, takes a little bit of getting into and is a long read but worth it. I also liked Nicholas Nickleby. D bought me an old set of Dickens from second hand shop, and I'm gradually working my way through them. David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Pickwick Papers all good reads.

I think Dickens get a bit of an unfair press sometimes, I suppose for being overly long and filled with characters. But I think he writes great stories, can be very funny, and gives a real and sympathetic insight into poverty and conditions in Victorian times. Really quite ahead of his time in many ways.

Would also second the recommendations for Wilkie Collins you might also like Mrs Gaskell, -Mary Barton, Cranford, North and South.

KurriKurri Thu 05-Nov-09 12:43:28

* 'DH bought me...' who's D?blush

hairygodmother Thu 05-Nov-09 14:04:38

Great Expectations the best start, imho! But I love Tale of Two Cities, it's such a great story. And also Bleak House.

ItNeverRainsBut Thu 05-Nov-09 19:17:48

Ooh lots of replies, thank you! I think I will try Bleak House and David Copperfield. I have a Wilkie Collins on my bookshelf that I've never got around to reading - think it was the Moonstone - so might actually read it now! I've read Wives and Daughters, which I liked, but no other Elizabeth Gaskell, so yet more ideas. This is great, I was feeling really in a rut and casting around for something different to read.

Heated Thu 05-Nov-09 19:25:04

My favourite is Our Mutual Friend but it's very likely I am alone in that!

Heated Thu 05-Nov-09 19:25:34

My favourite is Our Mutual Friend but it's very likely I am alone in that!

Kathyis12feethighandbites Thu 05-Nov-09 19:27:36

Our Mutual Friend.
You see Heated, you're not alone. It's the only one which has reasonably rounded women characters.

I do love Bleak House though.

twolittlekings Thu 05-Nov-09 19:28:46

Bleak House

JeffVadar Fri 06-Nov-09 14:29:33

Big Dickens fan here, but I have to say that David Copperfield is my favorite - very closely followed by Bleak House.

Happy reading!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now