I don’t know what it is with me and Charles Dickens. I read a book by Dickens and while my eyes scan the words and my fingers turn the pages, my brain comprehends nothing. In the eyes and out the ears! In college I was assigned to read Hard Times for two different classes, and I never finished it either time. This may not sound unusual for your typical college student, but I was a geeky college student who read every book cover-to-cover.
This is not a criticism of Dickens. It’s not him, it’s me. To make it worse, all my book-reading friends love Dickens. The love his language, they love his descriptions, they love his brilliant satire and witty humor, they love the funny names that tell you something about the character. I just don’t get any of it. It makes me sad
Reading Bleak House (1853) by Charles Dickens didn’t help my Dickens Problem. It is a book of great girth with approximately 50,000 characters, give or take a thousand. The main story is about an endless Chancery law case and an orphan who discovers her mother and people falling in love and getting married and some skullduggery and silly people and a murder! Side-stories offer vignettes of people ranging from the aristocracy to the most destistute so that the novel sums up the entirety of life in mid-Nineteenth century London. I had to peak at Cliff Notes to get that much.
Obviously, I didn’t pick this book for myself, it’s the W&M Boston Alumni Chapter book club selection for June (& July). The worst part is that I won’t even be able to attend the meeting.
Anyhow, Dickens’ fans can have it against me in the comments. I deserve it!