David Copperfield
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David Copperfield

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  97,581 ratings  ·  2,988 reviews
David Copperfield is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivol...more
Paperback, 974 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Penguin Classics (first published 1850)
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mark monday

oh you architect of doom!

your devious passivity and willful naivete know no boundaries!
your crimes are many!

your poor doting mother - hustled off to an early grave, and you do nothing!
you repay the Murdstones' attempts at improvement with intransigence and a savage bite!
you return Mr. Creakle's guiding hand with laziness and scorn!
you do nothing as your idol Steerforth humiliates Mr. Mell!
you run from honest work in a factory! you must be too good for that!
you im...more
mark monday
Status Report: Chapters 1 - 8

i had forgotten how much i love Dickens. the man is a master at the immersive experience. it is really easy for me to get sucked into the world he is so carefully constructing, to revel in all the extensive details, the lavish description, the almost overripe imagination at work. his strength at creating a wide range of entirely lived-in settings (both brief snapshots of places in passing and crucial places like David's home and school) is equalled by his even more f...more
Steve Sckenda
“First, I was destined to be unlucky in life; and secondly, I was privileged to see ghosts and spirits.” David Copperfield endures the catastrophes and finds the compensations. As a refugee from a weak mother, a wicked step father, and a cruel headmaster, David Copperfield journeys into purposeful friendship, love, and the life of a writer.

“David Copperfield” suggests that there are providential compensations for fatherless boys forced into a cruel world before they are ready. One compensation...more
Apr 21, 2008 Carlie rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: lovers, innocents, justice seekers, and those who are depressed
"I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is DAVID COPPERFIELD"
I have also a favorite author and his name is Charles Dickens.

This novel is poetry. To truly appreciate the beauty of the English language, one must read David Copperfield. This book cannot be classified. It is a love story, a drama, and a comedy. It has elements of horror and suspense. I laughed hysterically, sobbed uncontrollably, and threw it to a wall in a fit of anger. It annoyed, bored, and entrapped me.
Megan Baxter
David Copperfield is one of my favourite Dickens' books, and I tend to enjoy Dickens quite a lot. It's not a perfect book by any means, and on this read, I noticed that it lagged in the middle. (I suddenly found it much harder to pick up and was more easily distracted by the graphic novels that are my husband's bathroom reading materials.) But it picked up again by the end.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read...more
MJ Nicholls
Finished. Having a hard time spinning superlatives for this review. It is more or less established I strongly like, or passionately love, every Dickens novel I read so why not slap a five-star badge on this masterpiece and hop down to Bev’s café for a veggie burger, free sexual innuendo with every purchase, a fly in every milkshake, and a 50p discount on all half-cooked omelettes? Fine. Some highlights. Improvements in characterisation. Notably, the villains. David’s friendship with Steerforth p...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I finished reading David Copperfield on the Kindle a few days ago.

I’m not an English major, and so I’m not going to pretend to be one. I’m not going to discuss what themes the book touches on, what category it fits in, or generally dissect it to the point where it’s more monotonous than fun.

I read the book because I wanted to, not because I had to write a paper about it.

I must say, first of all, that this has got to be one of the best books I’ve ever read. The vivid descriptions of the character...more
********SPOILER ALERT********

Before I start with my review proper I just have to let you know that I’d been avoiding David Copperfield ever since watching the tv movie sometime during my childhood. I couldn’t remember the details but the feeling of sadness and abandonment that I associated with David lingered and I didn’t need any more of that in my life so there it went into the ‘to avoid-David who-no more orphan stories’ mental pile.

Then in June of this year, I felt something in me reaching o...more
Like many people, I never could get too interested in Dickens when it was assigned in junior high or high school. He always seemed like such a chore to read, with the garrulous style, the zillions of characters (all with weird names), and sheer length of a lot of the books.

Fortunately for me, I decided to give him another try, and now I'm madly in love with him. It's hard to say anything about him and his work that hasn't been said already, but as a friend of mine observed, it's startling how mo...more
Wow, I am pleasantly surprised!

I have to admit, when I saw that we were reading David Copperfield in class I was dreading it.However, I was pleased to discover how much I enjoyed it. I had always heard horror stories about how dry and boring Charles Dickens' novels were. Those reviews were very inaccurate to say the least.

Admittedly, there are times when the text seems to get a bit wordy and drag on a bit, but overall I thought that this was a very entertaining read. The novel is chock full of w...more
Lisette Brodey
On a scale of one to five stars, I anoint “David Copperfield” with six.

Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield” is the author’s favorite book. He says “I am a fond parent to every child of my fancy, and that no one can ever love that family as dearly as I love them. But, like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child. And his name is David Copperfield.”

“David Copperfield,” which was published in 1850 (Dickens began publishing stories in 1833), is the book that most mirrors h...more
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David Copperfield by Charles Dickens was a superb story with an engaging cast of characters, and I think this might be Dickens greatest achievement yet. Although I read bits of it everyday, it took so very long to get through, I think, because there was so much to digest. Copperfield's flighty heart and good intentions fluctuated constantly. The mysteries surrounding Agnus's father, the slimy Uriah Heep, and the dashing Steerforth were ever present and t...more
Top Ten Tips to Young Ladies of Marriageable Age by Charles Dickens

10. Giggle alot. Be innocent, stupid, and silly. Flirt with a rival and blush charmingly.
9. Have an annoying lap dog.
8. Have a best friend who will act as a go-between. Impecunious and overprotective fathers are to be avoided, but indulgent aunts should be welcomed.
7. Ensure that the man courting you has the ability to provide for you and your future family. If need be, move to Australia.
6. Stay away, especially, from fortune...more
I first got the idea about reading Dickens aloud from watching the movie Gone With the Wind . (They were even reading this book!) To me as a young bookgirl (at the time) it seemed like such fun, I kept wishing we didn't have TV at home and we'd sit around and read aloud in the evenings. It didn't happen in the home I grew up in, but my husband and I made it happen (for a while at least) in our own home. David Copperfield, like most of Dickens’ works is at its best when read aloud. I think that's...more
Oh, how I love Charles Dickens’ writing, what a genius he was. There is no doubt why David Copperfield is a classic. Every thought is so clear, serene, in his writing style. I was transported into another place and time and felt a warmth and comfort like sinking deep into a down-filled bed every time I picked up this book to read a chapter or two. You talk about escapism -- this was it for me completely. Charles Dickens has entertained with his many stories for centuries and will continue for ma...more
Nov 28, 2007 Hannah rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone
A story that includes an orphan boy, rags to riches, trials, tribulations, and adventures: it seems to scream standardization and uniformity. Do we really need to hear about another destitute orphan who, through self-discovery and hardships, creates a better life for himself? I say we do, should, or must if his name is David Copperfield. Tom Sawyer, Anne Shirley, Mowgli, Pollyanna, Peter Pan, Jane Eyre, Becky Sharp, and even (or especially) Harry Potter: please step aside. You simply can’t compe...more
Marco Tamborrino
Non sprecherò più che poche parole per questo libro. È semplicemente il più bello che abbia mai letto. Non so se avrò mai il coraggio di rileggerlo, ma sono sicuro che da oggi in avanti mi rimarrà nel cuore in maniera indelebile, perché dire che è meraviglioso equivale ad insultarlo. Ora capisco Dickens, che tra tutte le sue opere, quella per cui provava più amore nel profondo del suo cuore, era David Copperfield.
So, Dickens, the most beloved English author since Shakespeare. How good is he? Is he as good as Tolstoy? No, he's not as good as Tolstoy. As good as Dumas? No. Hugo? Let's call it a tie. What about other Brits? Well, he's not even close to George Eliot.

He has a better feel for what it's like to be poor than most of those authors, and that's a big plus for him; even if you don't like poor people, Dickens' willingness to dive into the alleys makes a nice change from all those Victorian parlors. H...more
In between the too-easy critical division of early, picaresque, comic Dickens and later, more somber, better-planned novels dwells "David Copperfield" smack in the middle, eighth of 15. Indeed, in its mid-period birth, "David Copperfield," has all of Dickens' trademarks but still feels like something other: a more "realistic" (comparatively), unforced, deeply felt tale. The most autobiographical of Dickens' novels was famously his favorite. You can't always trust an author's evaluation of his ow...more
Chiara Pagliochini
« Lunghe miglia di strada s’aprivano allora davanti al mio pensiero e, avanzando a fatica, vedevo un ragazzo stremato e cencioso, derelitto da tutti, che sarebbe giunto a chiamar suo il cuore che ora batteva contro il mio »

Se n’è fatta di strada insieme, David e io. Lunghe miglia di mesi, lunghe miglia di affanni trascorsi insieme, a volte parlando, a volte in silenzio, come viaggiatori abituati alla compagnia reciproca, che il silenzio più non spaventa. Giunti alla fine di questo viaggio, resta...more
Wow, I think Charles Dickens might just be my favorite author of all time. This book was basically his autobiography, and of all his books his favorite. It was really amazing to see all the opposition he had to deal with up til he was ten and after that it just kept coming. The poor guy was amazing, and seemed to keep his wits about him through most of it until after twenty he developed either some self confidence which in turn allowed him to argue with many people. Because prior to that it seem...more
Embarrassing to admit, but this is my first foray into Dickens that isn't through movies. A little sentimental and kind of silly at times to modern sensibilities but still very readable and enjoyable. In my imaginary world where Leonard Cohen will one day make an album with Nico, I want to see Dickens and Thomas Pynchon pair up in a battle of character names.
After reading Dicken's Tale of Two Cities, I was left wanting to read more of him. I came across David Copperfield in my university library. At first I was a little intimidated, over 900 pages, but enjoyed it deeply. David Copperfield is known as Dicken's 'favorite child' and I can see why. Dickens really brings his characters to life especially with his main character David Copperfield. Although it took me over 2 months to read it, I did not want to the book to end. Bravo to Dickens on this one...more
People enjoy knocking Dickens, but fuck them: When someone complained that Dickens wrote what the people wanted, Lionel Trilling (I believe) responded: "Dickens didn't write what the people wanted. Dickens wanted what the people wanted."

I love the books of his that I've read, and though there may be more artistry in, say, Great Expectations, Copperfield is still the sentimental favorite. (It's that "sentimental" tag that gets people down.)

Lisa (Harmonybites)
Feb 28, 2014 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Good Reading: 100 Significant Books
I was thoroughly entertained by this and never found it a slog reading through its 800 plus pages--and that actually came as a surprise to me because I am by no means a Dickens fan. I decided to read this one because it's on the the list of 100 Significant Books I've been reading through--and because a friend told me that I should at least try this one before giving up on Dickens. This was actually his own favorite among his novels, and the one most autobiographical. Even knowing as little as I...more
This was the second Dickens book I've read. The first was A Christmas Carol more than 30 years ago. Why it's taken me this long to read another, I can't say.

This has been one of the most delightful experiences I've ever had in reading. Dickens' has a flair for creating memorable characters and bringing them to endearing life: David Copperfield, his aunt Betsey Trotwood, his nurse Pegotty, the slightly off-kilter Mr. Dick (Dick, Richard Babley, Dixson), the exquiste Little Em'ly, the eloquently v...more
I have read, in this order, Bleak House, Nicholas Nickleby and David Copperfield, and my enjoyment of them is ranked more or less in the same order. They are all deliciously written, and are bursting with Dickens’ unique character portrayal (including some quite startling examples of womanhood which, being no kind of feminist at all, I am perfectly willing to overlook in exchange for being entertained; it’s important to put these characters in context… it’s not just the women who are drawn in ex...more
Bre Cregor
How I wish I could give 6 stars!


The Signet Classic boasted that this text was as the book had appeared in its entirety , as it was written by the author, and not as it appeared when it was published over nineteen months in pamphlets.

Genius, Dickens! I feel he knew the type of people who were going to be reading his stories and purposefully baited them within the intricacies of the tale. In fact, he seemed to RELY on the reader to infer and predict, correctly, how his characters would pro...more
Anne Hawn Smith
Dec 30, 2013 Anne Hawn Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: anyone with a good vocabulary
I am reading this again for my Ravelry "Knitting like the Dickens" group and these are my comments for this reading.

December 30, 2013:

I'm finished! (again) This book has been with me for months and months. What will I do without it??? It did drag a bit in the middle, but then it picked up and I wanted it to go on and on. For one thing, I would have had a chapter on Mrs. Micawber's family and how the felt about Mr. Micawber after he was such a success. I bet they would have been on the first boat...more
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A prolific 19th Century author of short stories, plays, novellas, novels, fiction and non-fiction; during his lifetime Dickens became known the world over for his remarkable characters, his mastery of prose in the telling of their lives, and his depictions of the social classes, morals and values of his times. Some considered him the spokesman for the poor, for he definitely brought much awarenes...more
More about Charles Dickens...
A Tale of Two Cities Great Expectations A Christmas Carol Oliver Twist Bleak House

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