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Little Dorritt

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  35,444 Ratings  ·  1,145 Reviews
Little Dorrit is a classic tale of imprisonment, both literal and metaphorical, while Dicken's working title for the novel Nobody's Fault, highlights its concern with personal responsibility in private and public life. Dickens' childhood experiences inform the vivid scenes in Marshalsea debtor's prison, while his adult perceptions of governmental failures shape his satiric ...more
Paperback, 801 pages
Published October 5th 1996 by Wordsworth Editions (first published 1855)
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Merry I think that Maggie is supposed to be an opposite to Little Dorrit. Where Little Dorrit is younger and more aware and mature, Maggie is the older one…moreI think that Maggie is supposed to be an opposite to Little Dorrit. Where Little Dorrit is younger and more aware and mature, Maggie is the older one and her immaturity highlight's Little Dorrit's maturity and motherly nature. She makes a lot of Little Dorrit's qualities visible.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Stas'
Jul 20, 2007 Stas' rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A forgotten classic, hidden among so many other fine works that Chuck produced. I laughed, I cried and I nearly peed myself because I refused to put the book down.

It has been clinically proven that those who find Dickens too maudlin or sentimental are either emotionally stunted or full-on cold hearted sociopaths. Clinically proven.

Not suprisingly, Kafka loved this book what with the Circumlocution Office and the strange almost alternate reality of Marshalsea Debtors Prison. If you have never re
...more
Jean
Little Dorrit is Charles Dickens’s eleventh novel, published in monthly parts between December 1855 and June 1857, and illustrated by his favourite artist and friend Hablot Knight Browne, or “Phiz”. We tend to give Dickens’s novels convenient labels, such as the one criticising the workhouse: “Oliver Twist”, the one criticising schools: “Nicholas Nickleby”, the one criticising the legal system: “Bleak House”, and the one criticising unions: “Hard Times”. This one could be thought of as “the one ...more
B0nnie
Feb 08, 2012 B0nnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-books
Little Dorrit is a wonderful comic novel. Within these gentle pages are:
-a severely brain damaged woman who was beaten and neglected by her alcoholic mother
-a bitter old lady who just sits in a room for 15 years
-evil twin brothers
-an abusive husband who beats and torments his wife
-spoiled twin sisters, one who kicks it early and is replaced by a resentful orphan
-an innocent man rotting away in prison for years
-children who are born and raised in prison
-a suicide
-a murder
-in articulo mortis m
...more
helen the bookowl
Wow, having disliked a lot of Dickens' novels in the past I'm surprised how much "Little Dorrit" appealed to me. While I was a bit confused as to the ending and the several characters and all their relations (I had to look up an analysis online just to make sure I got it all right), I still think that this is a really telling, humorous and interesting story.
What I liked the most about this 1000-page-novel was the story of Little Dorrit and how she was raised. I have never read of a character li
...more
Alasse
Oct 17, 2010 Alasse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a really close friend - let's call him Charlie. Charlie began college at 18, like most of us did. Then he sort of started drifting, and his friends began to suspect he wasn't sitting his exams. The years went by, and gradually they began to realize he wasn't even enrolling. He just avoided the issue, or made such an elaborate pretense of being terribly busy during exam season, they tacitly left the whole thing alone. To this day, he hasn't officially quit university or laid out any altern ...more
Apatt
Feb 12, 2014 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Little Dorrit is one of the less reviewed Dickens, it is clearly not “up there” with Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist and whatnot. I wish I could advance a theory as to why but I can’t because Little Dorrit really does deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as those acclaimed titles. Anyway, it’s been years since I read a Dickens and it is always nice to pick one up. I just get a kick out of his writing style, the way the prose occasionally switch into a poetic / rhythm ...more
Cindy Newton
Ah, Dickens and his paragons. I adore Dickens, but his paragons are no different from anyone else’s—they’re excruciatingly dull. They’re stuffed full of every high-minded, moral quality with nary an inch for any of the less-attractive, negative qualities the rest of us mere mortals possess. They face their trials and tribulations with gentle courage and purity, braving despair, degradation, and death, and they escape unscathed, as innocent as newborn lambs. I thought, at first, that Little Dorri ...more
MJ Nicholls
Having not fallen fully under the sway of Dickens’s longest, Bleak House, we’re back to the savagely impressive corkers with this satirical and tender effort from the Immortal Blighty Scribe (IBS—unfortunate acronym). On a less grandiose scale than the preceding tome, Little Dorrit is much quieter, funnier, more powerfully affecting novel throughout than BH. In two parts, Poverty & Riches, the novel charts the progress of Amy Dorrit, (the token spirit of purity and goodness), and her family ...more
Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.)
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens is arguably one of the very best fiction books I've read in my entire life. I would unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone. It was captivating, engaging, and at times humorous, and at other times sad; with romance, mystery, and intrigue. Dickens' plotting is amazing, his characters intriguing, and his descriptions solidly place you in the midst of London in the Victorian Age in all social classes. The message and moral tone of this novel is so incredibly ap ...more
Laura
Jun 12, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, english-lit
For years I thought this book was some sort of a universal joke, because at the end of Evelyn Waugh's novel, A Handful of Dust, one of the characters ends up trapped in a jungle by a madman who forces the character to read Little Dorrit aloud — I figured this was clearly meant to be a fate worse than death. Turns out, however, that Little Dorrit was merely an appropriate choice because of its themes of imprisonment, delusion, and reversals of fortune. Ah ha!

Little Dorrit (the character) is the d
...more
Mark
Mar 01, 2013 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good god, was this a snoozer. I love Charles Dickens like nobody's business, but this book was about 600 pages longer than it needed to be. If he was getting paid by the page, I'm not hatin', but it seemed to drag on and on and on without really going anywhere.

Little Dorrit herself is a really boring character because she is a meek little Mary Sue whose entire personality consists of being weak, submissive, and a pushover to everybody else.

The plot is kind of vague and poorly defined and goes
...more
Jean
Jan 10, 2014 Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-authors
Little Dorrit is a novel of family loyalty. We follow the paths of three families, and rub shoulders with a few others as well. Our three primary households are the Dorrits, the Clennams, and the Meagles.

Little Amy Dorrit is the child of the Marshalsea debtors prison. She was born there and lived there with her father and two siblings, Fanny and Edward, for her entire early life. Once grown, Fanny and Edward leave the prison, but Little Dorrit stays on to support her father. Amy is the perfect d
...more
S.
Reading Little Dorrit is like having your own portable fireplace to cozy up to. It’s also huge, like a log or a brick. At 1,000 pages, if you set it on fire, it would burn for a long time. But I don’t mean it that way. I mean reading Little Dorrit makes you want to take off your shoes, don your housecoat and lean way the hell over the open pages, soaking up all that homey tenderness.

Reading Little Dorrit is like suffering the ritual of birthday cake. It’s also enormous like cake is enormous, hea
...more
Yaboimazz
Oct 21, 2014 Yaboimazz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
from da scorchin sun a marsellies 2 da dark cold cellof a debtors prison, lill dorrit b 1 of dickens 4gotten masta pieces.

dey be lockin boyz up 4 sum wack shit back in da day. ma man dorrit wuz in jail 4 debt 4 so long he had 3 dam kids up in there. N now he think he hot shit jus cus all da prisoners look up 2 him. n he always thinks his kids don work (but dey do). he is off his wacker n shiyt, nom sayin? so dis guy arthur think he owes dees dorrit peeps bc his pops was into sum shady shyt or wh
...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Arthur Clennam befriends seamstress Amy Dorrit and meets her extraordinary family at a debtor's prison. Dickens adaptation stars Ian McKellen.

2/5: Arthur Clannam worries about his parents, but thinks he's found a new love. Amy receives a proposal.

3/5: Surprising discoveries about the Dorrits are revealed, but Arthur is yet to solve his family's secret.

4/5: The newly wealthy Dorrits set off on a tour of Europe, but Amy is feeling homesick.

5/5: Arthur is struck by disaster,
...more
Kimber
Apr 06, 2009 Kimber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How I loved this book. Dickens is amazing, although, I admit, he is incredibly verbose in this book! But the thing is, I ENJOYED every minute of the verbosity! His sentences are just crammed with meaning. Every paragraph is a sermon on human behavior. He paints each character as a particular human trait. For instance, the character in this book who is torn between being good or evil is a twisted man, literally. His body leans to the side, his head bends over, even his mouth is rather hideously t ...more
Julie Davis
Listening to Anton Lesser's superb narration, courtesy of review audiobook via SFFaudio.com.

==========

Casting around for something to listen to but in a weird frame of mind ... I began trying out books read by some of my favorite LibriVox readers, as well as those recommended in the comments. Then I got to Mil Nicholson who reads Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. I have been longing to read it for some time.

And I fell in love. Her reading is simply superb. It also is wonderfully supplemented by
...more
Leslie
May 16, 2014 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: read 13-18 May 2014
More complex than my other favorite Dickens novels (and less adventure) but what a wonderful story! And of course, the many eccentric characters which Dickens excelled at - Miss Wade (who epitomizes the phrase "a chip on the shoulder"), Mr. Dorrit (the "father of the Marshalsea"), the Bosom (!! otherwise known as Mrs. Merdles), Affrety... I could go on and on. I can see that some readers would not care for this, especially the ending but I like the way Dickens always gives us that happy ending.
Olivier Delaye
Not my favorite Dickens, nope...
Ayu Palar
May 18, 2009 Ayu Palar rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, dickens
People may say that I am such a huge fan of Charles Dickens. Yes, I am, but at the same time I also have to be objective in reading and criticizing his works. This year I have gained back my love for Dickens’ novels. It started with The Mystery of Edwin Drood. With its bleak atmosphere, it has brought me back to the world of Dickens. Finishing it, I wanted some more of Dickens. Bleak House and Our Mutual Friend then charmed me with their own significant way. However, Little Dorrit does not do th ...more
Feliks
Jan 22, 2013 Feliks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For a long time I languished in the supreme belief that 'Bleak House' was the highest caliber product of Dickens when it came to his 'really big' works. 'Bleak House' is renowned in English literary criticism as--gasp-the #1 novel of the English language. And I too, thought so.

But the difference which makes 'Dorrit' better are these: (1) humor. The book is riotously funny. (2) Better females. The women in 'Bleak House' are melodramatic, traumatic, and oh-so-serious. None of them are really lovab
...more
Janice
Apr 27, 2011 Janice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think I need a break from Dickens. Reading _Little Dorrit_ after _Dombey and Son_, and within months of finishing _Bleak House_ has made me frustrated with his ideal female character. He uses the phrase "active submission" to describe Amy Dorrit, but it could be equally applied to Esther or Florence, characters whose main virtue is waiting without complaint for their objects of devotion to treat them properly, and for their lives to be less miserable. _Little Dorrit_ and _Dombey and Son_ both ...more
James
Mar 28, 2015 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another classic from Dickens (by definition - obviously) although not my favourite. Great characterisation and social observation as per usual - with striking resonance to many areas of contemporary life in many respects (particularly the circumlocution office - loved it!) . It goes without saying that the complex plot lines and unlikely intertwining of plot / sub-plot and seemingly unrelated characters is often hugely implausible - but with Dickens this is somewhat missing the point. All his no ...more
Ziad Nadda
Sep 27, 2016 Ziad Nadda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, I have to admit. It is my favorite novel of all time. Second, I would say that Amy and her story breaks my heart to pieces. Third, the prison presented as a home makes me sob and ache so much. There is never such a powerful illustration of the social injustice of the 19th century British society. William Dorrit the tragedy that shakespear talked about. It is the misery of the past haunting the luxury of the present which gives you the joyful-misery at the end. Mrs. clennam, if I had the o ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens
عنوان: دوریت کوچک؛ چارلز دیکنز؛ مترجم: محمد قاضی، رضا عقیلی؛ تهران، جاویدان، 1343؛ در 364 ص؛

عنوان: دوریت کوچک؛ چارلز دیکنز؛ مترجم: فریده تیموری؛ تهران، ماد، 1370؛ در دوجلد؛ ص؛

عنوان: دوریت کوچک؛ چارلز دیکنز؛ مترجم: فریده تیموری؛ تهران، سمیر، 1388؛ در727 ص؛
James
It is a rather mixed bag of mystery and intrigue between characters both well-off and not. The theme of prisons and imprisonment permeates this book with the title character residing with her family in the infamous "Marshalsea" prison for the first part of the book. The main plot is focused on the efforts of Arthur Clennam to assist Little (Amy) Dorrit's family in paying their debts so as to escape the prison and Arthur's own quest to solve the mystery of his family & identity. The Dorrits s ...more
kaśyap
Nov 18, 2014 kaśyap rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not as well-known as his other works but this is such a brilliant satirical and symbolic novel. I have laughed so much, in the chapters of the father of the marshal sea or that involving the “high society” or the bureaucracy.
It is filled with some idiosyncratic and entertaining characters like the father of the marshal sea, the benevolent Mr.Casby, Mr.Sparkler who loves women with no nonsense about them, Mrs.Merdle and her extensive bosom and also a wicked pantomime villain.
Along with the comi
...more
Clare Cannon
What a wonderful book to read at a leisurly pace, savouring the subtly humourous commentary on human beings and their daily struggles in 19th century England. The complexity of his characters is so rich, each one responding to their circumstances at various points along the way between self interest and true selflessness. Even the simpler ones show a strength of character that - at least for me - brings tears to the eyes.
Linda
Jul 21, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
3.5 stars rounded up.

Finished the last 1/3 of the novel listening to the audio narrated by Simon Vance (aka Robert Whitfield). He did such a fabulous job, I almost wish that I had listened to the entire book.
Manray9
Jan 27, 2015 Manray9 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit is an intricate tale with a wide cast of characters, each leading a seemingly separate life, who become interwoven in a story contrasting the poverty of social prominence with the wealth of a commonplace life. Prison, both physical and social, is a recurrent theme. Some critics and scholars consider it among Dickens' finest novels. I disagree – it was slightly disappointing. Little Dorrit is representative of the author's later, darker period of literary output, an ...more
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The Pickwick Club: Reflections on the Novel as a Whole 69 16 Oct 05, 2016 07:34AM  
The Pickwick Club: Book Two Ch 15 - 18 46 11 Sep 12, 2016 11:13AM  
The Pickwick Club: Book II Chapters 30-34 25 9 Sep 11, 2016 06:30PM  
The Pickwick Club: Little Dorrit book 2 ch. 23-26 24 11 Sep 11, 2016 06:17AM  
The Pickwick Club: Book II Chapters 01 - 04 32 10 Aug 29, 2016 12:56PM  
The Pickwick Club: Book II Chapters 08 - 11 31 8 Aug 26, 2016 12:46PM  
The Pickwick Club: Book I Chapters 09 -11 93 23 Aug 19, 2016 06:31PM  
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239579
Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and sho ...more
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