Andy's Reviews > David Copperfield

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
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M_50x66
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Oct 23, 10

Recommended for: anyone who can appreciate real literature
Read in December, 2002, read count: 2

**Correction - the info on this edition is incorrect, the Oxford World Classics edition isn't an abridgement.

David Copperfield is one of the most compelling books I have read during my lifetime. There may be personally unique reasons for my reaction, but the strengths of the novel are general and should be appreciated by most readers who have matured beyond purely diversionary literature. In the realm of imaginative fiction, few have ever achieved what Dickens did.

Copperfield has a rare depth of sentiment. By the end of the book, the Dover road, the upstairs room in Dover where the moon shines over the sea, Blunderstone and its little graveyard underneath the tree, Yarmouth, the room in the house in Canterbury with the old-fashioned window and the old books and music, and of course London, made familiar and nostalgiac by the episodes in David's life that occurred in each, are places in the reader's own memory. They are places the reader inhabited as a child, as a youth, as a young adult, and a mature adult, places where the reader's dear friends made life-defining choices, built or destroyed personal character, made themselves dearer to or distanced themselves from the reader. The book's enormous cast of humanity, encountered repeatedly or continuously over nearly a 40-year history, is what makes this book incredible.

When the book ends, its themes of "insecurity, impermanence, and transcience" (Introduction, vii) are poignantly enforced to a reader who has no choice but to leave the beloved friends and scenes behind, at least for enough time to allow him to come back with eyes and heart fresh enough to appreciate them a next time.

I just finished reading this book for the second time, and I'm gratified to say that it lived up to the esteem I had for it the first time I read it, over 8 years ago.
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