B0nnie's Reviews > Little Dorrit

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
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's review
Feb 17, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favourite-books
Read from February 08 to 17, 2012

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 misery
-paralysis and stroke
-a dog beaten to death
-a catastrophic collapse of a building
-the Tite Barnacle Branch of the Circumlocution Office, a government agency that suggests Kafka and The Trial “It being one of the principles of the Circumlocution Office never, on any account whatever, to give a straightforward answer . . . it was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government. No public business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart.”
-a variety of themes, including imprisonment, incarceration, quarantine and detention. Also twins, doubles, and aliases.
Little Dorrit is a pleasure to read in spite of all the gloom & misery - *that* is Dickens’s power. The ending though, is rather hasty and muddled. If I weren’t so lazy I’d draw a chart which would clarify this mess, but suffice it to say that there is no incest.
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Quotes B0nnie Liked

Charles Dickens
“When they coughed, they coughed like people accustomed to be forgotten on doorsteps and in draughty passages, waiting for answers to letters in faded ink . . .”
Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit

Charles Dickens
“The major characteristics discoverable by the stranger in Mr F.'s Aunt, were extreme severity and grim taciturnity; sometimes interrupted by a propensity to offer remarks in a deep warning voice, which, being totally uncalled for by anything said by anybody, and traceable to no association of ideas, confounded and terrified the Mind.”
Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Jane (new)

Jane I wonder what Dickens' novels would have been like without serialization? & has anyone analyzed his work methods? I'd love to know if he used an outline, how much he edited etc.

B0nnie I suppose this would be something researchers look into, but it's surely more evidence of Dickens’s genius - imagine the problems - there's no editing, no changing characters, no rearranging events. Yet when finished the book was a solid unified work.

Paul Bryant nice one, Bonnie!

message 4: by Shovelmonkey1 (new)

Shovelmonkey1 I concur. Nice work!

B0nnie oops just noticed your messages - thanks Paul and Shovelmonkey1

message 6: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell Jane wrote: "I wonder what Dickens' novels would have been like without serialization? & has anyone analyzed his work methods? I'd love to know if he used an outline, how much he edited etc."

I'd have to check my biographies to be sure, but scarily he seemed to have kept most of it in his head - and to be able to work on multiple projects. Yeesh.

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