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Bleak House

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really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  83,616 Ratings  ·  3,456 Reviews
Bleak House is a novel by Charles Dickens, published in 20 monthly installments between March 1852 and September 1853. It is held to be one of Dickens's finest novels, containing one of the most vast, complex and engaging arrays of minor characters and sub-plots in his entire canon.

At the novel's core is long-running litigation in England's Court of Chancery, Jarndyce v Ja
...more
Paperback, 1017 pages
Published January 6th 2006 by Penguin Books (first published 1853)
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Μαρία Γεωργίου The book is excellent and the bbc series 2005 is excellent too. I think that there at 80's another tv series of bleak house, i adore the book , iam…moreThe book is excellent and the bbc series 2005 is excellent too. I think that there at 80's another tv series of bleak house, i adore the book , iam from greece but i love charles Dickens very deeply (less)
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Jessica
Nov 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fresh young people who have not yet ruined their eyesight
Shivering in unheated gaslit quarters (Mrs. Winklebottom, my plump and inquisitive landlady, treats the heat as very dear, and my radiator, which clanks and hisses like the chained ghost of a boa constrictor when it is active, had not yet commenced this stern and snowy morning), I threw down the volume I had been endeavoring to study; certainly I am not clever, neither am I intrepid nor duly digligent, as after several pages I found the cramped and tiny print an intolerable strain on my strabism ...more
B0nnie
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you
Shelves: favourite-books
Bleak House. How can it be over? I hold this incredible book in my hand and can’t believe I have finished it. The 965 page, 2 inch thick, tiny-typed tome may seem a bit intimidating. Relax, you can read it in a day - that is, if you read one page per minute for 16 hours. And you might just find yourself doing that.


Bleak House is more Twilight Zone than Masterpiece Theatre. However there is enough spirit of both to satisfy everyone. And indeed it should - it has it all - unforgettable characte
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°°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο   Αμ
Το μεγαλειώδες χάρισμα της ειρωνείας που κρύβει λάμψη ψυχής!


Η ζοφερή διαθήκη της απόλυτης λογοτεχνίας γραμμένη απο τον ισχυρότερο μυθιστοστοριογράφο του 19ου αιώνα, κατακτάει όλους εμάς. Τους αναγνώστες. Τους απόλυτους κληρονόμους μιας ατόφιας περιουσίας που διαμορφώνει και στηρίζει σκέψεις και αξίες αιώνιες και απαρασάλευτες.

Βικτωριανή παράκρουση,φαντασμαγορία και κατάντια του Λονδίνου, το όραμα της Αγγλίας, ο λαβύρινθος των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων,των ατομικών συνθηκών, δοσμένα με ανθρωπολογικ
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Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
Okay, so this is the 1853 version of The Wire. But with less gay sex. And no swearing. And very few mentions of drugs. And only one black person, I think, maybe not even one. And of course it's in London, not Baltimore. But other than that, it's the same.

Pound for pound, this is Dickens' best novel, and of course, that is saying a great deal. I've nearly read all of them so you may take my word. Have I ever written a review which was anything less than 101% reliable, honest and straightforward?
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Henry Avila
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is a lawsuit justice, when it goes on and on ....and on, seemingly in perpetuity ? In Bleak House, located in the countryside, outside of London, that is the center of the story, years pass, too many to count, the lawyers are happy, the employed judges likewise ; the litigants not... money is sucked dry from their bodies...like vampires whose fangs are biting hard, the flesh weakens and the victims blood flows , ( cash ) evaporates and soon nothing is left but the corpses... the gorged lawyers a ...more
Lisa
Nomen Est Omen, in the world according to Dickens!

But don’t take it literally, especially not when reading the title of Bleak House. For Dickens also requires you to read between the lines, and letters, just like in an acrostic poem:

BLEAK HOUSE
Lovely characters
Elegant prose
Agonising cliffhangers
Knowledgeable descriptions

Humorous plot
Outrageous social conditions
Unusual dual narrative
Suits in Chancery
Everlasting favourite

Yes, Christmas is approaching, it’s Dickens time. I spent it in Chancery th
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Bionic Jean
Which house in Charles Dickens's novel is "Bleak House"?

It surely cannot be the house which bears its name; a large airy house, which we first visit in the company of the young wards of Jarndyce, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone, and their companion Esther. Ironically, this "Bleak House" is anything but bleak. It is a pleasant place of light and laughter. Mr. Jarndyce imprints his positive outlook on life, never allowing the lawsuit to have any negative influence. Indeed, when he first took on the
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Kalliope

Reading Bleak House has had a redeeming effect for me. Before this marvel took place Dickens evoked for me either depressing black and white films in a small and boxy TV watched during oppressive times, or reading what seemed endless pages in a still largely incomprehensible language. Dickens meant then a pain on both counts.

In this GR group read I have enjoyed Bleak House tremendously.

In the group discussion many issues have been brought up by the members. First and foremost the critique on the
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Lyn
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Bleak House was Charles Dickens’ 1853 novel that documents the tragi-comic events surrounding the chancery court case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce.

Told with an unusual blend of shifting perspectives, the first being a first person narrative and the second an omniscient, present tense narrator, Dickens describes a London where justice is turned upside down and personal values are intertwined with the doleful legal system.

** - Many of you know that I am a Tennessee attorney and let me just say that 16
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Laura
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, english-lit
I know, something about a 900 page book with bleak in the title doesn’t exactly scream “summer fun”. Nevertheless, this was a page-turner with more laugh-out-loud moments than any book I've read in recent memory. Who could have seen that coming?? And it's gripping enough that I can understand why it was a bestseller, in spite of Dickens’ harsh social criticism and his rather daring innovation of dual narratives. But the story is a winner largely because of the dual narratives, which bob and weav ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I have to say that Goodreads has opened me up to many books that I probably never would have read. Through groups and friends I keep finding books old and new to read and enjoy. Some more so than others.

When I started Bleak House in one of my groups reads I had a feeling that I wouldn't understand a lot of what was going on in the book. And I found out through the same group that there was a mini series about the book. I rushed right onto Amazon Prime and watched the whole thing. Let me tell you
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Matt
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classic-novels
I get why people dislike the legal system. It’s slow, complicated, and costly. And the only time you hear about it is when an apparently horrible decision is reached. (I shudder at how many people were ready to scrap the jury system after the Casey Anthony verdict).

As a lawyer, though, I see the legal system’s virtues (and as a public defender, its virtues, for me at least, do not include a hefty paycheck). For one, lawsuits are a better alternative than self-help justice. If your neighbor build
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Jason Koivu
Dec 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, humor
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas my reading pace ground to a halt. Thanks a lot Dick...........ens!

This is a long book, but I've read longer ones that didn't seem half as long as Bleak House. Saharan-esque stretches of plodding plot didn't help. But more than that, this book suffers from having too much character, and characters with character, characterful characters with character to spare and well, you get the point.

By the time Dickens had written Bleak House he'd experienced almost every
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Perry
"Crust upon crust of mud..." and "Fog everywhere"

Though made a bit uneven by Dickens' use of two narrators, I think this is his best novel (with David Copperfield his best book). Esther Summerson, a sweet and modest orphan, tells her tale in the first person present, as Dickens used for David in Copperfield and Pip in Great Expectations; and, the other narrator is an omniscient, largely dispassionate third person.

The novel has mystery, romance, comic elements, an intriguing cast of characters a
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Lawyer
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Lawyer by: Kindred Spirits Group Read
Bleak House: Charles Dickens on Fog and Fossils

"The wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine.


 photo BleakHouseIssue1_zps86f575ac.jpg
Issue One, Bleak House, March, 1852

Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of this review or whether that station shall be held by another will depend upon the lines on this page. For, you see, although I was not born a lawyer I became one.

I would beg the reader's attention to hold a moment. For, as Charles Lamb has told us, "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." I was--an innocent
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Dave Russell
Mar 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, classics
Finally finished it and it only took me four months [pats self on back, does a little victory dance and then weeps,] but I'm so glad I read it. This is a book--like The Brothers Karamozov--that makes the subsequent books the author wrote seem superfluous. It contains multitudes. All of humanity is represented here (well, all of Victorian English humanity at any rate.) The truest--and shortest--sentence of the book is the first one: "London."

The organizing metaphor of the book is the Chancery Co
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TheSkepticalReader
At the center of ‘Bleak House’ we have the Jarndyce and Jarndyce court case and supposedly, Dickens wrote this novel as a part commentary of the English justice system. I do not know, nor do I care a bit, about what he intended to achieve in terms of discussing the law and the government’s failure to deliver justice. What I was most engrossed with was the story. Because…wow.

What most amazes me is the detailing of the novel and how masterfully it is written. I am not a writer so I don’t know how
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Sara
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
It always feels a bit presumptive when I am trying to review the masters of the novel, a Dickens, Hardy, or Eliot. What can someone like myself contribute, that might matter, to the appreciation of a masterpiece like Bleak House. And yet, I want to effuse about it, I want to praise it, I want to say how completely effective it is and how strangely relevant to our society if you merely put the characters in cars instead of horse-drawn conveyances. I want to tell everyone that within its pages you ...more
Evripidis Gousiaris
ΕΞΑΙΡΕΤΙΚΌ. ΕΠΟΣ. ΑΡΙΣΤΟΎΡΓΗΜΑ.
Γενικα ό.τι και να πω για αυτό το βιβλίο θα είναι λίγο. Αξίζει κάθε δευτερόλεπτο που θα του αφιερώσετε. Δεν έχω να πω κάτι άλλο. ΔΙΑΒΆΣΤΕ ΤΟ!

(Όσοι το διαβάσετε αξίζει να δείτε την μεταφορά του στην μικρή οθόνη από το BBC.)

(view spoiler)
Megan Baxter
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I can't say that this is my favourite Dickens, and I found the first two hundred pages or so rocky going, with a few misunderstandings on my part that served to baffle rather than inform. But as the novel started to come together, and the disparate characters started to interact more strongly, I ended up very much liking it.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime,
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Roy Lotz
Call it by any name Your Highness will, attribute it to whom you will, or say it might have been prevented how you will, it is the same death eternally—inborn, inbred, engendered in the corrupted humours of the vicious body itself, and that only—Spontaneous Combustion, and none other of all the deaths that can be died.

For better or for worse, I read this novel through the lens of two critics: Harold Bloom and George Orwell.

In The Western Canon, Bloom calls Bleak House Dickens’s finest achievem
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Apatt
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bleak House the novel is – as you would expect – pretty bleak, but Bleak House the eponymous house in the book is one of the happier places to be found therein. In any case this being a Dickens novel you should not expect a wall to wall bleak fest. You would need to pop over to Hardyverse (also called Wessex) for those.

Bleak House is difficult to synopsize, it is about so many things and so many people. It has a very large cast of characters and a lot of intrigues. However, don’t let that put yo
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Jan-Maat
One of the pleasures of reading a few books of an author's work is to see the parallels and changing style. Here in this huge late Dickens slice of life social commentary is combined with comic grotesques. Political commentary is given depth with sentimentality. The Jarndyce and Jarndyce case, a gigantic cog wheel whose teeth catch up one smaller wheel after after. All of society seems to be caught up from the street sweeper to the noble Baronet in a single huge mechanism driven by avarice rathe ...more
Mala


Dickens is all about sentiments– you may run down his books as melodramas, tear-jerkers, 'poverty-porn' & so on but there is no denying their visceral appeal, for what are we without sentiments?

Bleak House, Dickens' masterpiece, has all of his staple/ trademark ingredients– an inheritance, a missing will, a mystery, angelic damsels, fairy godfather, old school gentlemen, evil-plotting villains, grotesque caricatures, a wide variety of humour- from biting satire, drollery, to crazy slapstick,
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Bleak House, Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870)
Bleak House is a nineteenth century novel by English author Charles Dickens, first published as a serial between March 1852 and September 1853. The novel has many characters and several sub-plots, and the story is told partly by the novel's heroine, Esther Summerson, and partly by an omniscient narrator. At the centre of Bleak House is a long-running legal case, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which came about because someone wrote several conflicting wills. Dick
...more
MJ Nicholls
Roll back to 1986—I was touring with Loudon Wainwright III upon the release of his More Love Songs album (which includes the famous ‘Your Mother & I’) when Loud strikes up a confab about Dickens. “Nicholls,” he begins, bunk-loafing in his usual roguish manner. “I do declay-ah that Bleak House is the greatest novel of the century, yessir-ee.” I was strumming a zither at the time, co-writing a song that would later appear on History. “Loud, you must be out of your mind. Everyone knows now that ...more
Anne


And so thirty-one Regency romances, fifteen Kindle freebies, innumerable cups of tea and many more books later, I have finally finished this Dickens masterpiece. It took me exactly thirteen months, and I had time to read an alarming total of eighty-three books in between the start and finish of Bleak House.

Why the five stars then, you ask? If it took me that long to get through it, surely it's not worth the effort?

Well, it is. It's awesome.

Very put-downable in my opinion though, and I will be
...more
Camille Stein
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Illustrations by "Phiz" (Hablot Knight Browne) for 'Bleak House' - http://ow.ly/uUaY309BhqU




...




Jarndyce y Jarndyce se arrastra. Este pleito de espantapájaros se ha ido complicando tanto con el tiempo que ya nadie recuerda de qué se trata. Quienes menos lo comprenden son las partes en él, pero se ha observado que es imposible que dos abogados de la Cancillería lo comenten durante cinco minutos sin llegar a un total desacuerdo acerca de todas las premisas. Durante la causa han nacido innumerables
...more
Paula W
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is a fucking masterpiece. I'm not sure what else to say, but I'll keep typing and see what comes out of my blown mind and into my fingertips on the keyboard.

There was so much going on here:
1.) A serious criticism of the Chancery Court system, where court cases took so long to complete that people were born, people died, the money in very large estates was completely used up, and parties to the cases who devoted their lives to pushing toward a conclusion of their cases went crazy or wi
...more
Gary  the Bookworm
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I find it hard to believe that it's only been a month since I first entered Bleak House. The Goodreads group read had been going on for some time and I was so far behind that I pretty much listened/read it on my own. I had trouble finding a good audio version (don't bother with Librivox and if you buy it at iTunes, be forewarned that the Apple geniuses won't let you bookmark easily; thankfully there's an app that will). Anyway it took me awhile to work out the details and immerse myself in what ...more
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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
More about Charles Dickens

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“And I am bored to death with it. Bored to death with this place, bored to death with my life, bored to death with myself.” 161 likes
“LONDON. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln’s Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow-flakes — gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another’s umbrellas in a general infection of ill-temper, and losing their foot-hold at street-corners, where tens of thousands of other foot passengers have been slipping and sliding since the day broke (if the day ever broke), adding new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at those points tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound interest.

Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little ’prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds.

Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time — as the gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling look.

The raw afternoon is rawest, and the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest near that leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation, Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar, in Lincoln’s Inn Hall, at the very heart of the fog, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery.”
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