James Mustich's 1000 Books to Read Before You Die discussion

Bleak House
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Group Reads (unstructured) > Bleak House - September 2020

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message 1: by Marlise (last edited Jul 21, 2020 02:03AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

message 2: by Sean (last edited Aug 19, 2020 11:48PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sean (fordest) | 36 comments I started this tonight. Need a head start. It's a long one.

message 3: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen (soullibrarian) | 8 comments I’m starting a few days early on this one. I haven’t joined in for one of these group reads before now. I’m looking forward to journeying through this book with all of you!

message 4: by Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (last edited Aug 28, 2020 08:57PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 144 comments I started this one early too, though more by mistake than by design. I've yet to read anything by Dickens I haven't liked (Little Dorritt was just 'okay'), and about a third of the way in, I can say that this is going to be another one that I really enjoy.

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 144 comments I'm thinking of naming my next cat Mr. Skimpole, because the ones I have now think they are doing me a favor by letting me take care of them.

Sean (fordest) | 36 comments Bryan "They call me the Doge" wrote: "I'm thinking of naming my next cat Mr. Skimpole, because the ones I have now think they are doing me a favor by letting me take care of them."

Love that

message 7: by Sean (last edited Aug 30, 2020 11:07PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sean (fordest) | 36 comments I started this book early because it was so long. I am posting this early because, well, I just couldn't put it down. This is easily my favorite Dickens book I have read so far.

I just loves the way Dickens deals with the differences in classes. His treatment of the upper-classes as completely clueless to reality strikes me as humorous especially in this novel. The quirkiness of the so many of the characters had me rolling at times. Then, the way he talked about Jo (view spoiler). Basically saying the he was 100% British... He's one of us. He's from here. And yet gets treated like he didn't exist. The contrast between how Jo was treated and the amount of attention that people such as Mrs. Jellyby gave to those in distant lands like Africa.

I loved that this story was a little bit of everything. Romance, murder mystery, comedy, social commentary... There were so many characters. Usually that makes things difficult for me to keep up, but in this instance, all the different story lines were fascinating and I was able to keep interested in all of them.

Favorite Character? Skimpole... Grandpa Smallweed... Inspector Bucket... All very different, but any part with them in the current story was my favorite part.

message 8: by Nadra (new)

Nadra | 10 comments If anyone is interested there is an online talk happening next week about Dickens and London. The description:

For Dickens, London was more than a setting for his novels. It was a major character in his writings and even a collaborator: the ‘magic lantern’ that inspired and energised him. Join City of London Guide Pete Smith to learn more.


Hoping to get into the book before the talk so that it is fresh in my mind but first I need a funny and light palate cleanser between The Plague and Bleak House! :)

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 144 comments I forgot to come back and mention that I finished the book--I'm with Sean...surely one of my favorite Dickens so far--right up there with Oliver Twist and David Copperfield.

Esther may have been a little too good--Little Dorritt was the same way--but I think having her tell her own story, Dickens avoided the sugariness of Dorritt.

Overall, it was really enjoyable. Makes me want to read more Dickens

Mariella Rinaldi | 209 comments Mod
I had fallen behind with this book and I've just finished it.
I had studied Dickens at school in my English Literature Class, but I had never read anything more than a couple of excerpts from his works, so this reading has been a completely new experience! His wit, his style (which I hope the Italian translation I've borrowed has preserved) and his descriptive eye have given me so much entertainment that I couldn't believe what I have missed in all those years I had preferred other 'minor' authors to the pen of Charles Dickens. More than the plot itself I was surprised by the sharpness of his portrait of a society that, in its various aspects, could be compared to the one we're living in, with its facade, its burlesque characters and its satirical traits - a timeless background for modern factual dynamics.

Carlton | 81 comments I read this over thirty years ago and it is my favourite Dickens, other than A Christmas Carol, which is a totally different book as it is so well known.
What I remember really enjoying were the descriptions of London, which is almost a character in itself, and the bureaucratic bludgeoning of the law case, Jarndyce v Jarndyce, as it stifles the lives of the parties caught up in the case.
I would like to make the time to reread it, but should read other unread novels by Dickens first.

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