Unputdownables Book Club discussion

Bleak House (August 25)

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message 1: by Wallace (new)

Wallace | 303 comments Mod
I'm reading Bleak House by Charles Dickens along with Amanda at The Zen Leaf (http://zenleaf.blogspot.com/2010/08/b...). The read-a-long goes from August 25-October 27th, and she has broken down the reading into manageable bits. I'm hoping that means it will be easier to read this book and still be able to read others along the way.

Want to join and talk about the reading here?

Bleak House Bleak House  by Charles Dickens :
Bleak House is a satirical look at the Byzantine legal system in London as it consumes the minds and talents of the greedy and nearly destroys the lives of innocents--a contemporary tale indeed. Dickens's tale takes us from the foggy dank streets of London and the maze of the Inns of Court to the peaceful countryside of England. Likewise, the characters run from murderous villains to virtuous girls, from a devoted lover to a "fallen woman," all of whom are affected by a legal suit in which there will, of course, be no winner. The first-person narrative related by the orphan Esther is particularly sweet.

message 2: by Wallace (new)

Wallace | 303 comments Mod
There's a pretty good list of people at Zen Leaf who will be reading it, so I am excited about that!

I saw (when I added it) that you loved it, so that was encouraging.

message 3: by Cass (new)

Cass (bonjourcass) I have to admit I haven't started reading the actual book yet because I've been looking up information about the court system, England at the time, debtors prison, etc. I got caught up with the appendix before I could get in to the actual text. ...I have a problem with research before I read classics.

message 4: by Wallace (new)

Wallace | 303 comments Mod
That's smart. My heart just started palpitating when I read your comment as I sit here thinking, "oh my gosh, should I be looking these things up?!?"

We don't start until the 25th right? Were you going to get a jump on things? I probably should. There will be a week when I am out of town and probably won't bring this doorstopper of a book with me as it weighs more than I do.

message 5: by Wallace (new)

Wallace | 303 comments Mod
Cass, how far are you? I know Lyndsey from amused, bemused, and confused started a little early. Did you too? I need to catch up! :)

message 6: by Cass (new)

Cass (bonjourcass) I finished up to chapter 8, per the schedule, but I'm itching to read more so probably will tonight. It's a free e-book from Barnes and Noble this week so I downloaded it and it makes it MUCH easier to read. No more turning 1000 pages back and forth to read the annotations and no more 903284 lb (approximation) book to hold! ...I'm a little embarrassed to say I'm quite enjoying the book. Do you like it so far?

message 7: by Wallace (new)

Wallace | 303 comments Mod
Oh no, I must have read the schedule wrong, I though it started on the 25th. Does this mean I am a week behind? Yikes. I'm on page 1, haha! Off to go read more.

message 8: by Wallace (new)

Wallace | 303 comments Mod
Right, so, I am in the middle of chapter 3 now -- MUCH easier than I thought to read. This is my first Dickens and, so far, I like him! I don't think it will take me long to catch up. I laughed at the first page remembering your tweet about fog. Yes, lots of fog.

Also, interesting that the court could not legally hear your evidence unless it was written. I imagine that means illiterate people were not protected. Must look that up.

Does the Nook (I'm assuming you have the Nook since you mentioned B&N) let you flip to the character list, etc.? I have a Kindle and it doesn't allow that very easily.

message 9: by Cass (new)

Cass (bonjourcass) I'm so glad to hear you're liking it! It seems we are the exception to the rule (so far, anyway).

CHARACTER LIST?? I didn't look for it because my print copy (the version with Gillian Anderson on the cover, who for some reason I thought was Julianne Moore) doesn't have one. BUT I did check just for you and it is very easy to go back and forth. Impressive, really--1 pt for nook.

message 10: by Wallace (new)

Wallace | 303 comments Mod
Are we really? I was careful not to read any of the post or comments on the main page of the read-a-long because I thought there would be spoilers, so I missed what people were saying.

That's too bad. I'll have to finish up those 1st week chapters today and then go back and look at why people aren't liking it.

I have the B&N version (maybe the same one they allowed you to download on your Nook?). I like their printings of the classics because they put the important language differences on the same page as the writing so you don't have to flip back an forth every time you don't know what a word means.

That's good to know about the Nook. That and the fact that you can share e-books with others are definitely points for the Nook. Is yours new?

message 11: by Wallace (new)

Wallace | 303 comments Mod
I am almost caught up with the first week's reading (am on chapter 6) and have no doubt that I will catch up with this week's reading by Wednesday.

I am tickled by Dickens using perspiration to describe when a man is sweating, and "glow" when a woman is.

And I was horrified by the "Chancelor" talking about selling cat skins. :( I imagine they really did that, and am sure it wasn't a big deal back then, but reading that now made me so sad. I'll have to look it up.

message 12: by Cass (new)

Cass (bonjourcass) I was given my nook for Christmas last year, but there have been updates to speed up the page turning process. (Interestingly enough, the only books I've finished reading on it so far are A CHRISTMAS CAROL and EMMA.)

I'm working on my post for chapters 1-7; Are you going to write one? I'm keeping an eye out!

message 13: by Wallace (new)

Wallace | 303 comments Mod
Ah, you posted and I almost missed it (I will be subscribing via e-mail if you decide to offer it, wink wink)! I just posted a LONG comment, haha -- I had something to say about each of your points.

I'm not sure if I'll post about the read along each week, I haven't decided, but I am definitely going to be looking for yours -- I'll add my two cents there! :) Am still loving it. And am planning on getting a chunk of reading done today so I can be all caught up by Wednesday (through chapter 13, right?).

message 14: by Wallace (new)

Wallace | 303 comments Mod
I am SO far behind. I was almost caught up, but then I picked up another book (my Crazy Book Swap book) and now I am really far behind on BH. This always happens, when I have more than one book going, I don't make much progress on either one.

message 15: by Cass (new)

Cass (bonjourcass) Oh, I'm two weeks behind too. WHOOPS. Also I'm incapable of writing anything for my blog. I need some energy bars or something to get out of this rut.

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