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Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Bleak House (original 1853; edition 2010)

by Charles Dickens

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8,296157377 (4.23)4 / 1060
Title:Bleak House
Authors:Charles Dickens
Info:Fischer Taschenbuch Vlg. (2010), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Audio Book
Tags:#bleakalong, to post here

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Bleak House by Charles Dickens (1853)

1001 (62) 1001 books (63) 19th century (448) 19th century literature (42) British (199) British literature (188) Charles Dickens (73) classic (400) classic fiction (51) Classic Literature (60) classics (397) Dickens (230) ebook (61) England (178) English (107) English literature (219) fiction (1,336) Folio Society (50) Kindle (56) law (103) literature (281) London (91) mystery (61) novel (312) own (42) read (81) to-read (200) unread (88) Victorian (249) victorian literature (48)

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Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
I love Dickens and this one has so many characters that its length is a bonus for the reader. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |

I own a copy and I bookcrossed a copy.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
I enjoyed this very long Dickens novel that weaves together multiple stories and has more characters than you can possibly remember. This novel has it all - mystery, lawsuits, love triangles, blackmail, death, crazy people, spontaneous combustion, pre-marital sex . . . you name it. This makes the book both fun and long/confusing. I had to pay attention to every single character introduced, because they all end up being important. As I've found to often be the case with Dickens, I found the peripheral characters to be more interesting than the main characters. I actually didn't like Esther, who narrates half of the book, much at all. She had a goody two shoes attitude that I just couldn't stand or believe.

Central to this book is a lawsuit about a dispute over the estate left in a will. I found the harsh commentary on law to be both amusing and interesting and I think it really bulked up the book in a good way.

Overall, I felt like I did with other Dickens I've read - I liked the plot and characters and some of Dickens' writing is just beautiful, but it was just a bit too long and diffuse for it to really be a favorite. ( )
  japaul22 | Jun 7, 2014 |
An F***ing great book!

This particular edition is okay. The endnotes were decent, blah, blah, blah. But my partner found a much better one with footnotes that were much more extensive and interesting. ( )
  IsotropicJoseph | Apr 28, 2014 |
My first thought upon finishing this book was sweet, sweet relief. I finally finished it! It sat on my shelf and stared at me for over a year but I finally did it!

But, really, it was so good! I am suspicious of Dickens, mostly due to my unceasing hatred of Great Expectations and there were parts of Bleak House when I thought this might go the way of Pip. But even though it's a million pages, it was interesting and wonderful and I was flying through because I NEEDED to know what would happen. Also, Esther is amazing - her narrative was hands down the best part of the book and she is probably my favorite Dickens character.

Anyway, there is so much going on and there is no way I am going to summarize it, but you should definitely read it especially since you tyrannically forced me to write this review (BRYAN).

Finally, if you have the penguin classic (as I did), be forewarned that the notes have major spoilers! I know you can't exactly spoil the classics but it still was very uncool. ( )
  amy_marie26 | Apr 9, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
Bleak House represents the author at a perfectly poised late-middle moment in his extraordinary art.
You have to embrace Bleak House for what it is – a rambling, confusing, verbose, over-populated, vastly improbable story which substitutes caricatures for people and is full of puns. In other words, an 800-page Dickens novel.
added by tim.taylor | editThe Millions, Janet Potter (Jan 31, 2011)

» Add other authors (84 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Dickensprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barrett, SeanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, NicolaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablôt K.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Case, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterton, Gilbert KeithIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dickson, HughNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eagleton, TerryPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eikli, RagnhildTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallagher, TeresaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holway, TatianaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miller, J. HillisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nicholson, MilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, NormanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sitwell, Sir OsbertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Solomon, AbrahamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated, as a remembrance of our friendly union, to my companions in the guild of literature and art

Dedication of the 1853 edition
First words
London. Michaelmas term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall.
This world of ours has its limits too (as Your Highness shall find when you have made the tour of it, and are come to the brink of the void beyond).
His family is as old as the hills, and infinitely more respectable. He has a general opinion that the world might get on without hills, but would be done up without Dedlocks. He would on the whole admit Nature to be a good idea (a little low, perhaps, when not enclosed with a park-fence), but an idea dependent for its execution on your great county families.
Indeed, he married her for love. A whisper still goes about, that she had not even family; howbeit, Sir Leicester had so much family that perhaps he had enough, and could dispense with any more.
He is of what is called the old school - a phrase generally meaning any school that seems never to have been young.
He must confess to two of the oldest infirmities in the world: one was, that he had no idea of time; the other, that he had no idea of money.
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Wikipedia in English


Book description
Widely regarded as Dickens’s masterpiece, Bleak House centers on the generations-long lawsuit Jarndyce and Jarndyce, through which “whole families have inherited legendary hatreds.” Focusing on Esther Summerson, a ward of John Jarndyce, the novel traces Esther’s romantic coming-of-age and, in classic Dickensian style, the gradual revelation of long-buried secrets, all set against the foggy backdrop of the Court of Chancery. Mixing romance, mystery, comedy, and satire, Bleak House limns the suffering caused by the intricate inefficiency of the law.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141439726, Paperback)

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. The articulate reading by the acclaimed British actor Paul Scofield, whose distinctive broad English accent lends just the right degree of sonority and humor to the text, brings out the color in this classic social commentary disguised as a Victorian drama. However, to abridge Dickens is, well, a Dickensian task, the results of which make for a story in which the author's convoluted plot lines and twists of fate play out in what seems to be a fast-forward format. Listeners must pay close attention in order to keep up with the multiple narratives and cast of curious characters, including the memorable Inspector Bucket and Mr. Guppy. Fortunately, the publisher provides a partial list of characters on the inside jacket. (Running time: 3 hours; 2 cassettes)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:48 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Bleak House, Dickens's most daring experiment in the narration of a complex plot, challenges the reader to make connections - between the fashionable and the outcast, the beautiful and the ugly, the powerful and the victims. Nowhere in Dickens's later novels is his attack on an uncaring society more imaginatively embodied, but nowhere either is the mixture of comedy and angry satire more deftly managed. Bleak House defies a single description. It is a mystery story, in which Esther Summerson discovers the truth about her birth and her unknown mother's tragic life. It is a murder story, which comes to a climax in a thrilling chase, led by one of the earliest detectives in English fiction, Inspector Bucket. And it is a fable about redemption, in which a bleak house is transformed by the resilience of human love.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Average: (4.23)
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24 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439726, 0141199091

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