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Sketches by Boz (1836)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0941818,438 (3.81)43
The most unique aspect of Charles Dickens' skill as a writer -- and the characteristic that propelled him to unprecedented heights of literary fame -- was his ability to immerse readers in the quotidian details of his characters' lives, loves, and struggles. That strength shines through in this vast collection of short pieces culled from Dickens' tenure as a newspaper columnist.… (more)
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» See also 43 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Genuinely entertaining still, unlike too many of the works of Samuel Clemens. ( )
  sfj2 | Mar 13, 2022 |
OK, we know these ere written for a magazine in serial form. We know he got paid by the word. But there's not a superfluous word anywhere in there. And we once again realize what a savage wit Dickens was in the guise of a wide-eyed innocent reporting on what he sees. In a few chosen words he makes us see the foolishness and stupidity of people, and yet if you were those people, you'd never know it, he's that clever in his descriptions. His social reformer tendencies also come out in these sketches, especially when he talks about drunkedness, or children being forced into "unspeakable acts" (prostitution). But you turn the page to the next sketch, and you're laughing out loud at the fixes people can get themselves into by deluding themselves that they're not "low" or "common". If you've never read it, do it. It will literally open up a whole different world to you. ( )
  stbyra | Jul 12, 2021 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Sketches by Boz
Series: ----------
Author: Charles Dickens
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Classic
Pages: 874
Words: 252K

Synopsis:


A series of “sketches” about places, people and situations culled from Dickens' tenure as a newspaper columnist.

My Thoughts:

The full title this book is Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Everyday Life and Everyday People. So you have a 800+ pages of little short sketches that Dickens used to fill in blank spaces when he was writing at various newspapers.

Dickens gets very preachy about his pet issues in several of the sketches. I'm a teetotaler and even I was reacting against his emotional manipulation about gin shops. I was like “Ok, time to start drinking hard time, that will show him!”

When I read these back in 2007 I read them as part I and II (as that is how they were broken up in the hardcovers I own) and that worked much better. Honestly, these should be treated as a short story collection and perused at leisure. This time around I was better able to appreciate the technical side of Dickens' writing which is why I'm bumping it up to 3 ½ stars.

That being said, I highly doubt I'll ever read this again. No stories, no plot, doesn't really work for me.

★★★☆½ ( )
  BookstoogeLT | May 21, 2020 |
Excellent sketches, but I just had a hard time getting into them. I need a plot. So I much preferred the tales that were included later on in the book. ( )
  AliceAnna | May 9, 2020 |
Some of Dickens' earliest published writings; there are hints here of what's to come in these vignettes, sketches, and short tales, but I can't say I found the whole collection particularly compelling. ( )
  JBD1 | Mar 31, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablot KnightIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cruikshank, GeorgeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holme, TheaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Slater, MichaelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The most unique aspect of Charles Dickens' skill as a writer -- and the characteristic that propelled him to unprecedented heights of literary fame -- was his ability to immerse readers in the quotidian details of his characters' lives, loves, and struggles. That strength shines through in this vast collection of short pieces culled from Dickens' tenure as a newspaper columnist.

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