HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Little Dorrit (1857)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,131801,741 (4)327
When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mothers seamstress, and in the affairs of Amys father, William Dorrit, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea. As Arthur soon discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its walls to affect the lives of many, from the kindly Mr. Pancks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart Yard, and the tipsily garrulous Flora Finching, to Merdle, an unscrupulous financier, and the bureaucratic Barnacles in the Circumlocution Office. A masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, "Little Dorrit" is one of the supreme works of Dickenss maturity.… (more)
  1. 13
    Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
    FutureMrsJoshGroban: They are both wonderful love stories, and they are both my favorite books by the respective authors.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 327 mentions

English (77)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (81)
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
UPDATE: 11/2020

I have upgraded my rating to 5-stars and feeling quite different toward both Amy Dorrit and the other characters of Little Dorrit this time around. I read the book very slowly (one chapter a day) with full discussions in the Dickensians group, and my appreciation of it rose daily. I'm afraid one read is just not enough for this complex and profound novel. My hat is always off to Mr. Dickens, one of the greatest writers of all time.

********************************

Dickens built his novel, Little Dorrit, around the life of inmates of the Marshalsea Prison, and drew from some very personal experiences to do so. I did not find these characters as compelling nor his plot as tight as usual, but still a worthy read and much enjoyed. Amy Dorrit (whose moniker of “Little Dorrit” aggravated me), is a bit too perfect, sweet and unselfish for my tastes; Arthur Clennam a bit too clueless about his own feelings and what was going on with others; and our major villain Rigaud a little too much like Snidely Whiplash, right down to the twisting of the moustache.

The loves and hates in this novel were also somewhat contrived. Of course, those emotions can be pretty arbitrary in real life. We’ve probably all known people who hate beyond the bounds of the offense they have endured and one person or another who has professed to love someone who was obviously a cad and below their worthiness. Mainly, however, I did not feel that the explanation for the mysteries at the heart of the novel really made good sense. So, not on a level with Great Expectations or Bleak House, but still...a bad Dickens is better than almost anyone else, it is the high expectations that cause the problem.

If you ever suffer from the idea that the problems of Charles Dickens’ world won’t have correlatives in our world, you ought to read Little Dorrit. Sprinkled amid the convoluted story of Amy Dorrit and Arthur Clennam is a diatribe on bureaucracy that felt far too familiar. Perhaps it is uniquely American (of course NOT) that people in government seem more interested in “not doing” than in “doing”, but I could so totally relate to the red tape approach to running off the petitioner, and I’m betting everyone else who has ever tried to deal with government can as well.

Hold up your hand if Mr. Rugg’s comments here ring true:

”If the money I have sacrificed had been all my own, Mr. Rugg,” sighed Mr. Clennam, “I should have cared far less.
“Indeed sir? said Mr. Rugg, rubbing his hands with a cheerful air. “You surprise me. That’s singular, sir. I have generally found, in my experience, that it’s their own money people are most particular about. I have seen people get rid of a good deal of other people’s money, and bear it very well; very well indeed.”


Oops, too many to count.

And, when I came across this passage, I could not help thinking of Bernie Madoff:

Numbers of men in every profession and trade would be blighted by his insolvency; old people who had been in easy circumstances all their lives would have no place of repentance for their trust in him but the workhouse; legions of women and children would have their whole future desolated by the hand of this mighty scoundrel. Every partaker of his magnificent feasts would be seen to have been a sharer in the plunder of innumerable homes, every servile worshipper of riches who had helped to set him on his pedestal, would have done better to worship the Devil point blank.

But what really struck me was that he was admired by one of the characters for pulling the deception off so universally, and I gasped because I had an acquaintance who actually made that statement about Madoff…"You have to admire him for his cleverness”, he said. NO, NO and NO. Would you not think people would have learned between 1855 and 2008? Apparently human nature thrives on the same errors repeated over centuries.

There is much that could be said about this novel and, like every Dickens I have read, it would make for a marvelous group read. If you want to know more and delve deeper, I strongly suggest that you take the time to read the review written by Bionic Jean, our resident Dickens guru, who never gets it wrong and always enlightens my reading.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1705655726

I was afraid I was going to fail in my quest to read all of Dickens by culling two a year off my list. Thankfully, I have finished Little Dorrit just in time to satisfy this year. I read Hard Times as well. I have Martin Chuzzlewit, about which I know nothing, and The Old Curiosity Shop, a story I am very familiar with but have not ever read, slated for 2019. It would be lovely if I could up the ante and squeeze in a third! I must say I have enjoyed every single novel so far. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
This is classic Dickens with themes of the "poor" poor and anti-establishment. Nobody does it better than Dickens! Little Dorrit is Amy Dorrit, born in the Marshalsea debtor's prison. She "escapes" for a few short years and travels Europe, but returns when her family loses all their money (again), investing it in a bank that closes. There are many other quirky characters, one of which I don't understand really how they fit into the story, Monsieur Rigaud/Blandois/Lagnier, a murderer and blackmailer. IMHO this Dickens isn't as good as A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, or David Copperfield; but better than The Pickwick Papers or Oliver Twist, et.al. 893 pages ( )
  Tess_W | May 9, 2022 |
4/25/22
  laplantelibrary | Apr 25, 2022 |
The first 3rd had me thinking this would be my favorite Dickens novel. The middle made me wonder if I should see it through, but the last 3rd redeemed the whole. I guess my interest ebbed and flowed with the involvement of my favorite characters (Amy and Arthur). The last 3rd really pulled it all together nicely. ( )
  282Mikado | Apr 13, 2022 |
#REF!
  magdyf | Nov 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
It tripped my social conscience and infected me for the rest of my life.
added by Cynfelyn | editThe Guardian, Jon Snow (Nov 19, 1999)
 

» Add other authors (80 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Dickensprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ferguson, AntonyReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lesser, AntonReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Altick, Richard D.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablôt K.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frith, W.P.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoffmann, Paul TheodorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holloway, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kolb, CarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Preston, PeterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Small, HelenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trilling, LionelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wall, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Thirty years ago, Marseilles lay burning in the sun, one day.
Quotations
Indiani, russi, cinesi, spagnoli, portoghesi, inglesi, francesi, genovesi, napoletani, veneziani, greci, turchi, tutti i discendenti dei costruttori della Torre di Babele convenuti a Marsiglia per i loro commerci cercavano l'ombra …
Il tanfo della prigione gravava su ogni cosa. L'aria imprigionata, la luce imprigionata, l'umidità imprigionata, gli uomini imprigionati, tutto era degradato dalla reclusione. I prigionieri erano pallidi e sparuti come il ferro coperto di ruggine, la pietra viscida, il legno putrido, l'aria viziata e la luce opaca.
L'altro sputò e si raschiò la gola. Subito dopo s'udì anche una serratura raschiarsi la gola e una porta sbatté.
«Guarda la luce del giorno! Giorno! Questa è la luce di otto giorni fa, di sei mesi fa, di sei anni fa, tanto è debole e scialba!»
Era semplicemente un fanfarone, uno sfacciato millantatore; ma quanto a questo, e non solo a questo, in tutte le parti del mondo la sfacciataggine nell'affermare una cosa vale più d'una prova tangibile della sua realtà.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mothers seamstress, and in the affairs of Amys father, William Dorrit, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea. As Arthur soon discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its walls to affect the lives of many, from the kindly Mr. Pancks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart Yard, and the tipsily garrulous Flora Finching, to Merdle, an unscrupulous financier, and the bureaucratic Barnacles in the Circumlocution Office. A masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, "Little Dorrit" is one of the supreme works of Dickenss maturity.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4)
0.5 1
1 10
1.5 3
2 33
2.5 7
3 105
3.5 28
4 268
4.5 37
5 219

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439963, 0141037393, 0141199377

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 177,157,662 books! | Top bar: Always visible