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Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
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Little Dorrit (1857)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,515711,712 (3.99)266
The daughter of an imprisoned debtor suffers injustices of nineteenth-century English society.
  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.
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» See also 266 mentions

English (68)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
A true delight, Dickens' second masterpiece, coming soon after Bleak House. The 19th of Dickens' 24 major works, and the 11th of his novels, Dorrit was written over a span of two years, and brings us into CD's final act, as he begins to lavish careful attention on his works and aims to realise his characters far more greatly, and tie his works together. Dorrit is more diffuse than Bleak House yet feels even more like a novel rather than a serialised work.

The lead characters, Amy Dorrit - a child of a debt-ridden family, whose essential goodness has created a community in the most unlikely of places - and Arthur Clennam, the soulful sailor uncovering his family's ill deeds, are like most of Dickens' lead characters to date: a bit vanilla. This alone is a step back from Bleak House although they continue to greatly reflect the world around them, and in this case their positive qualities form a part of the novel's plea for sanity and simplicity in an increasingly material world.

The novel excels in its portrayal of Victorian England's ludicrous class system, through the absolutely fantastic caricatures of the Meagles and the Merdles, and in examining the idiocy of a culture that refuses to allow the downtrodden any relief. The Marshalsea - a real debtors' prison in which Dickens' father spent time, which had closed down shortly before the novel was written - is vividly realised, and the delightful supporting characters, from Mrs. Plornish to the conflicted Pancks, from the babbling Flora Finching to the eternally hilarious Mr. F's Aunt, still provide much merriment and intrigue. And the groaning, heaving mass that is Clennam and Co is perhaps Dickens' most powerful individual symbol.

At the heart of the work is Mr. Dorrit, a portrait of pathos like many prior, but far more interesting and realistic than any Dickensian character we have yet seen. A really strong work (with an equally beautiful and faithful BBC adaptation) that I heartily recommend. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 27, 2020 |
This was a long slog. Mostly, it was entertaining and engaging. Sometimes it got tedious. I believe I read somewhere that authors should show, not just tell. Therein lies the problem here. Little Dorrit contains two characters, Little Dorrit's father and Flora the one-time intended of Arthur Clennam, who blather incoherently and excessively, and we get the full experience of that blather...over...and...over...again. I wanted to choke the both of them.

Other than that, the story is fairly interesting, as is usual for Dickens. There are lots of weird, interesting characters, lots of wry comments on the human condition, especially as it relates to law or government, and so forth. Although there is an orphan in the book, we don't realize it until 80% of the way through, and then, she's not exactly a major character, although an important one. We do, however, get our fair share of eccentric old maids, grifters, ne'er-do-wells, shady lawyers and all the other characters who make up Dickens' menagerie, and of course, a couple of poor but extremely good hearted people.

While this is not my favorite Dickens book by a long shot, it is still well worth reading.
( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
I admire Dickens as a writer. However, for me, this is by far the worst novel that I have read by him. It's not engaging, pivotal or intriguing. It's trite and dull. There are much better novels to read by Dickens than this one. I do not recommend reading this one at all-- for any reason.

All in all, a very disappointing read. ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
A novel of serendipity, of fortunes won and lost, and of the spectre of imprisonment that hangs over all aspects of Victorian society. When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mother's seamstress, and in the affairs of Amy's father, William Dorrit, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in Marshalsea prison. 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 Panks, 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 Dickens's maturity.
  Cultural_Attache | Jul 14, 2018 |
So for the last two days I've wanted to post "Papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prisms, prunes and prisms" as my Facebook status except that I fear no one would get it and everyone would think I am crazy.

This is one of the really underrated Dickens books, in my opinion. I've read it four or five times and I've enjoyed it thoroughly each time. I think Little Dorrit herself is a great character and the plot is somewhat less complicated than the machinations in Bleak House. If you can find time for 1000 pages of Victorian prose, it will be worth the effort. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (81 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
Wall, StephenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Thirty years ago, Marseilles lay burning in the sun, one day.
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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.
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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.

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