Sunday, 6 February 2011
TSS: Bleak House by Charles Dickens
It looks like I'm getting good at read-a-longs, another one finished :D
I started reading Bleak House back in November, we read a section each Sunday following the sections that Dickens had them published originally in the perodicals.
A quick summary: Bleak House focuses on the main heroine Esther, she starts her life as a orphan, with a childhood of misery. When her aunt dies she finds that she is taken by a new guardian along with two other teenagers to live in Bleak House. The three all share a link in a long legal debate over a will, which has been being debated longer than the three have lived.
Esther's a kind hearted a generous central character, formaing relationships with many along the way, from orphaned children to the aristocracy. The novel explores the power of greed, the unravelling of secrets and friendships.
Dickens is one of those authors who I'm never 100% sure of, I have loved some of his works (Great Expectations in particular) and really disliked others (Nicholas Nickelby). This novel held me unsure of my feelings for it over a number of months. Split into two narratives, Esther's and a unknown narrators, we view all manner of peoples lives, many who are only barely linked to Esther's story. And while I loved her narrative, which focused on just the few people she met, I dislike the other narrative which introduced too many characters and was hard to follow.
I think that as a read-a-long we should have read more each week, the sections were about 30 pages in length and varied in enjoyment. Sometimes you finished a Sunday reading glad to have spent 30minutes with Esther and other weeks the reading left me bored and wondering what was happening to Esther.
The BBC adaptation of this is supposed to be brilliant, I'm hoping to hire this and watch it in the coming weeks.