Tag Archive | Charles Dickens

Martin Chuzzlewit

1990

Title: Martin Chuzzlewit
Author: Charles Dickens

Other works by author: The Pickwick Papers
The Adventures of Oliver Twist
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Old Curiosity Shop
Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty’
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
Dombey and Son
David Copperfield
Bleak House
Hard Times: For These Times
Little Dorrit
A Tale of Two Cities
Great Expectations
Our Mutual Friend
Several Christmas Novellas (including A Christmas Carol)
Several Short Stories
The Mystery of Edwin Drood – unfinished

For a complete list with the shorter stories see Charles Dickens Wikipedia biography here.

My Rating: 5 of 5

Summary: The greed of his family has led wealthy old Martin Chuzzlewit to become suspicious and misanthropic, leaving his grandson and namesake to make his own way in the world. And so young Martin sets out from the Wiltshire home of his supposed champion, the scheming architect Pecksniff, to seek his fortune in America.

My thoughts: This is one of Dickens lesser known works and it is one of my favorites. The story deals mostly with selfishness and greed and how it can effect those around you. It leads to bad things such as estrangement, murder, and suicide. It also shows how certain circumstances and people can teach and grow you.

As with most of Dickens works he does use some gritty issues from the time to convey his story but nothing terrible.

It was written not long after his first visit to America which was not long before the Civil War so he does have some… interesting perceptions of Americans that come out in a portion of the book. In the postscript, however, he tells that he visited America again under much more favorable circumstances and no longer felt the way he did when writing the book.

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Gutenberg, and there is also a free audio book at Librivox

Book Review: Barnaby Rudge

Title: Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty’
Author: Charles Dickens
Date Started:  May 12, 2014

 

Other works by author: The Pickwick Papers
The Adventures of Oliver Twist
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Old Curiosity Shop
Our Mutual Friend
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
Dombey and Son
David Copperfield
Bleak House
Hard Times: For These Times
Little Dorrit
A Tale of Two Cities
Great Expectations
Our Mutual Friend
Several Christmas Novellas (including A Christmas Carol)
Several Short Stories
The Mystery of Edwin Drood – unfinished

For a complete list with the shorter stories see Charles Dickens Wikipedia biography here.

 

My Rating: 3

 

Summary: Set against the backdrop of the Gordon Riots of 1780, Barnaby Rudge is a story of mystery and suspense which begins with an unsolved double murder and goes on to involve conspiracy, blackmail, abduction and retribution. Through the course of the novel fathers and sons become opposed, apprentices plot against their masters and Protestants clash with Catholics on the streets. And, as London erupts into riot, Barnaby Rudge himself struggles to escape the curse of his own past.

Summary copied from Goodreads.com

 

My thoughts: A friend and I over a period of about 4 years decided to read all of Dickens completed novels (listed above). This was my last one I’ve now finished all 14 :D.

This book has an interesting mystery and sweet characters and I enjoyed it, though it took me awhile to keep some characters straight. Warning: it also contains some graphic, unpleasant descriptions of things happening in the middle of the riots.

 

Where did I hear about this book: My friend over at Polly Wolly Designs and Charles Dickens Wikipedia page.

 

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Gutenberg, and there is also a free audio book at Librivox.

Book Review: Dickens Final Work

Title: Our Mutual Friend
Author: Charles Dickens
Date Started:  January 11, 2014
Date Finished:
February 5, 2014

Other works by author: The Pickwick Papers
The Adventures of Oliver Twist
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Old Curiosity Shop
Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty’
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
Dombey and Son
David Copperfield
Bleak House
Hard Times: For These Times
Little Dorrit
A Tale of Two Cities
Great Expectations
Several Christmas Novellas (including A Christmas Carol)
Several Short Stories
The Mystery of Edwin Drood – unfinished

For a complete list with the shorter stories see Charles Dickens Wikipedia biography here.

How many have I read: I have read all of the completed novels except Barnaby Rudge

My Rating: 4

Summary: When John Harmon—who has been left a fortune if he will marry the girl his miserly father chose for him—is found floating dead in the Thames, he sets in motion a story overflowing with cases of deception and mistaken identity, of murder and attempted murder, of sin and redemption. The influence of the notorious Harmon inheritance ripples through a large cast of vividly drawn characters from every level of society, including Noddy Boffin, known as “the Golden Dustman”; the one-legged villain Silas Wegg; willful Bella Wilfer; saintly Lizzie Hexam; the sharp-witted doll’s dressmaker Jenny Wren; the social-climbing Veneerings; the ruthless speculator Fascination Fledgeby; and the river-scavenging corpse robbers Gaffer Hexam and Rogue Riderhood and many others. Out of this flurry of invention Dickens creates in Our Mutual Friend a portrait of a city and a civilization that is at once indignant, compassionate, and utterly unforgettable.

Charles Dickens’s last completed novel features one of his most surreal and haunting visions of  London, shadowed by towering dust heaps that supply the corrupting riches at the heart of the plot and washed by the dark river that winds its way insistently through the story.

Summary copied from Amazon.com

My thoughts: I enjoyed the book once I got into it and began understanding the characters and remembering who was who… I generally have a difficult time understanding Dickens works, I had to watch the movie to help myself begin to understand it, but I always enjoy the story.

It was an enjoyable story pointing out the dangers of miserliness, the silliness of both the upper and lower classes for looking down upon the other, and the great danger of unchecked passion and jealousy.

Where did I hear about this book: My friend over at Polly Wolly Designs and I have been going through all of Dickens’ completed novels together, she highly recommended this one to me.

Where can you get this book: Amazon, Gutenberg, and there is also a free audio book at Librivox