Our Mutual Friend has one major flaw, for which I can’t quite forgive it. But it also has some of Dickens’ strangest, most haunting characters.
Forget for a moment that it has become one of the most clichéd passages in literature, and read the opening sentence of A Tale of Two Cities:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was
For decades after Dickens’ death, The Pickwick Papers remained his most beloved book. It has largely fallen off the map, but once you’ve read Pickwick, you see how crucial it is to the Dickens canon.
Dickens’ shortest novel is very taut, and occasionally some sharp little passage arrives that reminds you of his more expansive greatness.
When the death scene in Dombey and Son was published, all of England was apparently prostrated by grief.
“Please sir, I want some more”
Oliver Twist was Dickens’ second novel, and my first. My grandmother read it to me and my sister when we were young. We loved the part when meek little orphan Oliver, born out of wedlock in …
Starting tomorrow, Jan. 27, we will blog his ten best novels. Why don’t you follow along with us?
For the magazine this week, I wrote a piece about the legacy of Charles Dickens. He was a fascinating character on many fronts (Lev Grossman thought so too, after reading a couple of recent biographies), but what interests me, on …