Little Dorrit

Dickens, Charles

Book - 1992
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Little Dorrit
Of the complex, richly rewarding masterworks he wrote in the last decade of his life, Little Dorrit is the book in which Charles Dickens most fully unleashed his indignation at the fallen state of mid-Victorian society. Crammed with persons and incidents in whose recreation nothing is accidental or spurious, containing, in its picture of the Circumlocution Office, the most witheringly exact satire of a bureaucracy we possess, Little Dorrit is a stunning example of how thoroughly Dickens could put his flair for the theatrical and his comic genius the service of his passion for justice.

Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, [1992]
ISBN: 0192545124
Branch Call Number: FICTION DICKENS
Characteristics: xxxvii, 836 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm


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How does a person keep his/her dignity even in tragic or humiliating or frightening circumstances?

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Feb 17, 2012
  • bwortman rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Recently returned to London after spending twenty years abroad working in China, Arthur Clennam finds himself taking an interest in Amy Dorrit, his mother's seamstress, and her father, William Dorrit, a long-time inmate, due to his debts, in the Marshalsea Prison. As Arthur befriends Little Dorrit, he encounters a wide cast of characters on whom the shadow of the Marshalsea falls. While there are dark and conniving characters and others whom are simply superficial and flawed, Little Dorrit remains constant and is the impetus for far more changes in his life than Arthur ever could have imagined.

Charles Dickens, for all his flaws, knew how to create a compelling novel. While there's no denying that he created some hefty tomes (my edition of the novel comes in at 860 pages), they are filled with rich characters and expansive and intricately detailed plots. In this novel, Dickens begins with a mystery that slowly unravels over the course of the narrative, shedding new light on relationships and characters but always leaving the reader wondering just where the plot might be going. The characters are vivid from Amy Dorrit's diminutive stature to Pancks and his hair that defies gravity to Rigaud with his terrifying smile. And while Little Dorrit is very demure as all of Dickens' idealized heroines are, she still has an independent spirit that is never quite subdued regardless of her circumstance. In addition to the plots and characters, Dickens includes some truly delightful turns of phrase. His wit comes through in a multitude of places, whether he be ranting about the general ineffectualness of government or describing a character with a healthy dose of snark. Full of sympathetic characters and a plot that pulls you on to discover what will happen to all of them, Little Dorrit also explores the long-term effects of imprisonment and poverty on the psyche with pathos. A delight throughout, the novel will leave you with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you reach the final page.

Sep 28, 2011
  • Veepea rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really loved this book, it's now one of my favourites. All the subplots get nicely tied up, which is always important to me. This is my first Dickens book, and I hope all the other ones are like this.

Sep 03, 2011
  • pentmm rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Love the wit of Dickens! *for those who don't care for reading...the BBC adaptation is faithful to the book. Of course there are a few things out of order and slightly different, but over all well done.

Feb 21, 2011
  • rwcobur rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really had trouble following all the sub-plots. It was good to read other reviews on the book because I think a 2nd reading would have been required to get a full understanding of all the sub-plots. I still enjoyed the book immensely and will read it again. I watched the BBC drama of Little Dorrit and I am reading the book for the second time and enjoying it even more. The governments of today seem little changed from that of Dickens time.

May 28, 2010
  • 22950006606826 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I love Dickens' writing. I highly recommend this book.


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