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David Copperfield

Dickens, Charles

(Book - 1991)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
David Copperfield
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Charles Dickens's classic story of orphan David Copperfield growing up in nineteenth-century England.

Series that include this title

Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, c1991
ISBN: 0679405712
9780679405719
Branch Call Number: FICTION DICKENS 1991
Characteristics: xlii, 891 p. :,ill. ;,22 cm
Additional Contributors: Browne, Hablot Knight 1815-1882, Illustrator

Opinion

From Library Staff

Of all the books he wrote,

Dickens proclaimed this his favorite, perhaps because it is the most autobiographical. The

novel details the life of David from a happy childhood to misery in work and family life as he

struggles against scoundrels and cads.

When David Copperfield escapes from the cruelty of his childhood home, he embarks on a journey to adulthood which will lead him through comedy and tragedy, love and heartbreak and friendship and betrayal. Dickens takes such obvious pleasure in creating rich characters.


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Jun 01, 2011
  • ndp21f rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Go along with you, sir!' said my aunt, anything but appeased. 'Don't presume to say so! I am nothing of the sort. If you're an eel, sir, conduct yourself like one. If you're a man, control your limbs, sir! Good God!' said my aunt, with great indignation, 'I am not going to be serpentined and corkscrewed out of my senses!

Jun 01, 2011
  • ndp21f rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Their report was, that Mr. Barkis was 'as bad as bad could be'; that he was quite unconscious; and that Mr. Chillip had mournfully said in the kitchen, on going away just now, that the College of Physicians, the College of Surgeons, and Apothecaries' Hall, if they were all called in together, couldn't help him. He was past both Colleges, Mr. Chillip said, and the Hall could only poison him.

Jun 01, 2011
  • ndp21f rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Owing to some confusion in the dark, the door was gone. I was feeling for it in the window-curtains, when Steerforth, laughing, took me by the arm and led me out. We went down-stairs, one behind another. Near the bottom, somebody fell, and rolled down. Somebody else said it was Copperfield. I was angry at that false report, until, finding myself on my back in the passage, I began to think there might be some foundation for it.

Jun 01, 2011
  • ndp21f rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I suppose this unfortunate fowl was born and brought up in a cellar,' said my aunt, 'and never took the air except on a hackney coach-stand. I hope the steak may be beef, but I don't believe it. Nothing's genuine in the place, in my opinion, but the dirt.

Jun 01, 2011
  • ndp21f rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This unhappy boy, Miss Trotwood, has been the occasion of much domestic trouble and uneasiness; both during the lifetime of my late dear wife, and since. He has a sullen, rebellious spirit; a violent temper; and an untoward, intractable disposition. Both my sister and myself have endeavoured to correct his vices, but ineffectually. And I have felt—we both have felt, I may say; my sister being fully in my confidence—that it is right you should receive this grave and dispassionate assurance from our lips.'     'It can hardly be necessary for me to confirm anything stated by my brother,' said Miss Murdstone; 'but I beg to observe, that, of all the boys in the world, I believe this is the worst boy.

Jun 01, 2011
  • ndp21f rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Supposing there was no mistake in the case, and Mr. Murdstone had devised this plan to get rid of me, what should I do? If they allowed me to remain there until my seven shillings were spent, I couldn't hope to remain there when I began to starve. That would obviously be inconvenient and unpleasant to the customers, besides entailing on the Blue Whatever-it-was, the risk of funeral expenses.

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Oct 03, 2014
  • Yellow_Dog_501 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This book was boring in some points, but over all it was pretty good. I can say I don't care a lot for Dickens, though you always have to appreciate the classics.

Aug 28, 2013
  • alpaca85 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Reading David Copperfield was one of the toughest experiences I’ve had to endure in a long time. I started reading the 882 page novel, written by Charles Dickens as a person who disliked Dickens. I came out as a person who really disliked Dickens. When it took me ten minutes to read ten pages, I knew I was in trouble. When it took me a regime of 5 day reading cycles to finish, I really knew I was in trouble. Every morning for the past 5 days, waking up to the chore of reading a book that weighs two pounds (though around page 600 I could of sworn it weighed much, much more) was a huge burden. It’s not that I haven’t read something I didn’t like before; I’ve gone through a similar experience with Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or it’s not that I haven’t read something of this size. I don’t want to be overly venomous, I’m sure I could have endured and maybe even enjoyed another Dickens, albeit at a much shorter length. However this experience has left me with a bad taste in the mouth that probably won’t go away for a while.
David Copperfield is the life’s story of a prominent author in 1800’s England. It is told in flashback from when Copperfield is in his 50s. The novel is based on Dickens’s life, though it is probably a very romanticised account. It starts when he is a boy. He was born to a single mother. Being the 1800s, she gets remarried soon after his birth, and his new stepfather is a big meanie (described in the book as a great dog, waiting to attack in the dark, or in other words a big meanie). His mother dies soon after and David is sent to a school in London. The book has multiple subplots from here on, which I’ll skim over. There are the Peggotty’s; a poor working class family whom David befriends through his nurse. There are the Micwaber’s; a long suffering family whom David befriends after renting in their home. There are his school friends, Steerforth and Traddles; whom he keeps in close contact with for the story. There is his rich aunt and her companion Mr. Dick, a simple minded kite builder who is also building a memorial of some kind. There is Rosa, a girl he falls in love with and her dog Jip. Finally, there is Mr. Wickfield a lawyer whom David befriends, his daughter Agnes, who becomes David’s great confidante and Uriah Heep, an evil clerk who works to undermine Mr. Wickfield’s practice.
In short, it’s a convoluted thing. Even the names make my mind hurt. If you can keep track of everything, and if you like Dickens you’ll probably love this book. If you’re everyone else, you probably won’t. Maybe it’s too soon to make such a judgement, but I really hope not to encounter this book again. I am open to reading more Dickens, just not this one.

Nov 12, 2012
  • rab1953 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a wonderful novel, in which David feels like a real person, unlike many of Dickens’ characters. As a reader, I sympathized with his painful childhood, the vicious characters he has to survive, his mistakes and what he learns from them. As he begins to mature, I felt, yes, he’s growing up, and he’ll be okay. The development of David, in association with so many extraordinary and memorable characters, lets you overlook the plot devices and improbable coincidences that Dickens uses to move the story in the direction he wants to take it. And what characters – among Dickens’ most inspired. (Is snake-like Uriah Heep really the inspiration for Harry Potter’s snaky enemies? Rowling seems to have a Dickens-like love of incident and odd characters.) And even though the trajectory is perfectly obvious, it remains satisfying because David is a character you’d like to know as a friend. After reading over 700 pages, it’s a bit sad to have it end.

Jan 22, 2012
  • horthhill rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Although one of the longer of Charles Dickens' novels, David Copperfield is a highly readable and absorbing story of a boy who does grow up well...despite the false starts of his childhood. We meet David when he is born. His father has died and his mother has the misfortune to marry a harsh man (who arrives in the household complete with an even harsher sister so that David gets the benefit of both an evil step-father and 'step-mother'). Things just keep getting worse. David is sent away to a school with a cruel headmaster. Then, his mother dies and his step-father sends him away to live by-himself in London to work in a warehouse. David - not even ten years old- escapes and sets out to seek his only living relative. The narrative hasn't even covered a quarter of the plot but in these early trials David meets all the -unlikely - people who end up showing him great kindness and help in life: his nurse Pegotty, Tommy Traddles, Mr. And Mrs. Micawber, and his formidable aunt.

Needless to say, much happens and David Copperfield ends well. A great novel and a great read.

Jan 30, 2011
  • oldman74 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

you'll find after you have read many of the books by dickens that your vocabulary will not only improve, but that your mind will occasionally think in prose from the eighteen hundreds.

copperfield is a childhood favorite of mine. the first half paints such a picture of despair that when our protagonist is lifted up in the second half we can't help but feel joy.

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