David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Yes. Already, my resolution has been broken. But, much like a diet, in two weeks I will crawl on the saddle again and get my blog posted by -Thursday-.

I had little girls here, there, and everywhere every day this week. Amelia had friends over every single day. It’s exhausting. Just FYI for any of you without children or with children too young to have friends over every single day.

So, in my last blog post I shared my reading difficulties.

Bless Charles Dickens and David Copperfield. I actually really, really, got into this book. I experienced it in a weird way though. I’m working right now and always listen to audio books. So, David Copperfield is a free audiobook through LibriVox, so I downloaded it by chapter. I’d listen at work, a few chapters a day, which is how I started last week. But I was a little lax on listening because the book -does- start out slow. So, in order to speed things along, I decided on Sunday to start reading the book while at home and listening when in the car or at work. It worked out really, really well. And the book picked up.

John Irving and Kathryn Harrison both listed this in their top ten.

The “word on the street” is that David  Copperfield is Dickens’ most autobiographical work. I could see that a bit. First, flip the initials around. Second, Copperfield ends up being a fairly well known novelist by the end of the book.

Dickens called David Copperfield his “favorite child”.

If you get past the slower chapters at the beginning, you get sucked into David Copperfield’s life. I found myself frothing mad at certain characters, like the b***ch, Miss Murdstone and the a** Uriah Heep. In fact, I was talking to a friend last night and said “I have to go and finish David Copperfield. I want to see if Heep gets his.”.

I won’t tell you whether or not Heep got his. That would ruin it. But, unlike my prior attempts at Dickens, I actually found myself worried for “little Emily”, exasperated with David’s love “Dora” and aching with sympathy for Ham and Mr. Peggotty. I wanted to throw both the Murdstones’ out the window and felt slimy when Uriah Heep pranced across the pages, writhing in fake humbleness all the while (Dickens himself talks about Heep’s writhing). I found myself both disgusted by and in sympathy with Steerforth.

Dickens’ gift seems to me, to be that he can write both classes of the time equally well. Other authors that have survived that period tend to not be able to do that. Austen only can write the upper class. Dickens is not afraid to show the follies and weaknesses of any person, as well as the strength and goodness in them. Copperfield has a few different “flawed” characters that Dickens shows as being human, with shades of gray. There’s Steerforth, who befriends David at a time in which he very much needs a friend, but goes on to do some pretty dickish things. There’s Mr. Micawber, who can’t manage money at all and is constantly being harassed for his debts and spends time in debtor’s prison, but provides family to David at a time when he very much needs family, and is always a friend. Mr. Micawber also becomes one of the big heroes of the latter half of the book. David’s aunt is shown as being a crusty, opinionated woman, but one whom is capable of so much goodness. When Dickens tells her backstory, you find yourself nodding in complete empathy with her. There’s happy endings in here and sad endings to some characters. Some characters get their “just rewards” and others, sadly, continue to be evil idiots.

I was going to put some quotations in here, but I kept adding more and more that I wanted to show that I finally just gave up and figured I’d say this;

Put this on your reading list. Now. Stick with the beginning slowness. Enjoy! 🙂

Have a great weekend!

 

 

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