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Little Dorrit (1857)

af Charles Dickens

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When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mothers seamstress, and in the affairs of Amys father, William Dorrit, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea. As Arthur soon discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its walls to affect the lives of many, from the kindly Mr. Pancks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart Yard, and the tipsily garrulous Flora Finching, to Merdle, an unscrupulous financier, and the bureaucratic Barnacles in the Circumlocution Office. A masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, "Little Dorrit" is one of the supreme works of Dickenss maturity.… (mere)
  1. 13
    Fornuft og følelse af Jane Austen (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
    FutureMrsJoshGroban: They are both wonderful love stories, and they are both my favorite books by the respective authors.
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Engelsk (82)  Spansk (3)  Catalansk (1)  Finsk (1)  Alle sprog (87)
Viser 1-5 af 87 (næste | vis alle)
As part of my rest-of-my-life project, I tackled another large Dickens novel to start the year. There’s no getting around it: the fact that Mr. Dickens was paid by the installment clearly meant that many of his books are, um, longer than they need to be. Enjoyable? Yes. Amazingly plotted? Yes. Exceptional characters? Yes. Moving? Yes. But increasingly I am coming to the conclusion that they’re too damn long. Of course, Dickens wouldn’t be Dickens otherwise. Still.
Which leaves us with this tale of rags to riches to rags, the infamous Marshalsea Prison for debtors (where Dickens’ father spent time), and the absolutely lovable, self-effacing, gentle, too-good-to-be-true (or believable) Little Dorrit. The characters, as always, are much of the attraction; the plot threatens at a few points to be nearly incomprehensible (but never crosses that line); the tying-up of loose ends at the end of the book requires some rather silly inventions but it is, after all, Dickens, and so the novel succeeds despite all of this. If it’s not quite at the level of Bleak House or David Copperfield, it is also not terribly far from those masterpieces either. It took me quite some time to decide which novel to read this year and I read widely to help me decide. Definitely recommended. ( )
  Gypsy_Boy | Feb 16, 2024 |
A true delight, Dickens' second masterpiece, coming soon after Bleak House. The 19th of Dickens' 24 major works, and the 11th of his novels, Dorrit was written over a span of two years, and brings us into CD's final act, as he begins to lavish careful attention on his works and aims to realise his characters far more greatly, and tie his works together. Dorrit is more diffuse than Bleak House yet feels even more like a novel rather than a serialised work.

The lead characters, Amy Dorrit - a child of a debt-ridden family, whose essential goodness has created a community in the most unlikely of places - and Arthur Clennam, the soulful sailor uncovering his family's ill deeds, are like most of Dickens' lead characters to date: a bit vanilla. This alone is a step back from Bleak House although they continue to greatly reflect the world around them, and in this case their positive qualities form a part of the novel's plea for sanity and simplicity in an increasingly material world.

The novel excels in its portrayal of Victorian England's ludicrous class system, through the absolutely fantastic caricatures of the Meagles and the Merdles, and in examining the idiocy of a culture that refuses to allow the downtrodden any relief. The Marshalsea - a real debtors' prison in which Dickens' father spent time, which had closed down shortly before the novel was written - is vividly realised, and the delightful supporting characters, from Mrs. Plornish to the conflicted Pancks, from the babbling Flora Finching to the eternally hilarious Mr. F's Aunt, still provide much merriment and intrigue. And the groaning, heaving mass that is Clennam and Co is perhaps Dickens' most powerful individual symbol.

At the heart of the work is Mr. Dorrit, a portrait of pathos like many prior, but far more interesting and realistic than any Dickensian character we have yet seen. A really strong work (with an equally beautiful and faithful BBC adaptation) that I heartily recommend. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 24, 2023 |
Mil Nicholson is once again a marvelous narrator for this Dickens classic. I would strongly recommend her reading, even with the sometimes annoying "This is a Librivox recording..." at the start of every chapter. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 27, 2023 |
Después de más de veinte años en China («Tengo tan pocas raíces que me arrastra la corriente»), Arthur Clennam vuelve a Londres convencido de haber desperdiciado su juventud y de que ya ha pasado para él el momento del amor. Su madre, una anciana inválida y siniestra, le recibe gélidamente en la habitación de la que lleva doce años sin salir, y en la que, al fondo, en la penumbra, cose una desventurada muchacha. Arthur se interesa en seguida por ella, sospechando que puede guardar la clave de un vergonzoso secreto familiar que su madre le oculta, y descubre que se trata de Amy Dorrit, nacida en la cárcel de deudores de Marshalsea, donde su padre, uno de los más antiguos presos, es toda una institución…
  Natt90 | Feb 23, 2023 |
This took me two whole months to read. This is a shame, because it starts out pretty good. "Little Dorrit" is really Amy, a girl born in debtors' prison where her father has languished for over twenty years; one could bring one's wife and children along if one desired. All the stuff about how Dorrit came to the prison, and his life there, and Amy's life there, is fantastic stuff, that usual Dickens mixture of the comic and the real. Meanwhile, a man named Arthur Clennam has come home after decades overseas, now that his father is dead, and he soon meets Little Dorrit and aims to help her. His visit to the Circumlocution Office, a government department devoted to stopping the government from doing anything effective, is Dickens at his savage and comic best.

The problem is, every time the narrative moves away from Little Dorrit, it becomes bogged down in some of the dullest characters I can ever remember from a Dickens novel. Who cares about the Meagles or all the rest of them? And yet the novel just goes on and on and on.

Little Dorrit herself is one of Dickens's best psychological portraits: the chapter about her after her family has finally been released from prison and achieved riches once more is utterly devastating. Yet the novel keeps going and going after that point for hundreds of more pages, mostly neglecting its title character, and I lost all interest, even in characters like Clennam who had initially held my attention.
  Stevil2001 | Nov 5, 2022 |
Viser 1-5 af 87 (næste | vis alle)
It tripped my social conscience and infected me for the rest of my life.
tilføjet af Cynfelyn | RedigerThe Guardian, Jon Snow (Nov 19, 1999)
 

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When Arthur Clennam returns to England after many years abroad, he takes a kindly interest in Amy Dorrit, his mothers seamstress, and in the affairs of Amys father, William Dorrit, a man of shabby grandeur, long imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea. As Arthur soon discovers, the dark shadow of the prison stretches far beyond its walls to affect the lives of many, from the kindly Mr. Pancks, the reluctant rent-collector of Bleeding Heart Yard, and the tipsily garrulous Flora Finching, to Merdle, an unscrupulous financier, and the bureaucratic Barnacles in the Circumlocution Office. A masterly evocation of the state and psychology of imprisonment, "Little Dorrit" is one of the supreme works of Dickenss maturity.

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