Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Bleak House" Book Review

First of all, let me apologize for being so late and not posting. I've been kinda busy lately, with school and all, and on top of that my mouse is doing this weird thing where it...doesn't...want... to click. Yeah. Plus, I've been lazy. Every spare moment I've been reading some new books I got. :D
I have a few more fun posts up ahead, but first I wanted to tell you about my book Bleak House, now that I've FINALLY finished it, that is. :)

This is my copy.

Ok, this is my first review, so here goes.
First of all, why do these 19th century authors (such as Dickens), feel the need to describe so much? I just don't get it. Do I really care about the Fashionable Intelligence? Not really. :P You can keep your descriptions, Dickens. I want characters! I want drama! I want plot!
I'm sure you get what I'm sayin'.
On to the good stuff.
This was a very, very lovable book. It really was. Once you got past the descriptions, there were some very sweet moments that made me close the book, sit back, and sigh in delight at the reflection of it.

*SPOILER:*That chapter where Esther got well, and she finally saw Ada again? I couldn't keep my smile down for a whole half hour, honest.*END OF SPOILER*

But wait! What am I doing?!?!
I should give you a little synopsis, shouldn't I?! Ahem. :)
Esther Summerson grew up unloved. She never knew her real parents, and her life is pretty much dedicated to helping other people and shoving away any unsettling thoughts about her past, until she is called to Bleak House as a companion to the Wards in Jarndyce. A notorious case is going on at Chauncery, one that (they say) will never be settled. There seems to be a mix-up of some wills,and as far as Esther and her companions are concerned, the case has passed into a joke.
Throughout the book Esther learns the secret to her past, and what it and the Jarndyce case means to Bleak House, her Guardian, and her companions.

Ada and Richard from the 2007 series, at FanPop.
 There. :)
The book is exactly what you would expect of Dickens. It is a very deep (and very thick!) book, one that you really must take your time to read, just as you had to take  your time if you've watched the (2007) series.
And let me tell you! When I watched the Bleak House series, I re-watched the first three episodes TWICE before I could grasp all the characters that were being thrown at me.
In the book, I really thought Esther was sweet. :) She's the kind of person we all wish we could be (kind, generous, not vain or proud), and yet she's not too perfect that you get annoyed with her (Elsie Dinsmore, anyone?). We see her struggles, and her joys (for part of the book is in first person), and how she handles what is going on around her. she's a great role model, so to speak. She kind of reminds me of Jane Eyre.

I also really like Mr. Jarndyce. I liked him well enough in the TV series, and he was just the same in the book. He's still such a soft and kind-hearted sort of fellow, the kind that you can't help loving.

This is my copy of the book, with a ring for scale. :) It's 900- something page book!

So, in spite of the descriptions, I can safely say that I think this world needs more authors like Charles Dickens. We don't need trashy romances, that fill our minds with deceptive thinking. Nor violent sci-fi thrillers about teenagers who kill each other (and "I'm not mentioning no names"). I don't think too many authors today understand that you can have a good book (no, a GREAT book!) without putting horrid things in it.
Which is one reason I like classics.
Which is one reason you should read them. Because, they're really good, after all.


  1. Look at you finishing your first Dickens! What a start you've made. My first Dickens, if you want to be technical, was "A Christmas Carol". But if you want to go for an 'actual' Dickens than it was "David Copperfield". I like "David Copperfield" but not as much as I like "Bleak House". And I thought the movie, "Bleak House" was done very long as you can spare the time! Hehe. May I share my favorite moment with you?!
    For those who don't want spoilers than just stop reading right now!!

    Have you stopped reading?!

    Good. Anyway, my favorite part in the movie was the reunion of Esther and her mother. It was so heartbreaking and the acting was so beautiful. Did you cry? I did. Is it a bad thing that my favorite part is so sad? I hope not.
    Oh, as for favorite character in the movie...I liked the inspector. He was funny! :D
    My favorite part of the book was the reuniting of George and his mother. I'm sensing a reunion theme here!

    Now to the rest of what I have to say. I do think that Dickens gets rather wordy sometimes and his detailing is extreme but I do also like that there is NEVER a forgotten character. I can't imagine how his mind was so....mindful! Haha.
    Hope you will write more soon!

  2. So you finished Bleak House? :D I think I might tackle it next summer. I'm so busy with school these days that I can't even finish writing a letter to a beloved best friend, much less read a book of that dimension. :D
    I think my favorite part of the movie was...hmm, some part with sweet Doctor Woodcourt! Or, yes, when Ada sees Esther after the smallpox. :)
    I have to say this about Bleak House, it IS a little creepy. That one guy...ergh. I don't remember what his name is, so you probably don't know who I'm talking about, but...yeah. I know who I'm talking about.

  3. By the way, this post was well-written. :)

  4. Could you be referring to Mr. Guppy? He is rather creepy but his mother is hilarious!

  5. :D It wasn't Mr. Guppy that I was talking about; I would have remembered him. He IS weird though; he's in Batman and he *cough* spoiler: dies *cough* but I was kinda happy cause I did NOT like him as Guppy. No, the guy I'm talking about is the CREEPY guy with the cat who evicted the lady with the birds?? Gosh, I can't remember any of their names. :P

  6. Ohhh, Diana, so you are either referring to Mr. Crooks, who suffered a nasty death or Mr. Smallweed, "shake me up, Judy"...ringing any bells?
    Phoebe, I also thought that the book did (most) things better with the movie and I did love Alan Woodcourt. :) I don't blame you for forgetting to mention some of these characters in your post. I mean it's Dickens, you could write a character guide and it would look like a small novel in and of itself! Haha. :D

  7. It's Mr. Crook. That's the one. Thank you, Cordy! My mom was thoroughly creeped out by him.*shudders* I don't much like Mr. Smallweed, either, though.

  8. So glad we could finally get it right! We Dickens readers/watchers have to stick together! Haha. He was creepy. His voice was so low and then his death was so horrible!

  9. I would love to read that Charles Dickens book. I'm going through all of Jane Austen's books right now, the first (beside Jane Eyre) big book with a large vocabulary, and so I haven't gotten to Dickens yet, can't wait till I do though! And Cordy, thank you for giving a warning about your spoiler, which, no offense to you, Phoebe, you kind of did by letting us know that Esther gets well and gets to see Adda again. But besides that, a wonderful review!

  10. My, my, but deary me! I DID let a spoiler slip into my review! I can't imagine how that happened... Well, I'll fix it so that people can skip past it if they want to. :) Thank you for pointing that out. :) I'm glad you like the post! :D
    Jane Austen is SCRUMPTIOUS.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...