Monday, May 05, 2008

Nonfiction Monday: Dickens: His Work and His World

Rosen, Michael. Dickens: His Work and His World.

DICKENS: HIS WORK AND HIS WORLD by Michael Rosen is a nice introduction to Charles Dickens life and works. The book does a great job of placing both into their proper context.

The book is divided into five chapters. Chapter one "The Tour" gives a brief overview of Charles Dickens. It provides a glimpse into his talents performing in front of audiences and serves as an introduction as to WHY Dickens is so memorable. Chapter two "The Life" provides the reader a biographical summary of Dickens' life. "Great writers aren't often people born into some special family, nor are they necessarily very rich or very clever or very lucky. They're not always people who have seen or heard hundreds of amazing or odd things. But a great writer has to be someone who spends a good deal of time watching, listening, and wondering--and a good deal more time telling us about it" (12). Chapter Three "London" provides the reader with a description of the world in which Dickens lived and wrote. It discusses the cultural and political as well as physical environment in which he wrote. Chapter Four "The Work" discusses four literary masterpieces: A CHRISTMAS CAROL, OLIVER TRIST, DAVID COPPERFIELD, and GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Rosen devotes most of the chapter to his in-depth analysis of GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Chapter Five "Legacy" is a summary of why Dickens is still relevant to today's culture. The book concludes with a thorough timeline and index. (There is not a bibliography).

Throughout DICKENS: HIS WORK AND HIS WORLD are one and two-page illustrations by Robert Ingpen, winner of the Hans Christian Andersen medal for illustration in 1986, which are magnificent.

Rosen's style is conversational. He writes directly to the reader, often asking the reader to join in his questions and become involved in the text.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Tricia 10:33 AM  

I read the Shakespeare one and really liked it. I think Rosen does a great job with these. I'll have to check out this one!

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