Thursday, September 27, 2018

Me? Listen to Audio? #37 My Victorian Year #36

Bleak House. Charles Dickens. 1852-1853. Read by Mil Nicholson. Version 3. Librivox. 39 hours and 25 minutes. 

First sentence: London. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets, as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill.

I've read Bleak House twice. I first read and reviewed it in 2010. I read it the second time in 2016. When I was looking for a new audio to start, it made sense to me to revisit Bleak House by Charles Dickens. I was hoping that my familiarity with the book and with the movie would make these characters seem like OLD FRIENDS. I was right. The unabridged audio was just what I needed.

Is Bleak House my absolute favorite Dickens? I'm not sure. Perhaps with the exception of A Christmas Carol, it is the one I've read most, especially if you count the audio book as a third rereading of the novel. (I think I've read Oliver Twist more than once, but I think I like it less each time I read it.)

There are so many of his novels that I feel the *need* to reread before deciding my "absolute" favorite.

A word from Esther:

I don't know how it is, I seem to be always writing about myself. I mean all the time to write about other people, and I try to think about myself as little as possible, and I am sure, when I find myself coming into the story again, I am really vexed and say, "Dear, dear, you tiresome little creature, I wish you wouldn't!" but it is all of no use. I hope any one who may read what I write, will understand that if these pages contain a great deal about me, I can only suppose it must be because I have really something to do with them and can't be kept out. (102-3)
A description of Sir Leicester:
Sir Leicester is generally in a complacent state, and rarely bored. When he has nothing else to do, he can always contemplate his own greatness. It is a considerable advantage to a man, to have so inexhaustible a subject. (139)
A description of Mr. Smallweed:
Everything that Mr. Smallweed's grandfather ever put away in his mind was a grub at first, and is a grub at last. In all his life he has never bred a single butterfly. (257)
From Lady Dedlock to Mr. Tulkinghorn:
"Of repentance or remorse, or any feeling of mine," Lady Dedlock presently proceeds, "I say not a word. If I were not dumb, you would be deaf. Let that go by. It is not for your ears." (509)

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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