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A world away from where I am, who I am and what I am...but this is a totally engaging, funny, interesting, challenging and rewarding world. Lots of well trodden paths, new places to explore, thoughts to think and reflections to bring to the world inside and outside the Vauxhall Vectra where I sat in comfortable isolation and enjoyed this book. Hours and hours of time well spent - no better recommendation whoever you are, whatever you are, whenever you can be there.
This is a book that I returned to approximately 35 years after reading it at school ? and very fond and vivid memories of the opening scenes being read out loud to the class with the homework to fill in the bits and then read it to its conclusion. The opening chapters still burn very bright in the memory ? based on the brightly drawn characters of Daniel Quilp, Kit Nubbles and the onomatopoeic Dick Swiveller. Each leaps back into the imagination untouched by time and ready to entertain.
The domestic scene where Quilp returns unexpectedly to disrupt his wife and her mother sitting around with their cronies is one of the funniest scenes in literature ? and there are so many common-place references that stand this book at the centre of London life.
A welcome stroll down memory lane ? sometimes a little winding and slow ? and, paradoxically a little too quick in parcelling up the ending. But, nonetheless the Dickens cannon is at the centre of the English novel and a welcome return to times gone by brought freshly into mind.
A cultural heritage which places the Victorian novel at the centre of all we do and the trained voice as the medium through which it is delivered....it's a shame that we are giving this away and our kids aren't being taught this stuff at school isn't it? In our day it was one Dickens per year in the class-room, Martin Jarvis as Uriah Heep on the telly of a Sunday tea time and an illustrated version on the bookshelf in the parlour.
Now look at us....Facebook, MySpace and Britain's Got Talent...nice to escape back into those characters, that story and most of all that voice.