September 23, 2008

My (Other) Favorite Author: Charles Dickens

Okay, so my all-time favorite author is Jane Austen. But in a lost-by-a-nose second is Charles Dickens. I can't get enough. I want to read all he wrote, and he wrote quite a bit.

It all started back in high school with the mandatory Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol. I won't talk about A Christmas Carol but leave it at this: I don't think that you should require someone to read a play. I love plays, and I love reading, but plays are meant to be expererienced. Great Expectations, though, I loved. The quirky characters, the twisting plot, everything.

Then post-college I decided to delve into Dickens again. I read A Tale of Two Cities. A great read, but once again, it's one of those books that I forgot what it's about. I do remember liking it and spending a lot of time reading it since it is long.

I've only read one other book by Dickens, but I love, love, loved it. This book is what made me want to write like him. The book: Oliver Twist. Plently of people know the story and think of it as some kids' story, but it is absolutely not. It absolutely cracks me up to read, primarily because of the way Dickens writes is as if he was a famous storyteller relating a story to his friends. He's wordy, but in a funny way. I can't really describe it.

Here's a snippet of the beginning of this great book that gives you a picture of what I mean:

OLIVER TWIST CHAPTER I TREATS OF THE PLACE WHERE OLIVER TWIST WAS BORN AND OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDING HIS BIRTH AMONG other public buildings in a certain town which for many reasons it will be prudent to refrain from mentioning and to which I will assign no fictitious name there is one anciently common to most towns great or small to wit a workhouse and in this workhouse was born on a day and date which I need not trouble myself to repeat inasmuch as it can be of no possible consequence to the reader in this stage of the business at all events the item of mortality whose name is prefixed to the head of this chapter

1 comment:

  1. I agree about the reading of plays. Bleh.

    My favorite Charles Dickens is David Copperfield.


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