Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bleak House Readalong - We're Done!

We're done, we're done, we're done! I think my final opinion of Bleak House is going to evolve over time. Right now, I'm honestly a little disappointed. I can't help but think that Dickens thought he was throwing in some great twists at the end but the big things that happened weren't all that surprising. Dickens always leave me with the feeling "and they all lived happily ever after ... except the people that didn't ... live that is."

What I Liked This Week:
Well, being done for one thing. Seriously - I can't believe I've been reading this book for more than two months. You can't help but be happy that Esther found love but you always knew that she would find happiness no matter where she ended up. I was happy that George reconciled with his brother and finally found his place in life.
Not that our little group didn't already hold John Jarndyce in high esteem already but these last chapters have really cemented my impression that he was one of the kindest, most thoughtful characters in literature. Is it terrible to say that I liked that Dickens killed off some of his characters? Well, I did - so much more realistic that way. And once you've read a Dickens' book, you know going in that some of the major players will die so it makes it interesting to guess which ones he'll kill off.

What I Didn't Like This Week:
I know, I know - I just got done saying that I like the fact that Dickens kills off some of his major characters. But Lady Dedlock before Esther and she have any chance to have one last moment together? That's just mean, Charles!

And why did the only characters that died have to be ones that we like? Why couldn't Harold Skimpole (the leech and liar) have been run over by a truck? Okay, I know there weren't trucks yet but you get the picture. Or Mr. Vholes? There's a guy that deserved to be dragged down the street behind a team of runaway horses. Nothing even remotely bad happened to either one of these louses.

It's been tough going, pushing my way through this one even when I really didn't have time to read. But I'm glad to be able to say that I've read Bleak House and I'm thankful to Wallace (The Unputdownables) for being so strict with us so I felt like I had to keep up for fear of being dropped from the group. Now I just need to find a group that wants to tackle Little Dorrit!

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