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review 2017-11-22 23:11
Fun, expressive whirlwind trip through the bones of Charles Dickens's GREAT EXPECTATIONS.
Great Expectations (Manga Classics) - Crystal Chan,Charles Dickens,Nokman Poon

Disclaimer: reviewing an uncorrected eARC via NetGalley.

 

Art: It's actually better than the covers would suggest. The black-and-white manga-style artwork is attractive, emotional, and expressive. Comedic cartoon-style distortion helps add levity to a fairly heavy plot, while some subtlety of storytelling is better expressed through the illustrations than the deeply abbreviated text. I found the colourized cover art too "plastic" looking, but overall the style holds up, with clearly-differentiated characters, detailed backgrounds and solid transitions. Occasional problems with distinguishing who's speaking or what's going on.

 

Story: This is an adaptation, and necessarily a heavily abbreviated one. I thought they did a surprisingly good job of conveying the scope and emotional underpinnings of the story while racing through it at a breakneck speed. The language does get pretty heavy-handed at times, with little subtlety in expressing themes and character perspectives. There's some odd switches between original lines and modern-day, but as an accessible entry-point for children, avoiding continuous use of dense and dated language makes sense.

Extras: The book includes several pages of liner notes about the adaptation, as well as a helpful section indicating how to read manga-style ("backward") books.

 

Overall, a solid, entertaining and surprisingly informative Coles-notes style manga adaptation. Could be good to introduce (older) children to a classic novel in a more accessible way, to help reluctant readers understand key themes without wading through heavy language, or as a fast, fun refresher to those who are already familiar with the original source material.

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review 2017-11-09 20:49
DAVID COPPERFIELD Review
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

Wow! What a book.

 

This one was on my TBR for years, but I was intimidated by its size. Well, I’ve done it. I’ve finally completed Dickens’s masterpiece (well, one of them) — the book he famously declared was his favorite. The quintessential coming of age tale, this 750-page novel explores in depth David Copperfield, who narrates in first-person, as well as the various friends and lovers and coworkers he comes to know over the years. It’s a dense, challenging journey, but one so worth taking.

 

Though I have read and enjoyed other Dickens novels before, this was the first time I truly couldn’t wait to get back to the story. I thought this would take me at least two weeks to finish; I finished in one. I just couldn’t put this brick down!

 

A masterclass in character development, this long novel is one I am sure I will revisit again and again. David, Little Emily, Peggotty, Agnes, Traddles, and all the rest: you will forever have a place in my heart.

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text 2017-10-22 18:37
Halloween Bingo: Classic Horror
Three Ghost Stories - Charles Dickens

 

I read The Haunted House for Classic Horror.

The beginning was good, although I don't know if I was supposed to be giggling as much as I was over everyones antics. The end seemed to be some convoluted dream or memory of his childhood pretending to be part of a seraglio.

 

I also read Green Tea by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu which was an interesting story about a demon slowly driving a pastor nutty.

 

They both seemed to reference the same house in London that was fronted by 4 poplar trees, which I thought was a pretty creepy coincidence.

 

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review 2017-08-08 03:17
First Dickens I didn't care for...
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

It's true, and I hate to say that I didn't like it, because I am a Dickens fan through and through.  But this was a tough one for me, probably because I never connected with any of the characters enough to really care about them.  Miss Pross was my favorite -- she actually DID something worth rooting for. Sydney's final act (of love I guess) hit me as rather selfish, his thoughts of never being forgotten for his sacrifice.  He does have a couple of the greatest lines in all of literature, I'll give him that.  Also, the French revolution has never held my interest, so the violence was way too much in my opinion.  The best part of the story is in the last 3 chapters.  

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text 2017-08-03 12:00
3rd August 2017
Omnibus: Four Complete Novels: Great Expectations / Hard Times / A Christmas Carol / A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. 

 

Charles Dickens

 

August 3, 1861: The last installment of Great Expectations was published 156 years ago today. When Charles Dickens first came up with the premise for the novel, he referred to it as "a very fine, new and grotesque idea."

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