Great Book: David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens, part 1 of 2

David Copperfield is supposed to be the most autobiographical of Dickens' works. It has an intensely personal feel to it. Copperfield is a young boy from a good family who is mistreated and misunderstood, is rescued by a fortuitous encounter with a benevolent relation, must make his own way in the world, etc., etc. David Copperfield is the original Mary Sue of Mary Sues.

This book is immense. Over 20 cassettes. You may be tempted to pick up an abridged version. Don't do it! I can't see any way that an abrdigement would be worth reading. The glory of this book is in the digressions and the connections established between all the various characters from very different chapters of Copperfield's life.

It's easy to see how Dickens made his living as a writer of serialized works; each chapter ends with a snap or a bang and is heavily laced with foreshadowings of dark events to come.

The audio version from Books on Tape is read by a woman, which I found incongrous at first. But she's so good I soon got used to it.

Some quirks of Victorian mentality are displayed to disadvantage here. A woman's virtue is placed far above her life in importance. Several relatives lament that they wish a Certain Someone had died rather than been seduced away by a Certain Ne'er-do-well.

I have only finished 'Part 1'. I got through four cassettes of part 2 and had to return it to the library because, well, because I'm moving 3,000 miles away and they like to keep their books. I'll get on it again once I'm settled down and have my new library card.

I love long movies, long books, and long-running tv shows.... I find these thick classics geared to the popular taste make a fine substitute for the massive fantasy series I used to read. (OK, still read - I am planning on picking up A Feast For Crows after I re-read the first four. But I'm done with Robert Jordan, thank you.) The language used to be a barrier to me but listening to this class of books is just the solution. In sum: I'm still having fun here. The project continues.

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