Wednesday 25 July 2012

The Dickens Dictionary by John Sutherland

Title: The Dickens Dictionary
Author: John Sutherland
Publisher: Icon Books
Publication Date: 10th July 2012
Pages: 224
Format: E-Book - EPUB
Genre: Non-Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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For fans old and new, a fascinating tour through Charles Dickens’ novels in the hands of a master critic.

Oliver Twist … Great Expectations … David Copperfield – all contain a riotous fictional world that still leaves and breaths for readers the world over today.

But how much do we really know about Charles Dickens’ dazzling imaginiation, which has brought this all into being?

To celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Dickens – 2012 - Victorian literature expert John Sutherland has created a gloriously wide-ranging alphabetical companion to Dickens’ novels, excavating the hidden links between his characters, themes, and preoccupations, and the minutiae of his endlessly inventive wordplay.

Covering America, Bastards, Childhood, Christmas, Empire, Fog, Larks, London, Madness, Murder, Orphans, Pubs, Punishment, Smells, Spontaneous Combustion and Zoo to name but a few - John Sutherland gives us a uniquely personal guide to Charles Dickens’ books.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

 Now, I'll confess, I've never been a huge Dickens fan. Hardy, yes; Dickens, no. But I was interested to see what this dictionary of his work would have to offer.

I have read all of Dickens books at least once, so I had no trouble following the references and there were a few facts that I found fun and intriguing. But, I finished this book wondering what the point of it was as it really didn't offer anything that illuminating or important.

In conclusion, I would say that this is a fun addition to the library of any Dickens fan, but perhaps does not have as much to offer to a wider readership: one for the die-hards.

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