Book Review: Bleak House by Charles Dickens

02 November 2011

Bleak House
by Charles Dickens

Bleak House it the narrative of Esther Summerson. She is surrounded by the mystery of her birth, and where she came from. The only one in the world who has cared for her is her guardian John Jarndyce. This fascinating story includes scandal, a romance, lawsuit, and a murder.

My Thoughts: Bleak House is my favorite book by Charles Dickens, the complex plot, contrasting the classes. It all makes for a wonderful tale. One thing that I would recommend is to listen to it on audio book. I started it that way and then did reading. It helped me to get into the story, I often have trouble getting in to Dickens. I really enjoyed this book. It was an introduction for me to the more complex novel.

Pros: I loved how this book takes so many twists and turns. I like how all the seemingly unrelated plots come together. So many times I would wonder what this person had to do with that person, then the answer might come and I would go "oh". The characters where interesting, and sometimes humorous. I enjoyed the relationship between Esther and her guardian, it was very much like a father and daughter. Many of the themes of the book also interested me. Not to mention the little observations that seem to be sprinkled throughout the whole book. I am always amazed, when I think about this book, at how complicated the story is.

Cons: The book is definitely one of his longer books. It can get very boring at sometimes when he is going on and on about one thing. It is also one of his more confusing one. There are a lot of characters and they can be very difficult to keep strait.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I would say for 14 + because it can be very confusing, and take a little bit of thinking.

A Bit O' Reading For the Day:
"the raw afternoon is rawest, the dense fog is densest, and the muddy streets are muddiest, near the leaden-headed old obstruction, appropriate ornament for the threshold of a leaden-headed old corporation: Temple Bar. And hard by Temple Bar in Lincoln's Inn Hall, at the very heart of the go, sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery." ~Bleak House Chapter 1

Posted by
Elizabeth from

3 epistles:

  1. I love Bleak House too. =D Yeah, it's amazing how complicated it is!! Dickens was definitely gifted. =D

  2. I am rereading A Tale Of Two Cities (the only book I properly read for Dickens) and I am amazed at how gifted he was... he had such a way with words, and plot and character, it is amazing! I have to check that book out sometime :-), thanks for the great review!

  3. Great review! I think this is my favorite Dickens story, too, or at least one of my very favorites. It has a little bit of everything in it, doesn't it?


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