The Old Curiosity Shop

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'...holding her solitary way among a crowd of wild, grotesque companions; the only pure, fresh, youthful object in the throng.' 'Little Nell' cares for her grandfather in the gloomy surroundings of his curiosity shop. Reduced to poverty the pair flee London, pursued by the grotesque and vindictive Quilp. In a bizarre and shifting kaleidoscope of events and characters the story reaches its tragic climax, an ending that famously devastated the novel's earliest readers. Dickens blends naturalistic and allegorical styles to ...

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Jun 18, 2009


HAVING REaD THE BOOK BEFORE THE STORY WAS FAMILIAR, my reading again because of having seen a recent drama series of it; I found it boringly focussed (too much time of story on this), on the wanderings of g-father and young girl Nell. In my opinion Dickens liked to write, to picture poor young girls, 10-16 year olds, in poor circumstances bravely trying to cope with life, in this story ending that part of book on death of the g-father and girl. In other parts of the novel Dickens pictures a dreadful, ugly dwarf, for a time manipulating characters to his wishes, later getting his just punishment by an accidental death; an odd delopment of story is the character D. Swiveller, who first appears as a selfish, odd-ball man easily taken advantage of by others, later becoming a near hero of the story. I'm inclined not to ever read the book again, opinion that it's inferior to some, maybe most of Dickens' other novels.

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