for some odd reason, it's required I read this behemoth for one of my courses. I'm overall not familiar with Dickens and or his work. Any thoughts on this boulder of a book?
Are you a post-grad? Is this a course on Dickens? Is this related to your dissertation?
Reading such a huge book for an undergrad course is fucking stupid, and there is so much chance for something to go wrong in your analysis, especially since like all of Dicken's work it is subject to serial bloat. Would probably drop course desu senpai, unless it was a 100 level where I would probably read supplementary works and watch the tv show.
It's beautifully written and really vividly evokes Victorian London. However, the three main characters, Esther, Richard and Ada, are less memorable than the side characters and the main storyline kind of drags.
Dickens was a huge hack who bloated his novels to hell, but he's a very talented hack. He's a great writer with a great sense of setting and character, and his plots may be long but most sequences have their significance.
Also, it's really easy to skim his novels. Yeah, you won't get his rhythm of prose or whatever, but if you're reading it for school and don't have the time, you can just skim it.
It's a good book, some of my favorite sections in literature come from it.
As for the "fluff", one of my favorite scenes in the book would be considered "fluff"
because it doesn't provide anything substantial to the end goal. People hating on the
side plots are strange to me. It would be one thing if the extra stuff sucked; but it
doesn't, they add a great deal of immersion to the overall plot.