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I pretty much spent all day reading this I really wanted to finish it in 2016 and I really got into last quarter of the book This is my third Dickens as an adult not counting the Christmas stories and it is my least favorite of the 3 but it s still well worth the time to read it There were a few too many coincidences needed to move the plot along and just some I thought unnecessary things but reading Dickens is like going on a long trip with a bunch of fun friends It doesn t really matter where you are going it s the fun you have along the way I m very happy I have so many left to explore I m still looking for one to come close to the magic of Bleak House. Dombey and Son is one of Dickens best This novel, in my opinion, rivals Little Dorrit The main protagonist, Florence Dombey is an amazing woman, full of strength and character which guides her through some incredibly miserable years Some of the characters that Dickens develops during the course of this novel are some of the most heinously evil or sad, or full of goodness and love, or are just plain funny There s a powerful message about the influence of wealth , not just money, on the individual, as well as family and friends The explosion of the Industrial Age in Victorian England, and its impact on the culture plays a prominent role too I fell in love with Florence Dombey, Little Paul, Wal r, Cap n Ed ard Cuttle, Mr Toots, and Miss Susan Nipper I shuddered in fear and loathing with each entrance of Mr James Carker in the plot ohhh, the teeth and felt deep sorrow with each mis step that Pere Dombey takes All in all, I could not put this down, and look forward to reading this again sometime in the near future A wonderful book and the characters truly deserved of the moniker Dickensian This is by far my favorite Dickens after The Christmas Carol whose reigning place has to do with nostalgia than anything else I found all of the characters interesting and compelling None of them slowed down the narrative for me, unlike in Little Dorrit This is a wonderfully dense book about families and gender roles and the different forms of love I highly enjoyed so many of the plot lines My favorite characters were Walter, Susan Nipper, Edith and Captain Cuttle I m not sure if I m spelling those correctly, as I listened to the audiobook narrated by David Timson, who did an excellent job I look forward to listening to Dickens narrated by him Here I come, Our Mutual Friend
A big bloated behemoth Dickens An instructive homily on pride and behaving like a coldblooded douche towards your daughter because she isn t a son view spoiler Once Dombey s son dies not a plot spoiler, it happens early on , the novel seems to collapse, start again Britain was in mourning for Paul Dombey s demise, and this grief is reflected in the sluggish pace that follows Wonderful, wrenchingly excruciating scenes between Dombey, whose hauteur builds to pitches of teeth grinding stubbornness, and his many minions hide spoiler Rereading Summer 2015 Just read chapter 19, Walter Goes Away during breakfast today 11 June 2015 Seriously, there is no competition Tears shed over grapefruit Enjoyed this immensely, again I know that some might feel that Florence s goodness and that her goodness remained with her in her loveless life is impossible For me, I believe that this book is about keeping our peace and faith under great trial Florence could have chosen to become bitter and angry, so many people in real life situations like hers do so But what is the good in that Instead, she chose to keep her soul pure and her personal peace by loving and serving We don t hurt the other person when we secretly hate and despise them, we only hurt ourselves That is one of the beautiful messages of this book There are many real life instances of people like Florence, Dickens didn t invent her as a one of a kind, impossibly sentimental, sappy, and too good to be true Victorian angel in the house woman He made her what we ought to strive to be, forgiving, self less and kind Many people are this What a beautiful thing One of the sad Dickens books Read first 1999 Those were my first thoughts on this book NOW 2011 One of my brothers in law makes fun of me that all I read is Dickens Which isn t true, but every time I revisit him I wonder why I do read anyone else I completely devoured the first half of the book via audio while sewing Christmas presents Done sewing No reason or opportunity I read paper easier than listen with kids around to listen any despite the fact that the narrator, David Timson, was absolutely fantastic , so I had to pick the book up and finish the rest in print I think that many of the beautiful things to be found in a Dickens book any Dickens book must have been lost on me during my first reading because I don t remember l o v i n g this book to distraction as I now do My love for and fascination with the great C D was only just beginning at the time I read this first Since Mr Pegotty David Copperfield I haven t fallen in love with a character like I did with Captain Cuttle, what a dear And Mr Toots And Susan Nipper Delights abound Really, there s no experience to compare with reading Dickens, and I shamelessly admit my undying devotion to him Every page was a delight and wonder A gorgeous experience, well worth the many, many pages Why did I think it was so sad Sure there were plenty of teary moments, but those abound in all his books This one had, if possible, even heart than some of the others True forgiveness, self denial, true, Christ like love, loyalty, forbearance, repentance, the list of lovely traits could go on Read it. I m glad to have read Dombey and Son, but I can t exactly say I enjoyed reading it at least not consistently There is some wonderful writing in it, but also some very poor, by the yard stuff It screams for a fiery red pen.I was drawn to the novel Dickens s seventh 1846 48 , often seen as marking the beginning of his late, great phase by the theme of a father over investing in his son and underinvesting in his daughter That worked enough well for me as a thread, although Florence Dombey s unfailingly humble love and duty towards the father who spurns her does grate a little on modern sensibilities I had to play around with theories of her as a Christian allegory a modern Job, or Griselda to make anything very satisfying out of her Dickens evokes all kinds of fairy tale imagery for her, and maybe that s another way to read her a princess under some very perverse kind of spell.The passage in the novel where I felt most engaged was when I thought it might be heading into deeper and darker fairy tale territory As if fearing that the lovely Florence might be a little too one dimensional as sole female lead, Dickens introduces a complex and chiaroscuro figure in the form of Edith, her stepmother Shortly after Edith and Paul Dombey contract their ill fated marriage, the two of them begin to wind themselves into a very warped kind of domestic triangle with Dombey s right hand man, the villainous James Carker I thought this scenario had real potential while it lasted, and it was already beginning to offer some interesting insights about the ways human beings find to harm themselves and others Dickens bills it as a battle of pride against pride Dombey s monstrous and chilly self importance against Edith s self loathing fury but there s to it than that The Iago like Carker thrown away as a character, I felt, after a promising build up also has an interestingly ambiguous role to play This being Dickens, the central plot of the novel is fleshed out with a madly maximalist sugar rush of minor characters, variously comic or grotesque or would be lovable OK, I ll take off my Scrooge hat for a moment some of them were reasonably lovable, I suppose Susan Nipper had her moments, as did Captain Cuttle and Sol Gills I just could have done without the endless, one joke Toodles and Toots and Chicks and Chickens and Blimpers and Pipchins Enough already As this reaction will suggest, it may be that I m just not a natural Dickens fan As for settings, mainly London, the complete stand out for me was the dystopian vision of Camden Town near the beginning, mercilessly hacked through by the new build railway The first shock of a great earthquake had, just at that period, rent the whole neighbourhood to its centre Traces of its course were visible on every side Here, a chaos of carts, overthrown and jumbled together, lay topsy turvy at the bottom of a steep unnatural hill there, confused treasures of iron soaked and rusted in something that had accidentally become a pond.I felt Dickens rather over egged trains as symbols later in the novel, but his descriptive powers in this passage are remarkable His vividness and fluency, in passages like this, gave me a glimpse of why so many people see him as a great writer, maybe even the greatest Victorian novelist My personal jury, for the moment, remains out. I m ashamed to admit that until I read this book, I hadn t read a lot of Dickens I skimmed Great Expectations when I was in 9th grade, but only because I was forced, and I read A Christmas Carol for work once long story, but I was working for an educational publishing company and we were doing a dumbed down version After finishing Dombey and Son, I m afraid I don t have anything especially intelligent to add to the reams and reams that has been written about Dickens, except that I m excited about reading a lot of his work Dombey Son is a great, sweeping novel, taking place over the course of approximately 20 years, about a wealthy man who systematically shuns everyone close to him most notably, his daughter, whom he treats appallingly thus leading to his personal and monetary ruin While some people complain, not without some justification, about Dickens s florid writing, the style is easily forgiven next to the engrossing plot, unforgettable characters, and themes that will seem relevant even now in fact, probably especially now And although Florence, Dombey s long suffering daughter, was unrealistically flawless reading about her was rather like reading about a china figurine the other characters, all of whom are fully and convincingly drawn, than make up for Florence s incredible perfection.Dombey and Son is moving, funny, and cathartic, and I recommend it highly. *Free Kindle ↜ Dealings with the Firm of Dombey and Son: Wholesale, Retail and for Exportation ↱ Dombey And Son, Charles Dickens S Story Of A Powerful Man Whose Callous Neglect Of His Family Triggers His Professional And Personal Downfall, Showcases The Author S Gift For Vivid Characterization And Unfailingly Realistic Description As Jonathan Lethem Contends In His Introduction, Dickens S Genius Is At One With The Genius Of The Form Of The Novel Itself Dickens Willed Into Existence The Most Capacious And Elastic And Versatile Kind Of Novel That Could Be, One Big Enough For His Vast Sentimental Yearnings And For Every Impulse And Fear And Hesitation In Him That Countervailed Those Yearnings Too Never Parsimonious And Frequently Contradictory, He Always Gives Us Everything He Can, Everything He S Planned To Give, And Then This Modern Library Paperback Classic Was Set From The Charles Dickens Edition This is a great mid period Dickens written just about at the point where his optimism about human beings and his zest to improve the conditions of all the hapless grovellers is at the tipping point of being transformed by a horrible realisation that the corruption of the ruling classes, the venality of the middle classes and the ground down and outness of the labouring men and women meant that only a root and branch revolution would do, reform would simply fail, be watered down by the circumlocutors, revolution was the only hope.But he was terrified of revolution and wrote two books about his fear, Barnaby Rudge which i haven t read yet and A Tale of Two Cities, which I have He knew that social upheaval uncorks the violence, he knew the highway to hell paved with good intentions.So he was in a complete political bind Couldn t go back, couldn t go forward All his middle to late masterpieces are written from this agonised political dilemma Beginning with Dombey and Son he gets gloomier and gloomier.But being Dickens his genius covers the gloom with hectic merriment and gurning gargoylery, which we love. This was my first reading of Dombey and Son, and I found it to be one of Dickens s less successful novels I know some rank it highly But I found the plot mostly uninteresting and even dependent than is usual for Dickens on unlikely events and coincidences, and much of the writing turgid and uninspired The first third of the book managed to engage me as the situations developed, but after that I increasingly read out of duty than out of pleasure I have enjoyed so much of Dickens s work that I kept reading in the expectation that things must improve, but they never did I never managed to get a good sense of the character of Dombey or understand why he acted in such self destructive ways My experience of highly successful businessmen is that they are almost universally much better judges of character than Dombey turned out to be His marriage to Edith Granger was unjustified by any aspect of his character, especially since he didn t have the excuse of love or even affection blinding his judgment, as there was none of that on either side of the marriage His treatment of Florence was inexplicable even for Victorian England.Florence herself was sappy and insipid I longed to find a single mention of any possible hint of reality in her, but never did Reading about her was like eating an endless bowl of undiluted sugar The backgrounds were less interesting and less finely drawn than in most Dickens novels London didn t come alive in nearly the way it does in Bleak House, for example, and there was no location of great interest, such as the Marshelsea in Little Dorrit or the marshes or Miss Havisham s house in Great Expectations As is typical of Dickens, there were plenty of well drawn minor characters I particularly enjoyed Captain Cuttle from whom the phrase when found, make a note on apparently comes , Solomon Gills, and Susan Nipper, and appreciated the humor in Mr Toots and Cousin Feenix.I have read many of Dickens s works multiple times, and will read many of them again in future, but Dombey and Son will not be among my choices for rereading However, it does merit three stars, because even a weak Dickens is still a Dickens.