Sunday, 12 January 2014

Night walks



I was reading this over the Christmas period.  It is one of the beautifully designed little Penguin 'Great Ideas' books.  It is fascinating.  It is basically Dickens describing insomnia-induced walks around London at night.  But it is more of a mental journey, as each street, each building, he passes, triggers a paragraph or two of musing.

My son asked me today if I thought Dickens was overrated.  Far from being overrated, I said I thought he was in fact underrated.  He is a much more powerful writer than he is often given credit for being.  Much darker too.  At his best his work is as good as writing gets.

2 comments:

  1. Chris, that looks like a great book. I will have to get myself a copy. It will be a perfect companion for my free Oyster card! I am reading a lot of Dickens at the moment - Barnaby Rudge right now, an early and not so much read book which has many brilliant moments and, as you say, real darkness in it. I am also reading Angus Wilson's magnificent book THE WORLD OF CHARLES DICKENS which I can't recommend highly enough. We were told to read it when I was at UEA and I'm ashamed to say that I only dipped into it. I would have had a better degree if I'd bothered to read the whole thing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the recommendation, Paul. I'm just about to read Our Mutual Friend - a book I've not read before.

    ReplyDelete