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.


  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!

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