Wednesday, April 6, 2011

David Copperfield

David Copperfield (Collector's Library)David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
Evan’s ESS = 9 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = 9 out of 10
Content = PG (Adult Content, Mild Violence, Mild Violence, Hardship, Redheaded Villainy)

Why: For us it was so amazing to read about David Copperfield’s life.  Personally, we’re not that into magic, but as it turns out, the famous American illuminist had quite an extraordinary past.  Our only problem is that the text isn’t too clear on when his love for magic actually began and there’s not much about his marriage and subsequent divorce with Claudia Schiffer???

Fine, we’ll be done with this lame and overplayed joke, although by now you should have come to expect (and adore) our cheap juvenile humor.  In truth, David Copperfield is a story about a boy who is repeatedly placed in tragic situations.  His youth is filled with grief, abandonment, and physical violence, yet David perseveres.  There are bright spots along the way in the form of several friendships, and one loyal and dear house servant.  Even as the main character’s prospects improve, hardship is never too far away.  In the end, David must wrestle with love, betrayal, revenge and loyalty all of which will define him as a man.

For us, we constantly go back and forth between Great Expectations and David Copperfield as Dickens greatest novel.  Yesterday it was Great Expectations, but the more we reflect on the latter, the more impressive David Copperfield stands in our mind.  The narrative is delightfully complex and the characters are as real as any we’ve encountered in classical literature.  The cast understands how to stir emotions and can be both infuriating and enduring.  Some of our favorite characters include Agnes Wickfield, Mr. Dick, and Dora Spenlow (and her dog Jib).  Divulging our list of most loathsome characters would cause PPR (premature plot reveal).  Here’s a hint, though.  If someone has to keep telling you how “umble” he is, chances are he’s JUST the opposite. 

The novel also contains a couple great “what goes around comes around” scenes.  In many cases revenge comes in the form of perseverance, yet in a few deliciously rewarding scenes retribution comes in the form of a cold slap to the face (literally and figuratively).  The figurative example comes from one of David’s relatives, while the literal example comes from the main character himself.  The novel is truly coming of age fiction at its best and as of this day forth, Two Bibliomaniacs can proclaim, in accordance with Leo Tolstoy, that David Copperfield is Dickens’s greatest novel.

1 comment:

  1. David Copperfield and Great Expectations are my two favorites of Dickens. This reminds me of why I love your blog--you have such great taste in books ;-).