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Palliser did a nice homage to Dickens, too, in the name of his protagonist!


Now very torn as to whether I want to try this book or steer very well clear as there isn't a hope that I will get through it!
I do like the idea of getting lost in a fat Victorian novel to beat the winter gloom (so much for higher than usual temperatures - it is 1C and freezing fog today, see what I mean about bizarre weather!)but have yet to decide whether it should be Bronte, Trollope, Wilkie Collins or Zola - or maybe an attempt at Bleak House!


Ha--so totally missed that reference. I had to Google it and just discovered it's Charles John Huffam Dickens--quite fitting! Thanks for the heads up--I am sure there is much much more that I totally missed reading this book!


I did enjoy the Palliser, but it is long and I admit that sometimes he set my head spinning at the explication of the nuances of the will and how everyone and everything was related!! I think I'd like to read a true Victorian novel now, however. I am going to read Wilkie Collins's The Frozen Deep--it is a novella--very soon, and then next month will reread The Woman in White (well that's the plan at the moment anyway). But I wouldn't mind reading any of the others you mention, too--one of the Brontes, Trollope (have never read his work and really should), Zola would be good or maybe a good sensation novel by Mary Braddon, or I have long wanted to read East Lynne by Ellen Wood, too--it's another chunky Victorian morality tale. Why do these appeal so much in winter? Being stuck inside from the cold? And it is bitterly cold here today, but I think we are going to moderate beginning tomorrow--20s/30s (-6/-1C). It will feel practically balmy in comparison!!


Congrats on finishing! It was a long, dedicated read. I'm glad you mostly liked it. I don't think I'll be running out to read it any time soon but I'll keep it in mind. I did Like Bleak House quite a lot.


I have had this sitting on the bookshelf ever since I read Susan Hill singing its praises. Somehow the sheer size of it has always led to my hand drifting off to another part of the shelf when I've been searching for that next illusive read. Given what you've said I think I might not be taking it down anytime soon. If I want Victorian misery I will probably turn to the master himself. Do read 'Bleak House'.


This is the last book in my re-read choices for this year. I think I'll tackle it over Christmas when (hopefully) I'll have some time to sit down and really concentrate on it.


Lots of people really love the book and the blurbs (unsurprisingly of course--though they are mostly by major newspapers) are all quite enthusiastic. I think for the right audience this is an excellent read, and it really was one that I more or less enjoyed (only for me it might have been just fine whittled down a little). I do really want to get back to Bleak House, only I am sure I will have to start from scratch. I think it won't be one I pick up this year, but maybe next...who knows! :)


It was a shelf sitter for me, too, which is why I (in part anyway) decided to pick it up and read finally. I don't ever like to dissuade other readers from a book--just because it wasn't one I necessarily loved doesn't mean someone else won't, but it's probably best to know just what you are getting yourself into! :)Hah--love the Victorian misery comment, and I know just what you mean! Dickens does it well--and I was just looking at Hard Times at the uni bookstore today, but decided it was too soon for me to pick up another Dickens (or Dickens-like) story. I do, however, very much want to read Bleak House. Maybe I just will try and tackle it next year. I will have to choose a longish book, though I think next up will be finishing Steinbeck's East of Eden!


This is truly a story that calls out to be reread! I think now that I know what I would be in for, I might just be able to concentrate better to truly understand the intricacies of the story. I think, however, I need something a little bit different next. Have fun with your reread!

Liz F

Junior daughter had to read Hard Times at school and as it was the first time she had had to tackle Dickens I thought that I would read along with her so I could (possibly) be of help.
I was shocked to discover that not only did I find it a difficult read but I also absolutely hated it although I was determined not to let it beat me! I don't know which of us was the most relieved when it turned out that the teacher only wanted them to study a small section and not the entire book!


In a way it does sound tempting, but in way it sounds much more daunting even. I admire you for finishing it.
I'm still reading my Gaslamp Fantasy anthology which proves to be a very sobering read. Victorian poor is something else, altogether, you are very right.
I'm tempted by Bleak House. I've got one Trollope here The Warden. Have you read it? But I'm equally keen on reading or re-reading a Brontë title bofore the end of the year.


Woo-hoo you finished it! I think you deserve a pat on the back for that. This sounds magnificent in its way, so big and complex and demanding. But it must be a book that takes a lot of reading, as I describe it to myself. You'll be glad to have a few books that slip down easily afterwards! :-)


Somehow this makes me happy that I left the book on the bookstore shelves now! Yesterday I was in the university bookstore and bought several mass market classics (sheer indulgences--I didn't need a single one) and Hard Times was in my hands. But after finishing The Quincunx, I needed something different. To be really honest I prefer Wilkie Collins over Dickens and next time I pick up a novel by Dickens I suspect it will be Bleak House or some other novel like Great Expectations.


Are you going to try and read a Bronte in the next couple of weeks? I was thinking of Agnes Grey or the Tenant of Wildfell Hall, but I wouldn't until sometime next year now. The Quincunx was good, but there were moments I felt in over my head as the plot was so intricate. Every bad thing that could happen to these characters seemed to and it was making me begin to despair! I suppose there was a lot of good change to come out of Victorian times, but poor at that time was Really Poor! I have the Warden, too, (unread) and I think that is likely where I will start with Trollope, though several of his other books are tempting, too. But I am going to read Wilkie Collins soon, so I'll get in my Victorian Lit that way. I do hope to read more classics in general next year (so many plans and hopes!).


I feel like I should get a certificate or something! :) It is quite a story indeed. And for someone who loves a big story with lots of plots and details, I think this would make for a perfect read. I do want a few easy books now--am finishing up a few other in progress books and will soon be getting back to Marjorie Morningstar (am about 45 pages from the Noel section by the way-almost there).


I was tempted to read Jane Eyre again. I read it such a long time ago and in a German translation but The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is next in line.
I think I might not make it though. I've just started Sarah Moss' Cold Earth. Want to see how that compares to Dark Matter.


I've read Jane Eyre a couple of times now and it is one I could happily read yet again. I Should reread Wuthering Heights or something by Anne Bronte. Why does Sarah Moss' book sound familiar--I think I had it out from the library and didn't get to it....I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of it--I have a vague memory of looking it over.

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