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The Final Recollections Of Charles Dickens: A Novel (2014)

by Thomas Hauser(Favorite Author)
3.28 of 5 Votes: 1
1619024284 (ISBN13: 9781619024281)
review 1: A short novella told in the first person by Charles Dickens as he is nearing death. The focus is on 1836 when he is writing Sketches by Boz and just starting Pickwick--although it has opening and closing chapters that do a whirlwind tour of the rest of his life and career. Dickens is called in to write a puff piece about a financier but as he investigates he learns darker and darker secrets about him. Along the way we meet prostitutes with hearts of gold, earnest police inspectors and shady financiers--but not any orphans, lawyers, beautific virgins, bachelor philanthropists or spinsters. Which is to say, there is only so much Dickens you can cram into about 150 pages. The plot is reasonably interesting, the writing is reasonably good, and Dickens seems reasonably real, bu... moret none of it feels particularly special or inspired.
review 2: Not bad at all. Quite a mix of facts and interesting imagined scenes in the life of Dickens, with a sort of crime drama thrown in. A few things bothered me slightly: 1) that this book made me feel even more sorry for Catherine Dickens than usual, because this book has Charles, days before marrying her, telling another woman that he would leave Catherine for her in a minute; 2) Ellen Ternan is basically given “wham-bam-thank you ma’am” treatment here, and is then totally out of the picture, while Charles supposedly pines for years over the other woman mentioned above, and 3) the worry that casual readers will read this instead of one of the many biographies about Dickens and not know which parts of it are true, and what is from this author’s imagination. It’s not the first book of its kind tho (and it does say “a novel” on the cover), so hopefully it will serve to whet the reader’s thirst for wanting to know more about the true life of the great author. As I said originally, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I liked it! less
Reviews (see all)
Pretty audacious to attempt to speak in the voice of Charles Dickens, but the story is entertaining.
It promised more than it delivered. Still I read it in a single day.
A wonderfully written short biography of Dickens. Beautifully done!
Received as review copy. Read my review in Library Journal.
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