Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bleak House Read Along Thoughts: Week Two

Six more chapters down! Even though at times it seems like nothing is happening, (as our host Amanda feels) I say that if you look closely, you may find that there really is stuff happening. For instance:
  • A dead body is discovered! Did he kill himself on purpose or on accident? What's is story? Why was he nice to the vagrants in the street? 
  • There's a marriage proposal. Yes, our Esther has caught the eye of Mr. Guppy. But alas, she does not want it...
  • .... and now we have a full fledged stalker! Mr. Guppy get a life!
  • Ada and Richard are in love, which is not surprising at all. It seems especially sweet and sappy. Does this mean it's too good to be true?
  • We learn about a family where abuse and neglect are the norm. What's their story?
Things I'm intrigued by:
  • the dead body. I found it interesting how sad I am that we didn't get to know this person better. He seemed like he would have been a fascinating character, in a Heathcliff sort of way! (Healthcliff haters... shush!) But maybe there's more to his story than meets the eye.
  • the bricklayer's family. Sad goings on there. Will we see them again? Perhaps.
  • and then there's Mrs. Pardiggle and her family of boys, also abused. Will we see them again?
  • that last sentence of our week's assignment regarding a handsome young surgeon. Is love in the future for Esther? I bet so. And I really hope it's NOT Mr. Jarndyce, Guardian Extraordinaire!
  • Did you catch the look between Our Lady Dedlock and Mr. Tulkinghorn? Did they have something to do with the dead body?
Things that bug me:
  • long chapters that seem to have nothing to do with the story.
  • the relationship between Esther and Ada. Weird.
  • TONS of characters to keep track of. 
  • bored rich old ladies. 
Yes, this book is slow going at parts. But I'm still committed and will continue to give it a chance.


  1. By bored rich old ladies, do you mean Lady Dedlock? She's actually in her early 40s, much younger than Sir Leicester. Gillian Anderson played her in the movie.

    And I totally agree about Mr. Guppy. I don't know why Esther is being so wishy washy. She needs to tell Kenge & Carboy to tell him to shape up and get a life. How can he afford all these clothes and theater tickets?

  2. Oh boy. I'm so behind. I'm just barely passed the first assignment. Yikes. I need to focus! Thanks for reminding me to get on the ball.

    And go you for keeping up. It is definitely slow going, but I've heard it livens up.

  3. Thankfully the 3rd Week is looking up for the host! :D

    I actually like the relationship between Esther and Ada.

  4. I totally forgot to even mention Richard and Ada. And the sadness of the poor/neglectful - it really is strange. I also felt pretty bad when reading about the poor little orphan boy who wasn't even fit to give testimony on the dead guy - how tragic!

    I'm finding it hard to keep up with the cast of characters. I read the bulk of stuff the last few days and am sure I've mixed stuff up.

    Healthcliff! Oh, you said to shush. Ok. :)

  5. I read BH in college for a Dickens course. I remember LOTS of characters, a slow plot, but overall liking it, even if it was darker than a lot of other Dickens.

    I ended up writing a paper on it for a second English class, and the prof was SO impressed I'd read it for the assignment. He had no idea it was a 2 birds w/ 1 stone situation. :D



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