This is the second novel written by Dickens that I meanly give only three stars. The Dickens chemistry, his verve, and his charisma are not here.
Don’t get me wrong – all the characters are typically his, as well as his pathos, his satire, and his WORDSMITHERY. Despite his typical Dickens features, it was one of the most unlikable novel – the characters were all detached from the me, and their inner world eluded me all the time. Their heartbeats, their desires, and their hopes that his characters usually wear on their sleeves were mysteriously and unfavorably missing.
The novel was cold – some of his characters were unreachable and unrelatable even on the level of rejection. Sometimes one relates to characters by simply hating their guts, and in this novel, I felt absolutely nothing.
I can not even pinpoint the reason of this emotional failure – the language was inventive and the imagery is highly original, the zeitgeist of the small industrial town is perfectly captured, the social issues are burning and their exploration is truly visionary, but the chemistry between this novel and me is nonexistent.
Up to a point, it was an expected slack after the powerful and masterful gem of Bleak House. It happens to the best of us 🙂