Bleak House by Charles Dickens

February 2021

Before Christmas 2020 I realized that I’d never read a Charles Dickens book, and I figured I should rectify that. But maybe Bleak House—a book with almost 1000 pages—was not the best place to start. I had read excerpts from the book in other contexts and was intrigued by it, and indeed there are some wonderfully evocative passages describing foggy London and other landscapes, and there’s quite a lot of humor, too, but…I just couldn’t get into it. I was struggling to keep track of characters and storylines, and I kept hoping to be gripped by it, but it didn’t happen.

I was 33% of the way through when I started debating whether I could just skim the rest of the book to get a feel for the full novel. I’m a book completionist, and I almost never abandon a book once I’ve started it. But then I realized that life is really too short to force yourself to read a book you’re not interested in just because it feels like you should. So, it’s shelved (for now). Sorry, Dickens!

Further reading…