I've set myself the reading goal of reading all of Dickens' work. There's no time limit – I'm doing this for my own enjoyment.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Mystery of Edwin Drood and loved Great Expectations. This brief review is of The Old Curiosity Shop.

Although some parts are hard going, Dickens' genius shines through and some sections are so wonderfully written I paused to admire them. I can imagine that the pace won't sit well with many modern readers, and Little Nell doesn't seem a particularly engaging character – today, we expect a little more of a feisty attitude. That said, there are some great characters and, of course, they are wonderfully drawn. It's interesting that some of the characters are very affected by strong emotions, e.g. they literally roll on the floor laughing, or fall down in serious illness when faced with a stressful situation. Perhaps this was a trope at the time Dickens wrote or perhaps he was being sensational.

This is only a passing comment – this isn't really a book review site – and perhaps you can tell that this book didn't inspire me to spend hours writing a joyful review. Sadly, I didn't enjoy this book anywhere near as much as Great Expectations, but I shall carry on until I've read all of Dickens' work.

Do you have reading goals and aspirations? I'd love to hear them – please comment below:

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