Bibliophilic Book Challenge: Charles Dickens by Jane Smiley

This makes 10 books in the Bibliophilic Books Challenge, which means I have only 2 to go.

Year published: 2002
Genre: Biography, non-fiction

Charles Dickens isn’t so much a biography as an attempt by one author to understand and interpret another. Dickens’s adult life is painted in the broadest of strokes, with plenty of speculation about the effects of his public and personal life on his work, extrapolated from known facts, with some excursions into psychoanalysis and literary theory.

This is a nice introduction to Dickens as a person, giving just enough information about him to either satisfy a reader’s curiosity to know a little bit about the man behind the novels, or to serve as an amuse-bouche - a little something to awaken and prepare the taste buds for further reading. It is well-written and short enough to make for light reading, but it’s really neither one thing or another, being unable to decide between being a portrait, a biography, or an analysis. 2+ stars.


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