Abandoned: David Copperfield

David CopperfieldDear readers, I only have 11 more months in my 30s. I will not be spending more of them on David Copperfield.

I don’t love all of Dickens’ work, but expected to be transported by this book. Hannah and I decided to read it together. We slogged through it for long stretches of December. Finally, last week, I looked up from page 311 and called a DTR.

In case you missed college, a DTR is when one party initiates a discussion about where the relationship is headed. In short order, Hannah and I decided to dump David Copperfield.

Yes, I understand, the book is a classic. But it’s also sappy, tiresome, repetitive, frowsy, and overblown to the point of extreme annoyance. It was not inspiring us to love truth and beauty, write better prose, or learn more about conditions in Victorian England. And if you’ve been with me long, you know that there are few things I enjoy more than the chance to learn more about England. This book just wasn’t doing it for us.

Having put in over 300 pages, I felt like we had given this one a solid go. We didn’t abandon it lightly. But life is short, and excellent books are myriad, so abandon David Copperfield we did.

What books have you decided not to finish lately?

 

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5 thoughts on “Abandoned: David Copperfield

  1. Happy New Year!

    Oh my, what a shame! This is probably one of my all time favourite books! I love David Copperfield (I have read it many times) and it was apparently Dicken’s own favourite (I believe there are autobiographical elements to some of it). I enjoy it for the story and because the book is an old, old friend. I do disagree that there is nothing to learn from the book as I think the book reveals a great deal about the Victorian attitude to women. The treatment of the various female characters and the fate of little Emily in particular is quite interesting. We will have to agree to disagree! I think I might just have to go and read it again now 🙂

    1. You are so right about the old friend factor, Paula. I think that often books have to hit us at the right time, and this wasn’t the right time for me. I didn’t mean to say that there was no historical value to the book, but rather that I didn’t think it was inspiring us to learn more or dig deeper. And that, too, might be because it wasn’t the right time!

      1. I completely agree about timing. There have been various occasions where I have given up on a book or not enjoyed it, only to read it again years later and find I really like it, or enjoy it on a different level. Of course, there will always be those books that we never warm to. I want to re-read Wuthering Heights at some point to see if I like it yet. I always found Heathcliff so objectionable when I was younger that I couldn’t enjoy the story (although I did read the whole book and appreciated its literary merit). Maybe I would see something else in it now that I am a ‘mature’ 40 year old!
        Paula recently posted..Emma (Bridgewater)

  2. I misread your first sentence as “I have only 11 months to live, and I’m not going to spend any more of them on David Copperfield” and about had a heart attack. So glad it’s just that you’re heading to 40 instead!

    Dickens is so hit or miss. He really could have used a good editor. I don’t think I’ve ever read DC, though.

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