Thursday, June 28, 2012

30 Day Book Challenge! Day 26: Changes

Day 26: What is a book that changed your opinion about something?

I suppose the purpose of this question was to bring out deep theological or philosophical books that changed my opinion on something monumental - but I refuse! The theological or philsophical option, that is - having a good opinion of Charles Dickens is certainly monumental, as far as literature is concerned!

As I have hinted, a book changed my opinion of Charles Dickens' stories. Previously, my only exposure to him had been Oliver, and a vague idea of the lot of A Christmas Carol - and in my mind was made up, from these, that he was rather dismal. Additionally, at the ripe old age of 8, I tried to forge my way through The Pickwick Papers, but after wading through long sentences and allusions I did not understand, I was quite discouraged and set it down. I still had Charles Dickesn, in my mind, as a classic author, and one who wrote well; I just decided that the flavor of his stories were not for me. And thus, I deprived myself of his wonderful works for the first 17 years of my life!
My Aunt and I were wandering through a very crowded Portobello Market in London, when my eye fell upon a table with beautiful, antique books proudly displayed before the seller. Perfect! I wanted to have a special souvenier of this day, and a book seemed the perfect choice! I persued the many titles and authors, before finally deciding on a little, 7 x 4 inch book, David Copperfield, printed in Oxford (where my aunt and I were next bound), and with no copyright date but a penciled inscription in a childish hand:

"from Elsie
Christmas 1919"

I resolved then and there to not only purchase the book as my market-day memnto, but to give Dickens one last, ultimate try by causing myself to read the book in its entirety.

I am so glad I did.

And thus changed my opinion of Charles Dickens - I think him (now) a fabulous author, although I have yet to attempt the reading of Oliver again. I shall not even try to give the synopsis - it is a long and amazingly diverse book of characters, plots, and settings, and it has been several years since I read it - but suffice to say, it is a book that, I think, would hook even a Little on Charles Dickens!


Lauren said...

We watched a movie version of David Copperfield that I, and our whole family (!) loved. Have you seen any of the movie versions?

SarahJayne said...

Lauren - no, I've never seen the movie. It's good to know there's a good version out there! :)