Old Curiosity Shop

Old Curiosity Shop

3.8 40
by Dickens
     
 

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A bestseller that gripped the nation when it was first published, The Old Curiosity Shop is a novel of sharp contrasts: of life and death, youth and age, desire and innocence, humour and villainy.

For the character of Little Nell, the beautiful child thrown into a shadowy, terrifying world, Dickens drew on a tragedy in his own life, the death at the age of

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Overview

A bestseller that gripped the nation when it was first published, The Old Curiosity Shop is a novel of sharp contrasts: of life and death, youth and age, desire and innocence, humour and villainy.

For the character of Little Nell, the beautiful child thrown into a shadowy, terrifying world, Dickens drew on a tragedy in his own life, the death at the age of seventeen of his sister-in-law Mary Hogarth. Five years later he wrote, 'the desire to be buried next her is as strong upon me now ... and I know (for I don't think there ever was love like that I bear her) that it will never diminish.'

The sorrows of Nell and her grandfather are offset by Dickens's creation of a dazzling contemporary world inhabited by some of his most brilliantly drawn characters -- the eloquent ne'er-do-well Dick Swiveller; the hungry maid known as the 'Marchioness'; the mannish lawyer Sally Brass; Quilp's brow-beaten mother-in-law, and Quilp himself, the lustful, vengeful dwarf, whose demonic energy makes a vivid counterpoint to Nell's purity.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7-12-Dickens story of contrasts: youth and old age, beauty and deformity, freedom and restraint.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789626348925
Publisher:
Naxos Audiobooks
Publication date:
11/28/2008
Edition description:
Abridged, 6 CDs, 7 hrs. 30 min.
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

University of London

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The Old Curiosity Shop 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ah, Dickens. If only we could spend our days only with you. He truly is The Inimitable. I won't lie to you, folks. This book isn't perfect. If you haven't read David Copperfield, Great Expectations or Oliver Twist (the three i'd read before this one) - i'd go for one of those. Any Dickens novel, though, if its your first, will be a remarkable experience. His devotion to CHARACTER, and PLOT (don't know how to use italics, so capitals will do for emphasis), as opposed to getting bogged down in long dissertations on what he thinks the story's about, like many Victorians did - is incredible. He did so much for creating the NOVEL as we know it today. When you pick up Old Curiosity Shop, or another one, just try and have fun. Settle back in a nice comfortable chair, and go back in time to Victorian England, and walk through the streets with these remarkable characters, characters that you WILL remember after you've turned the final page. And there are memorable characters in this one. Curiosity Shop has copped a lot of flack in recent years on charges of sentimentality. My answer to that is a shrug. The book's also uneven, and i should warn you that its not actually written in the first person - you lose the narrator you begin with after the first few chapters - which i found slightly deceptive. But don't think of it in analytical terms, think of it as a young Dickens, only twenty five, having only published Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickelebey, and being the hottest new thing in Victorian England. People wait on streetcorners, howling for the next number of Dickens's journals, which carry monthly installments of his novels. But i can't possibly reproduce, and i won't try, the sights sounds and smells of his stories, which if you sit down with them in a quiet place for long enough, you become part of. The Old Curiosity Shop is really about Nell, a little girl, a pure soul, who's surrounded by a bunch of lunatics! Some of the funny, some of them terrifying. What kept Victorians buying the numbers, i think, was wanting to know what happens to Nell in this horrible atmosphere, but i found myself in sheer delight over the characters - which is the most important thing i ask of a novel.
EverythingFragrant More than 1 year ago
Dickens knew that the monsters of fairy tales really do exist in life. He often places an innocent child into the midst of monsters, all disguised of course as fathers and mothers, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles, judges, lawyers, and without a doubt one of the scariest of them all, schoolmasters. In The Old Curiosity Shop, He gives us the story of Little Nell, orphaned, trapped in poverty, and in the care of one of the book's biggest monsters, her grandfather. If you have never read a Dickens novel, I recommend that you start elsewhere, like Great Expectations. If you like starting at the top, then Bleak House. But if you like Dickens and are looking for more, you'll love this book. The great monsters are here, such as Quilp the sexy dwarf. The classic confused , absurd combinations of man and beast are here, such as Dick Swiveler, the priceless minute descriptions of things that is particular to Dickens' genius are here. If you love Dickens, you'll love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A cat watches the camp silently from the brush surrounding the camp filled with cats. Feeling no good reason to make their precense known they stay still watching.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A pale tan and yellow apprentice with very long claws as sharp as razors and teeth like needles walks in and slumps down in a leech den sleeping
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
May I join?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He watched the camp silently.
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K got it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent story. I had to adjust to the "old style" of writing but I enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many errors almost unreadable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I remembered reading this book as a kid so it was a joy to revisit it, but this edition is filled with errors. It was obviously scanned and compiled by software and not edited. It might be worth dowloading to sample but I ended up buying a real edition.
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The_BibliophileJM More than 1 year ago
What is there left to say about Charles Dickens? The Old Curiosity Shop is why Dickens holds his own in the circle of classical liturature. Dripping with Dickens charm, The Old Curiosity Shop is an understanding tale about the traps of addiction, the iron fist of poverty, and the abounding strength of love and the human spirit. Readers can empathize with pure, little Nell, steadfast and courageous Kit, and even Nell's frail, but good hearted grandfather, as they go through a string of discouragements brought on by debt. The Old Cusiosity Shop deserves a place in every school library and on every book shelf in every American home. Get your children started on Dickens as early as possible. Dickens isn't something you can afford to grow up without.
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