Howard McEwen

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Reading The Old Curiosity Shop

August 31st, 2017 · No Comments

Like most of Dickens that I’ve read this year, the characters are now as real as people in my past to me. The guy could write. And naming a character Dick Swivveler is awesome.

But I grew angry at the book. The central villain is supposed to be Quilp. And he’s awful and wonderful to read. However, the true villain of the book was the grandfather. A man who drove his younger brother away, fired and almost destroyed good-hearted Kip and exposing him to Quilp and the Brasses and then drags Nell around the country until she puts her foot down too late, and dies.

Then afterward, the guy is treated with sympathy and kindness where as his gambling addiction, narcissism and self-centeredness destroyed lives throughout the book.

And it’s not like Nell’s death was a great sacrifice for a greater good. It just was the consequence of her grandfather’s selfishness. Ugh!

I like stories of sacrifice and overcoming and the little bit of overcoming in the book was Dick, and that didn’t seem like much of a journey. I mean, he ends up being a good guy after being a bit questionable but….oh well…I’m still angry and the grandfather not drowning with Quilp!

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