I didn't expect to love this novel. Having previously read only _Tale of Two Cities_ from Dickens' works, I expected the forces of security, order, affection and moral imagination to dominate again, and of course, they do win out in _Dombey and Son_. However, Dickens' overlong tale of an indomitably driven capitalist and his alienation from his children does not shy away from giving due attention to powerful contradictions and volcanic voices of dissent. As Paul Dombey attempts with increasing energy to force everyone around him to comply with the demands of domestic and economic respectability, his wife, children, and friends increasingly undermine him. Most striking are the figures of Edith, whose titanic dissent totally thrilled me, and James Carker, who exposes the internal contradictions of "family values" and capitalism. Dombey's daughter Florence, who he attempts mightily to ignore and devalue in favour of his son, is ultimately vindicated: Dombey must finally give her due justice as a human being (although Florence's dogged loyalty and inexplicable affection for her father seriously irked me!). Dickens provides some astonishingly powerful passages, especially the description of the railway as it thunders mechanized order through the city and countryside, and its association with Dombey's single-minded capitalism. Working-class characters are represented with neither dignity nor justice. However, the book is a great read, and highly recommended, even if you dislike Dickens' politics.