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Penguin Classics Selected Short Fiction [Paperback]

Charles Dickens , Deborah Thomas

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Book Description

Jan. 1 1976 0140431039 978-0140431032 Reprint
This witty and amusing collection of short pieces shows Dickens liberated from the more formal and sustained demands of the novel and experimenting with a diverse range of fictional techniques. In his tales of the supernatural, he creates frighteningly believable, spine-tingling stories of prophetic dreams and visions, as well as more fantastical adventures with goblins and apparitions. Impressionistic sketches combine imaginatively heightened travel journals with wry observations of home and abroad, while in his dramatic monologues, Dickens demonstrates his talent for exploring the secret workings of the human mind. These short works display Dickens's exuberant sense of comedy and character as his imagination is given free rein.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classic; Reprint edition (Jan. 1 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140431039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140431032
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #566,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Charles Dickens is one of the greatest English writers of all time. Born in 1812, Dickens was sent to work at the age of twelve after his father was imprisoned for debt. He taught himself shorthand and became a reporter for the Morning Chronicle, quickly achieving success. The Pickwick Papers were published in 1836-7. He continued to write novels like Oliver Twist, Bleak House and David Copperfield until his death in 1870. Deborah A. Thomas is Professor of English at Villanova University, Pennsylvania. She is the author of Dickens and the Short Story, Thackeray and Slavery and Hard Times: A Fable of Fragmentation and Wholeness.

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First Sentence
'In an old abbey town, down in this part of the country, a long, long while ago - so long, that the story must be a true one, because our great grandfathers implicitly believed it - diere officiated as sexton and grave-digger in the churchyard, one Gabriel Grub. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Selected Short Fiction: Brief pieces culled from Dickens' novels, periodicals and collections June 2 2008
By C. M Mills - Published on
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is the greatest Victorian novelist. However, many readers do not turn to his shorter fiction to while away an hour or so of reading pleasure! These short gems will entertain you as the master British storyteller weaves his spell of enchantment.
The 400 page book published by Penguin English Classics includes:
Tales of the Supernatural;
The Story of a Goblin who stole a sexton is a spooky tale about a grouchy gravedigger who is stolen by Goblins on a Christmas Eve long ago.
Other stories in this section include "The Baron of Grozgwig" who learned through a ghostly apparation to enjoy the good things of life.
A Confession in the Time of Charles II is the first person narrative of a murderer who describes how his crime was discovered.
To Be Read at Dusk is a ghost story set in Switzerland. The Signalman at Mugby Junction is a harrowing tale of a dark and stormy night at a lonely railroad junction.
Impressionist Sketches-many taken from Dickens' early work "Sketches from Boz" include short articles on an election for parish beadle, Seven Dials area of London and the best of the lot: The Christmas Tree. A few other short pieces are included in this section.
This reviewer found most interesting the third section of the Penguin edition dealing with dramatic monolgues by fascinating characters drawn with Dicken's unmatched skill:
Somebody's Luggage deals with a man finding old luggage containing a mansucript. Mrs Lirriper is a cockney owner of a London lodging. She and her friend raise a small boy after the child's mother dies in the room she has rented in the Lirriper hotel. This story is very sentimental but is touching without being treacly!
Doctor Marigold's prescriptions is another touching tale about a dealer in cheap merchandise who adopts a young girl who is deaf and dumb.
Mugby Junction pokes fun at the atrocious refreshment establishments available to the British train traveler.
Charles Dickens is a genius of the printed word. These little known stories are worthy of being wider known.
4.0 out of 5 stars Now I have an idea of what Dickens wrote when he wanted to have fun June 26 2013
By RF - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The short fiction is, for the most part, more derivative than Dickens long work, in that one can often see some kind of folk tale behind much of what I have read so far. That said, the short work is interesting because it shows a more intimate side of Dickens, I think, as well as probably some of the experimentation that went into writing his longer, more famous work.

I can't say the book is a spell-binder for me, but I enjoy it now and then.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 6 2014
By Cecilia - Published on

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