Another dip into the complete works of this great author. The plot of The Old Curiosity Shop is intricate, if somewhat long-winded. In addition to the very well developed primary players – we quickly come to empathise with the charming Nell and the faithful Kit – we meet a host of interlocked secondary characters, some of whom tend to emerge in exaggerated black or white and to sport rather unbelievable eccentricities.
Throughout the book we are enchanted by the vivid scene-setting, whose interminable and multiply convoluted sentences do, however, challenge one’s breathing when reading aloud. Another quirk for the modern reader are the frequent remarks addressed to himself, some of which are inclined to be preachy.
All in all, a very rewarding novel with a distressingly abrupt ending.