Asimov and Dickens

Since I posted my review of Foundation today I decided to see what Isaac Asimov thought of Charles Dickens for my post for the Charles Dickens month hosted by Fig and Thistle.  Here is a quote by Asimov:

“Good writers are invariably fascinating writers—the two go together.  In my opinion, the English writers who most clearly use the correct word every time and who most artfully and deftly put together their sentences and paragraphs are Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and P. G. Wodehouse.”

I have to agree with Asimov wholeheartedly concerning Dickens.  I am continually amazed by his ability to make me feel what the characters feel.  People have asked if I have favorite quotes from my current read, Oliver Twist.  It is so hard to decide since he writes so well and his descriptions are beautiful, even when they are terrifying.  Here is an example from my reading last night.

“There was something so uncommon in her manner, that the flesh of the concealed listener crept as he heard the girl utter these words, and the blood chilled within him.  He had never experienced a greater relief than in hearing the sweet voice of the young lady as she begged her to be calm, and not allow herself to become prey of such fearful fancies.”

I’m hoping to finish the novel today.  It is at an exciting point and it was hard to set it aside last night, but it could not be helped.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
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30 Responses to Asimov and Dickens

  1. Kate Kresse says:

    I absolutely Love Dickens…still trying to get to A Tale of Two Cities …. this month has gotten away from me!

    • TBM says:

      There is always next month…Dickens will wait. I haven’t read that one yet, but I’ve heard good things. And it is on my list this year. I hope you can find the time soon.

  2. Caroline says:

    I saw Bleak House mentioned quite often these days and today I read the opening paragraph on amazon and it’s really amazing how well he captures the muddy streets of London.

  3. wolke205 says:

    Oliver Twist..Should read it again, I only remember that I liked it. But that was long time ago 😉 My fav writer is Stephen King 😉

  4. Azevedo says:

    One of the things I find amazing about Dickens is the way he manages to engrave such clear pictures in our minds. Images that stay with us.
    “(…) spread his little hands before his eyes to shut out the darkness”.
    This phrase/picture will stay with me until the day I die; or until Alzheimer strikes me..

  5. Fergiemoto says:

    I’m amazed at how artful and skilled some authors are with the words!

  6. I felt like Oliver Twist in the beginning of my life – I enjoyed the movie by Polanski …

    • TBM says:

      Really? That’s too bad…I hope things have turned around for you. I haven’t seen the movie by Polanski. I’ll have to check it out.

  7. The Hook says:

    Continued luck on your ongoing literary quest.

  8. David Copperfield and Oliver Twist are two of my favorite classics. Dickens simply has a way about him, doesn’t he. Darn it, you’re making me miss reading him!! I actually borrowed the new edition of A Christmas Carol last December (was dreaming that I’d find the time to read it) – but of course, Dickens demands absolute concentration and time (the former I have loads of, the latter, I am in need of, unfortunately). Enjoy!

    • TBM says:

      It is hard for me to describe Dickens writing, which is why I use quotes to aid me. Dickens can help explain his talents. I’m sorry you weren’t able to read A Christmas Carol this year. I’m hoping to read it this December. Maybe you will find time. And yes, you can’t pick up Dickens and only spend a minute or two reading it…he absorbs you into his writing and it is hard to put down.

  9. That is one of my most favorite aspects of Charles Dickens. He is a master at description and I don’t think it is superfluous. His characters and his atmosphere are dead-on!

  10. Carl V. says:

    He is dead on. I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed all three. Wodehouse is my favorite of the three writers, but it is really an unfair comparison as their works are so very different. Each writer is indeed a master wordsmith, creating the kind of fiction that you often can’t believe anyone could have written because of its deft touch.

    • TBM says:

      I really need to pick up some Wodehouse since I haven’t read any of his works. I love Twain and Dickens. Lately, though, on a lot of blogs I’ve been reading so many good things about Wodehouse. And I think you’ve suggested him to me before. I’ll check my local library.

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