The Old Curiosity Shop

Finished February 18, 2010

This one always takes a lot out of me to read, I suppose because of how much hardship goes on throughout the story. It’s a novel of strong imagery without being too flowery and it contains one of Dickens’ most terrifying villains (Daniel Quilp). To do it justice, I’ll merely include Dickens’ own words.

“The town was glad with morning light; places that had shown ugly and distrustful all night long, now wore a smile; and sparkling sunbeams dancing on chamber windows, and twinkling through blind and curtain before sleepers’ eyes, shed light even into dreams, and chased away the shadows of the night.”

“It’s like a book to me,” he said- the only book I ever learned to read; and many an old story it tells me. It’s music, for I should know its voice among a thousand, and there are other voices in its roar. It has its pictures too. You don’t know how many strange faces and different scenes I trace in the red-hot coals. It’s my memory, that fire, and shows me all my life.”

“But as they drew nearer the ruined walls, the moon rose in all her gentle glory, and, from their venerable age, garlanded with ivy, moss, and waving grass, the chid looked back upon the sleeping town,deep in the valley’s shade: and on the far-off river with its winding track of light: and on the distant hills; and as she did so, she clasped the hand she held, less firmly, and bursting into tears, fell upon the old man’s neck.”

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