Dickens' Friday

Gain New Blog FollowersI really have been missing all these Friday memes, hopping around the blogosphere and seeing what everyone else has written! So I decided that this Friday I would finally find the time to force myself to blog.

Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. This week's qst is:

Q: What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book? For example, if an author employs an omnipotent narrator that is sometimes considered bad form.

Oh God, where do I begin. Actually, what irritates me the most, probably, is interior monologues that go on for pages. Not even a very beloved character can survive this device. This is one of the reasons why I disliked 'Twilight', because Bella's monologues were never ending and incredibly boring. Authors should, to a certain extent, think of their characters as human beings. No one's thoughts are interesting or profound for longer than maybe a paragraph. Then they start thinking about food, going to the toilet, how bright the sun is and how much you miss Disney. (Maybe that's just me, I don't know.) But so far, I don't think I have ever read a book where this worked properly.

Anything else? I disliked the epistolary form back in the day but since 'Frankenstein' I quite like it, if it is done properly. It also worked in 'We Need to Talk About Kevin', even if the book disturbed me. I also used to struggle with dialects in books, but once I reread 'Wuthering Heights' I sort of warmed to Joseph's accent even though it was hard to read.

For Book Beginnings (Rose City Reader) and Friday 56 (Freda's Voice
) I chose 'Hard Times' by Charles Dickens. I'm not a Dickens' fan but I have to read it for one of my modules so I thought what better way to inspire me to get started than to use it for these memes?

'Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root our everything else. You can only form the minds o reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the prnciple on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I will bring up these children. Stick to the Facts, Sir!'
I think that's quite a harsh way to open a book, especially since a book is fiction and therefore not Fact. Although perhaps this is exactly the kind of paradox Dickens wants to create. Damn you, Dickens.

'"I wish," whimpered Mrs. Gradgrind, taking a chair, and discharging her strongest point before succumbing under the mere shadows of facts, "yes, I really do wish that I had never had a family, and then you would have known what it was to do without me!"'
Well, that's quite a turn from the opening. Here we have someone succumbing to Facts rather than glorifying them. But I don't think I like Mrs. Gradgrind, she sounds a bit weak and overly dramatic.

I have decided, out of pure frustration at having to read Dickens I would also do a Friday 56 from Richard II, which I am reading at the moment for a different module.
'Alas, poor Duke, the task he undertakes, Is numbr'ing sands and drinking oceans dry. Where one on his side fights, thousand will fly. Farewell at once - for once, for all and ever.'
That is simply beautiful. Shakespeare has made me all happy again.

So, how about your Friday memes and answers? Leave a link in the comments!


  1. I do like that 56....on the other hand, the beginning and the overly amorous desire for only FACTS in the Dickens book made me think that life with that person would be dreadful...lol

    I am a FEELINGS kind of person....


  2. So true about the interior monologues. A good way to do that was shown to us by Rowling in Harry Potter. Twilight, not so much. I really don't like the epistolary form, and probably will never like it. Old follower just hopping by, not doing a Friday meme this week.

  3. I have been doing the same thing. Using for a meme helps me read things that are on my TBR pile that might get pushed back. Thanks for visiting.

  4. hello Juli :)

    "No one's thoughts are interesting or profound for longer than maybe a paragraph." -- haha thank you for this!

    In all seriousness pages and pages of interior monologues are also one of the worst things. and even if it makes sense for who the character is in the book, chances are I dislike that main character as the protagonist. so long interior monologues don't really win with me, ha. thanks for sharing and stopping by! PS I also miss Disney <3


  5. Yeah, internal monologues can get super annoying sometimes!
    Old follower-
    Come check out My FF

  6. Oh, I agree with your points - the whole never-ending monologue is atrocious and boring. I don't care for cliffhangers, but mostly I hate anything that happens due to coincidence. I like logical steps to a conclusion.

    New follow via GFC.

    Julie~ New Adult Addiction

  7. I too am not a Dicken's Fan!!! Good Points!! Thanks for stopping by my blog returning the follow to your wonderful blog GFC thanks again. Happy Halloween
    Book Review Club

  8. Haha!! Bella did like to talk to herself a lot! It was probably a good thing that Edward didn't have mindreading abilities!

    Here's my Follow Friday

    Have a GREAT weekend!

    Old Follower :)

  9. Great point about internal monologues. I don't think anyone's successfully pulled them off since my buddy Shakespeare was writing. Thanks for visiting my blog, Juli! Happy Friday! :D

  10. I love your point about monologues!

    New Follower via GFC :)

    My FF Post :)

  11. Lovely 56. I admit I have only read The Christmas Carol.

  12. I dislike lengthy monologues too.


  13. Welcome back to friday memes! xD I haven't come across a book where a lengthy monologue annoyed me. :P Thanks for visiting my blog. Following you back. :D

    Daphne @ Reading Until Dawn

  14. Great answer!


  15. oh you're hilarious. pages and pages of self-babbling = one disturbed person :)

    i've always like epistolaries though!

  16. Good answer! Though I love dialects in books, the most recent example of this would be Poison Princess by Kresley Cole, loved that Cajun!
    Old follower, yay!
    Thanks for stopping by my FF'S for this week
    Book Me! and Carmen Jenner.com
    Happy Friday! =D

  17. hi Juli! Hard Times does sound depressing. i haven't read it yet but it's on my TBR.
    by the way, thanks for your lovely comment on my 56 post. i'm glad you like Rilke as well.
    have a great weekend!

  18. Hi! New follower here. This is the first blog where someone mentioned internal monologues as a pet peeve. I agree! I don't want to hear your internal ramblings page after page. Thanks for sharing.

    Also, I am giving away a Kindle or Nook (winners choice) on my blog if you are interested. The contest ends in 2 days!

    Peace & Love
    Crystal @ YA Society


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