Too long, too uneventful, too false. David Copperfield’s life as a boy is dramatic and involving. As he grows older, his life becomes much less interesting. His role in the story is to observe other people’s behavior. Some of the characters he observes are enjoyable. Many are tedious.
The most repellent part of the book is the account of David’s marriage to a ridiculous young woman. As soon as David begins to think that his marriage was a mistake, his young wife develops a cough. Soon she is an invalid. Within a few chapters, she is dead. This allows David to marry a paragon of womanly virtue he has loved since boyhood.
In the end, all the good characters prosper, the evil ones do not. Happy endings usually make readers feel good, but, in this case, it didn’t. (12/5/10)