Simply Charly, Simply Engaging!
If you’re like me, you probably had to read Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities for school. You may have used Oliver as a way to guilt your parents into giving you a second cookie by making a sad face and saying, “Please, can I have some more?” But like me, you probably never gave much thought to the man behind the stories.
That was, until I read this book. Because Dickens, as I soon discovered, was not just an author and a classroom fixture. He was, as I learned after an entire Saturday morning spent reading, a schoolboy, law clerk, reporter, playwright, traveler, social activist, and nature lover. In fact, he had many quirks and character traits that surprised me- including his love for toasted cheese sandwiches and his involvement in the “Pickwick Papers,” a comedy series that mocked cockney sporting life.
The author, Paul Schlicke, is clearly knowledgeable about Dickens and his work, as shown by the impressive sources and bibliography. His writing is smooth, charming, and engaging. This book is divided into themed sections, and each is a short and easy read. From Dickens the Traveler to Dickens in the 1840s to Dickens as a social activist, Schlicke introduces us to the great and dynamic character of Dickens, proving he was much more than a name heard often in English class.
Whether you are a student looking for an excellent school project source, a Trivial Pursuit expert who wants to gain an advantage on friends and family, or as in my case, someone looking for a book that will both make them laugh and make them think, then this one is for you.
Oh, and Oliver Twist? I think I may just go back and read it now.
-by McKenna Skye, Assistant Editor
If you’re looking for other books in the series, the Simply Charly series also has Chopin, Chaplin, Edison, Hegel, Austen, Hitchcock, Newton, Twain, Woolf, Nietzsche, Darwin and more! For podcasts, resources, and just good reading fun, click the Simply Charly logo. To learn more about the Author Paul Schlicke, click here.