Bleak House by Charles Dickens is a worthy if wordy read and said to be his greatest work if perhaps not his most popular.

Dickens was a great moralist and a perceptive social commentator. Bleak House sharply illustrates the inequalities in Victorian society and sets out to expose the abuses of the legal system. However, in many ways the book is not about the legal system but about sadness and survival. Dickens sees London as a place of human misery, a world governed by greed and money. The descriptions of streets, buildings and people are realistic and reflect the living conditions of that period.

Bleak House is a tapestry of characters and some members felt they were not as well-developed as they could have been. I think we all thought Dickens ability to describe the scene was brilliant and conveyed more information than his description of characters. They were more of a vessel for the moral message.

We were all struck how contemporary the novel felt. The issues he was writing about resonate strongly today. Even those who did not master the book feel that the quality of writing is superb, the plot universal and the author's insight and description of life second to none.