Scenes from an Extraordinary Life
Frances Lincoln Ltd, Hardcover, 9781847801876, 48pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Inspired by Charles Dickens? own words, Mick and Brita bring this extraordinary genius to life, revealing Dickens? childhood working in a London boot polish factory and charting his meteoric rise to fame as a young novelist. Follow him as he climbs a volcano, goes on tour to the US, presides at a family Christmas and gives a thrilling public reading. And discover the stories of ten of Dickens? most famous novels, dramatised for younger readers with captions and graphic-novel comic-strips.
"In Charles Dickens: Scenes From an Extraordinary Life, Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom take us through the whole life, and do so very wittily, with a telling use of incidents evidently culled from a wide reading of the biographical literature: all sorts of striking detail, like Dickens leaping up from his writing desk to check the expressions on his own face as he wrote, create a fresh and often funny sense of the man. The major novels are neatly summarized in strip cartoons, the visual style is vivacious, with spoken texts ballooning out of people’s mouths, and there is a strong feeling of a life lived. The story is a little uncertain chronologically, and there seems to be some confusion as to when Dickens grew his beard (1857, for the record), but these are tiny faults; anyone of any age who is interested in Dickens would gain something from this book: its verve and wit are infectious. The darker side of Dickens is not dwelt on nor, for this readership, should it be. The subtitle sums it up very well: a wonderful, enduring introduction for young readers." Simon Callow, The New York Times
Rich, scholarly with a light touch and a perfect introduction to Dickens for primary school children. Dr Margaret Mallett, Goldsmiths College, University of London