Thursday, September 6, 2018

Book Review - Haunted Man by Charles Dickens - Abridged and Annotated by Dave Swavely

What a great find this is! This annotated and abridged version of Charles Dickens’s Haunted Man made it possible for me to read this not so well known classic profitably and with pleasure. Swavely’s introduction has several features that prepare one for reading, understanding and appreciating the theme of the book. He explains why he took out some language that was not necessary to the flow of the story and reduced the length by removing about 4,000 words to make it read smoother. I was therefore encouraged to slow down and appreciate some of the lengthier conversations. The “Who’s Who” section prepared me for the characters as they arrived in the story and helped me to keep them straight. My mind, therefore, was freed up to contemplate the message behind the story. I was surprised by the depth and breadth of the theology and the spiritual issues discussed.
Swavely’s afterward is a great addition to the work, helping me to make a number of connections I missed. It would be particularly helpful for those who are struggling to see how a good God uses hard times and man’s sin for his own glory and our happiness.
This is a book that I will reread as it clearly requires a little more thought than most fiction. This annotated and abridged edition encourages me to do this.

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