Dickens Gets the Oprah Nod

Image by Alan Light (wikicommons)

Image by Alan Light (wikicommons)

Oprah’s Book Club has given its seal of approval to the struggling British author Charles Dickens. Oprah has selected two little-known titles, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, by an author who clearly needs the publicity.

Jokes aside, Dickens selection is interesting because Oprah has endorsed a single volume of both books published by Penguin. As Moby Lives reports the single volume “was clearly secretly in the works for months… despite the numerous other version of it available already - no secret deals necessary - from other publishers.” The Huffington Post was more critical:

“Because the copyright has long expired on the 19th-century novels, they are available through a variety of publishers and even directly from retailers. "Great Expectations” can be downloaded for free on Amazon.com’s Kindle reader."

Of course Oprah’s Book Club has celebrated classics in the past. As The Stir points out “this isn’t the first time she’s kicked it old school. Consider [previous selections]: Anna Karenina, One Hundred Years of Solitude and East of Eden”. More recently she forgave Jonathan Franzen’s previous snubbing of her book club by anointing his recent novel Freedom with a recommendation.

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