I am almost tempted to compare my reading experience of "Little Dorrit" by Charles Dickens, to trying to find ones way in a very dark and mysterious labyrinth. As I read I soon became disorientated and lost my way several times. I found myself at sharp turns and sudden stops, and I was never able to predict the events of the next chapter. Dickens' firm and clear narrative was the only thing that led my through. Otherwise I would have been completely left in the dark.
In other words, this a very long novel with a heavy amount of characters, subplots, love triangles and mysteries, alongside with Dickens' usual social awareness and focus on poverty and injustice. There is a lot at stake, and you will need deep concentration in order to understand the seemingly simple words in this book, otherwise you will get lost in the labyrinth forever.
That said, it is a magnificent novel and I believe it holds some of Dickens' best characters. The Brothers Dorrit were perhaps my favorites, William with his naive prentensions and child-like need for reassurance and deep care, and Frederick who was actually able to appreciate Little Dorrit and to act kindly.
Miss Wade fascinated me with her paranoid interpretations of every one, and the self-deceiving and hypocritical Mr. Merdle and his social awkwardness was interesting as well.
The two main characters, Arthur Clennam and Little Dorrit, were actually the least interesting characters, as they both were completely righteous and saintlike - perhaps they should be read as ideals rather than human beings.
And of course, Dickens' writing is breathtakingly wonderful as always. Allow me to demonstrate:
"The bright morning sun dazzled the eyes, the snow had ceased, the mists had vanished, the mountain air was so clear and light that the new sensation of breathing it was like the having entered on a new existence. To help the delusion, the solid ground itself seemed gone, and the mountain, a shining waste of immense white heaps and masses, to be a region of cloud floating between the blue sky above and the earth far below.