First introduced through a short story collection, Cleg Kelly caught the public imagination and was given a novel of his own in 1899. But this is no ordinary novel we follow Cleg’s ‘adventures’ from Edinburgh to Galloway. Always entertaining, Cleg Kelly gives Dickens and Hugo a run for their money.
Shows most clearly that he has the supreme story-tellers gift of a vigorous, resourceful and geniunely creative imagination. Not only so; but it is out of sight the ablest and richest story of a gamin life that has appeared in our time – the story that recalls most readily ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’
What is most notable in ‘Cleg Kelly’, is the fact that its keynote is the joy in living. It is boyishly roistering and philanthropic at the same time. It paints the very blackest things in city life, and is radiantly optimistic. It carries the reader along, full of sympathy from the first page to the last. It is a throroughly good and interesting novel.
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