The Novel, 1832 to 1900
I don't know what the heck happened in the other reviewers' classes that they would give this guy a bad evaluation. He is an incredibly sweet, adorable man, who is interesting, somewhat humorous, helpful and welcoming. I wish I had gone to his office hours earlier in the lecture, we had an amazing time together. He's very laid back, sometimes lets you turn in your papers after the due date without caring or penalizing, his lectures are a perfect mix of abstract and concrete thoughts, and I didn't find his tests and papers that hard or complicated. It was 2 short papers, one long one and two tests. If you have an issue with reading looooooong novels, however, don't take this class. Victorian novels are long - Middlemarch is a good 600+ pages.
I took 164C with Grossman this past spring quarter, and let's just say I wish I had listened to all the reviews posted on here. He is extremely disorganized (although I appreciate his effort to add more structure to his lectures), and he grades extremely subjectively. I remember asking him about my thesis for my Dickens paper, and he replied, "But I already know that..."(he has a thing about topics being obvious). Well, of course you would know that--you're a professor at UCLA and a Dickens expert! Is there anything you don't know?? However, Prof. Grossman is extremely intelligent and he does try to be engaging. I just wish he would realize that we aren't as familiar with the novels he chose for the class, and that the papers are our opportunity to explore and work out our ideas even though our theses may be something that is obvious to him. However, this class will undoubtedly make you become a better writer, so if you're up to the challenge, then take this class. Otherwise, I suggest you avoid it.