Have you heard of No Fear Shakespeare? (They're available as physical books as well.) I had a hard time "getting into" Shakespeare before I found out about it; now I can't get enough!
I would suggest this may actually be why they're great--people are weird and irrational, and the Bard understood them like no one else.
This is very true. There are a lot of great movie adaptations of his plays, too. (Kenneth Branaugh's ones like Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, and Hamlet are probably good places for newbies to start.)
To each his own, I guess, but I found it to be a pretty eventful book. They're aren't many exciting action scenes or plot twists (ok, I guess there is a pretty big plot twist), but there are sooo many great characters. Also worth noting is that like most of Dickens' works, it was published as a serial, a few chapters at a time. It wasn't necessarily intended to be read quickly, or to "flow" the way most good novels do. Kind of like how watching one episode of a tv show a week can be great, but, depending on the show, binging can become a pain.