Tuesday, January 13, 2015
THE PICKWICK PAPERS - Charles Dickens
This book is delightful, 58 chapters of adventure featuring Mr Samuel Pickwick, retired man of business, and friends, as they drink, explore, laugh and cry over a period of two years in mid 1830's England.
This book was the first Dickens and originally published in monthly installments. The chapters are loosely tied together through the characters of the book but most stand alone. We have stories of Goblin's, shyster lawyers, drinking in vast quantities, short stories within chapters, a stay in a Debtors Prison and vast amounts of humanity.
The episodes where Pickwick prefers a Debtors Prison to paying a disgraceful Court decision are sobering. It's staggering that people were just left to die in prison because of civil debt.
Generally, however humour is the driver and this book is very funny. I imagine P G Wodehouse must have had a great working knowledge of this book because his Bertie & Jeeves tales are Pickwick taken to the nth degree.
I can say honestly that not once in 700 pages did my interest flag; reading from beginning to end was a wonderful experience.