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.

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    I am very glad you enjoyed Pickwick - these days it is one of Dickens's least-read books, which I think is criminal.

    You might be interested in a piece of Pickwick news: I have actually written a novel about the story behind the creation of The Pickwick Papers. It's called Death and Mr Pickwick, and it will be published in May by Random House (in the UK) and in June by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (in the USA). You can find out more at:

    www.deathandmrpickwick.com

    where I can also be contacted. (And I hope you will.)

    The first pre-publication reviews are indeed starting to appear. Here is the review in Publishers Weekly:

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/9780374139667

    Best wishes

    Stephen Jarvis

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