web site hit counter The Pickwick Papers: By Charles Dickens - Illustrated (Comes with a Free Audiobook) - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Pickwick Papers: By Charles Dickens - Illustrated (Comes with a Free Audiobook)

Availability: Ready to download

How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (also known as The Pickwick Papers) is Charles Di How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (also known as The Pickwick Papers) is Charles Dickens's first novel. He was asked to contribute to the project[which?] as an up-and-coming writer following the success of Sketches by Boz, published in 1836 (most of Dickens' novels were issued in shilling instalments before being published as complete volumes). Dickens (still writing under the pseudonym of Boz) increasingly took over the unsuccessful monthly publication[which?] after the original illustrator Robert Seymour had committed suicide. With the introduction of Sam Weller in chapter 10, the book became the first real publishing phenomenon, with bootleg copies, theatrical performances, Sam Weller joke books, and other merchandise. After the publication, the widow of Robert Seymour claimed that the idea for the novel was originally her husband's; however, in his preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens strenuously denied any specific input, writing that "Mr Seymour never originated or suggested an incident, a phrase, or a word, to be found in the book."


Compare

How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (also known as The Pickwick Papers) is Charles Di How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (also known as The Pickwick Papers) is Charles Dickens's first novel. He was asked to contribute to the project[which?] as an up-and-coming writer following the success of Sketches by Boz, published in 1836 (most of Dickens' novels were issued in shilling instalments before being published as complete volumes). Dickens (still writing under the pseudonym of Boz) increasingly took over the unsuccessful monthly publication[which?] after the original illustrator Robert Seymour had committed suicide. With the introduction of Sam Weller in chapter 10, the book became the first real publishing phenomenon, with bootleg copies, theatrical performances, Sam Weller joke books, and other merchandise. After the publication, the widow of Robert Seymour claimed that the idea for the novel was originally her husband's; however, in his preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens strenuously denied any specific input, writing that "Mr Seymour never originated or suggested an incident, a phrase, or a word, to be found in the book."

30 review for The Pickwick Papers: By Charles Dickens - Illustrated (Comes with a Free Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    The Pickwick Papers was the first novel by Charles Dickens but I’ve read it last. I was always afraid to start but once I did it proved to be a real pageturner for me. There sat the man who had traced to their source the mighty ponds of Hampstead, and agitated the scientific world with his Theory of Tittlebats, as calm and unmoved as the deep waters of the one on a frosty day, or as a solitary specimen of the other in the inmost recesses of an earthen jar. The peculiar and effervescent sense of hu The Pickwick Papers was the first novel by Charles Dickens but I’ve read it last. I was always afraid to start but once I did it proved to be a real pageturner for me. There sat the man who had traced to their source the mighty ponds of Hampstead, and agitated the scientific world with his Theory of Tittlebats, as calm and unmoved as the deep waters of the one on a frosty day, or as a solitary specimen of the other in the inmost recesses of an earthen jar. The peculiar and effervescent sense of humour is inimitable and the language is like the vintage wine. And I was surprised to find out that quite a few of the inns the clubmen stayed in are still functioning.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club = The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens The Pickwick Papers was Charles Dickens's first novel. He was asked to contribute to the project as an up-and-coming writer following the success of Sketches by Boz, published in 1836. The novel's main character, Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, the founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. To extend his researches into the quaint and curious phenomena of life, he suggests The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club = The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens The Pickwick Papers was Charles Dickens's first novel. He was asked to contribute to the project as an up-and-coming writer following the success of Sketches by Boz, published in 1836. The novel's main character, Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, the founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. To extend his researches into the quaint and curious phenomena of life, he suggests that he and three other "Pickwickians" (Mr Nathaniel Winkle, Mr Augustus Snodgrass, and Mr Tracy Tupman) should make journeys to places remote from London and report on their findings to the other members of the club. Their travels throughout the English countryside by coach provide the chief theme of the novel. A distinctive and valuable feature of the work is the generally accurate description of the old coaching inns of England. (One of the main families running the Bristol to Bath coaches at the time was started by Eleazer Pickwick). عنوانها: «ماجراهای آقای پیک ویک»؛ «یادداشتهای پیک ویک»؛ «یادداشتهای آقای پیک ویک»؛ نویسنده: چارلز دیکنز؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز پانزدهم ماه ژوئن سال 1987میلادی عنوان: ماجراهای آقای پیک ویک؛ مترجم: محمدتقی دانیا؛ انتشارات فخر رازی؛ 1364؛ در 436ص؛ موضوع داستانهای کلاسیک از نویسندگان انگلیسی سده 19م عنوان: یادداشتهای پیک ویک؛ مترجم: پرویز همتیان بروجنی؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1394؛ در دو جلد؛ شابک دوره 9786002295095؛ شابک جلد یک 9786002295101؛ شابک جلد دو 9786002295118؛ عنوان: یادداشتهای آقای پیک ویک؛ مترجم: آرمانوش باباخانیانس؛ تهران، اکباتان، 1396، در 192ص؛ شابک 9786006608587؛ آقای پیکویک، نجیب زاده ی پولداری ست، که اهل پژوهش است، و باشگاهی دارد، که اعضای باشگاه باهم دوست هستند، و ماجراهایی مختلفی میآفرینند که تا اندازه ای طنزآمیز است؛ ماجراها: «خرابکاری در مهمانی»، «حاضر شدن در دادگاه» و ....؛ «رخدادها برای چند دوست با اخلاقهای ویژه»؛ ...؛ «یادداشت‌های پیکویک» را «چالز دیکنز» در بیست و چهار سالگی بنگاشتند، و نخستین اثر داستانی ایشان نیز به شمار است؛ ایشان پیش از این، مجموعه ای از یادداشتهای مطبوعاتی خود را، که رنگ و بوی روایی نیز داشتند، در مطبوعات منتشر کرده بودند؛ موفقیت همین یادداشتها، باعث شد، ناشر پیشنهاد نوشتن داستانی دنباله دار به «دیکنز» بدهند، که حاصل آن، «یادداشتهای پیکویک» شد؛ «یادداشتهای پیکویک» چنان بر «داستایفسکی» تأثیر میگذارد، که به اعتراف خود ایشان، شخصیت اصلی رمان معروفش «ابله» را، با الهام و تاثیر پذیری از آقای «پیکویک»، و «دن کیشوت»، شکل میدهند تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 08/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  3. 4 out of 5

    Always Pouting

    Oh god this was such a long read, the problem is I didn't realize going into it that Charles Dickens originally published this as a series over time and so I read the whole freaking thing at once and honestly there's only so much of this one can read at once and still enjoy. The writing itself was really good and Dickens is really witty. I found all of it really funny and amusing and I see why people would have liked it. I don't think I myself could enjoy it as much because it just felt like a T Oh god this was such a long read, the problem is I didn't realize going into it that Charles Dickens originally published this as a series over time and so I read the whole freaking thing at once and honestly there's only so much of this one can read at once and still enjoy. The writing itself was really good and Dickens is really witty. I found all of it really funny and amusing and I see why people would have liked it. I don't think I myself could enjoy it as much because it just felt like a TV show where you tune in every other week or something to see what your favorite characters are doing, and one of those sitcoms where it's really just a way to fill time. The Pickwick club just seems to drink and listen to stories or get into trouble that's the whole plot for I think 900 pages. It gets old really quick and it's not what I read for so like it didn't do anything for me. I think if I didn't have TV or comics it would have appealed to me much more. I did really enjoy Joe though because he's just fat and sleeps constantly and causes trouble which is great. The first thing that happens with Mr.Jingle, originally before he takes off, was pretty intriguing also. The rest of it barely kept my attention. I really want to like Dickens but so far I can't say I do very much.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Same procedure as last year, Mr Dickens? Same procedure as every year, My Dear Reader! Well, then. I officially declare the December Dickens challenge completed, and according to tradition, The Most Recently Read Dickens knocks the Previous Favourite off the pedestal. As always, the Dickensian spirit manifests itself mainly in the minor characters and the villains. I would give my soul (to the care of a trustworthy person of Mr Pickwick's calibre, under no circumstances to lawyers like Dodson and Same procedure as last year, Mr Dickens? Same procedure as every year, My Dear Reader! Well, then. I officially declare the December Dickens challenge completed, and according to tradition, The Most Recently Read Dickens knocks the Previous Favourite off the pedestal. As always, the Dickensian spirit manifests itself mainly in the minor characters and the villains. I would give my soul (to the care of a trustworthy person of Mr Pickwick's calibre, under no circumstances to lawyers like Dodson and Fogg!) to listen in on some additional conversations between Samivel Veller and his dear father, the hater of vidders and lover of a proper eddication. If the Wellers add colour, heart and soul to the picaresque adventures of the Pickwick Clubbers, Mr Jingle and Mr Trotter are their perfectly drawn antitheses, as is the dear Mrs Bardell, whose real fainting in the debtor's prison showed that a well orchestrated fake fainting has a tendency to be much more useful and effective than the feeble original. Mr Pickwick himself is a descendant of the great Don Quixote, and the windmills of Chancery are harder to fight than most dragons, and they clearly demand a sequel - which promises to be a bleak story. Sam Weller is outperforming Sancho Pansa in wit and energy, and most definitely is his equal in loyalty and love. What more can be said that hasn't been said a thousand times before, regarding Charles Dickens' unique universe? What can be added except the inevitable Oliver Twist quote: "Please Sir, I want some more", expecting a rich literary meal rather than a thin gruel, no matter which novel will knock this one off the favourite place next year? I could join Fernando Pessoa, claiming one of the great tragedies of my life now being that I can never again enjoy the pleasure of reading the Pickwick Papers for the very first time. But that will never do! Another Dickens is safely stored in my inner treasure chest where the reading pleasures of Christmasses past are located. To the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come! Some more!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bionic Jean

    Have you read The Pickwick Papers? It does seem to be the one work by Charles Dickens which is sadly neglected by many readers. "The Pickwick Papers" was originally published in 19 monthly magazine instalments, from March 1836 to October 1837, this last being a double issue. They were then reissued in a volume as The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club in 1839 when Dickens was still only 25. They comprise humorous sketches, themselves interspersed with incidental tales, such as "The Goblins w Have you read The Pickwick Papers? It does seem to be the one work by Charles Dickens which is sadly neglected by many readers. "The Pickwick Papers" was originally published in 19 monthly magazine instalments, from March 1836 to October 1837, this last being a double issue. They were then reissued in a volume as The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club in 1839 when Dickens was still only 25. They comprise humorous sketches, themselves interspersed with incidental tales, such as "The Goblins who stole a Sexton" told by minor characters. This is where the young Charles Dickens began to cut his teeth as a writer. Dickens at the time was relatively unknown and quite poor. He was 23, and had just written various sketches about London life for magazines. The publishers Chapman and Hall asked him to write pieces in a similar vein to accompany some plates by Robert Seymour, an established illustrator. These plates were of bumbling members of a sporting club getting themselves into various predicaments. Dickens's brief was to connect them by providing a comic story, and the two parts would then form a "picture novel" - a popular entertainment of the time. Dickens was quite excited by the idea, but straightaway started to alter the plan. In his own words, he "objected... that it would be infinitely better for the plates to arise naturally out of the text; and that I would like to take my own way, with a freer range of English scenes and people, and was afraid I should ultimately do so in any case, whatever course I might prescribe to myself at starting." One can only imagine how presumptuous this must have sounded! Seymour was 38 years old and had already illustrated the works of Shakespeare, Milton, Cervantes and Wordsworth. He was a talented artist who had been exhibited at the Royal Academy over a decade earlier when he was just 24. He was on his way to becoming the President of the Royal Academy, and thought to be one of the greatest artists since Hogarth. Despite all this, Dickens got his way, and led the episodes by the story. He evidently must have a been a charismatic and forceful character even at this young age! Now of course we know the true extent of the brilliance of the man. Ironically and tragically Seymour committed suicide before the second issue of "The Pickwick Papers" was published. He had a few drinks with Dickens, delivered his latest sketch of "The Dying Clown" to the publishers, then went home and shot himself. There is a fascinating back-story attached to this… but this is not the place to tell it. Robert Buss was then commissioned to illustrate the third instalment, but his work was not liked by Dickens and the remaining instalments were illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne who took the name "Phiz". This was to accompany the penname Dickens had already made his own, "Boz". Hablot Knight Browne went on to illustrate most of Dickens' novels. The main characters in "Pickwick" are Mr. Samuel Pickwick himself, "a gentleman of independent means; a retired man of business." He is accompanied by the "too susceptible" Mr. Tracy Tupman, also mature in years, but inclined to fall in love at the drop of a hat. The other two members of the travelling party are younger; "the sporting" Mr. Nathaniel Winkle and "the poetic" Mr. Augustus Snodgrass. Their aim is to travel throughout the English countryside researching "the quaint and curious phenomena of life". They are to report back at intervals on "authenticated accounts of their journeys and investigations; of their observations of character and manners; and of the whole of their adventures", to the club's headquarters in London. They stay at coaching inns, and their adventures as they travel by coach through London, Rochester, Ipswich, Bath, Bristol and Birmingham form the basis of this rollicking ride. Satire and farce continue to underpin the whole of the narrative, as the bumbling quartet become embroiled in ever more ludicrous situations. The confidence trickster Alfred Jingle appeared in the very first issue. He repeatedly landed the Pickwickians in trouble with his devious tricks, and whenever he pops up in the narrative the reader knows they are in for a particularly droll episode. In the fourth issue, (or chapter 10) the astute and wily cockney Sam Weller is introduced, to be taken on as Pickwick's servant. He provides a delightful counterpart to Pickwick's idealistic naivety. There about a dozen other important minor characters, and literally hundreds more comic cameos scattered throughout the book. This is no exaggeration, incidentally. The book has 57 chapters, and there are maybe 5-10 of these cameos in each; delightful thumbnail sketches of characters with exaggerated personality traits. It would indeed be a lengthy exercise to detail all these numerous comic characters and situations! The Pickwick Papers is by definition episodic; a linked sequence of events. If anything it is character-heavy and in danger of sinking under their weight. And given such a dodgy start to the enterprise, it is surprising that the whole can still be read and enjoyed by the modern reader. Each of the 19 issues contains either 2 or 3 chapters, and it must have been incredibly frustrating for Dickens, that he could neither rewrite nor withdraw any part of them. This was however the regime and pressure that he had to work under for most of his life. Each chapter is headed by a description of the following events. Typically though, in what was to become a favourite style of Dickens, this is written so obliquely that the reader is not entirely sure what is actually going to happen even then. In addition to this workload, from February 1837 onwards, Dickens was also producing monthly episodes of "Oliver Twist" at the same time! Whenever the reader feels that the action is sagging a little, or that Dickens' writing is becoming a little overblown, it is as well to remember the constraints of producing work at such breakneck speed, without any possibility of editing. It would be most unfair to judge it by comparison with other novels of the time - or even Dickens' own future novels - as this is not how it was conceived. Chapman and Hall printed only 1000 copies of the first monthly instalment, but by the end of the serial 40,000 copies were being printed. As soon as the character of Sam Weller was introduced, sales began to pick up, and he became enormously popular with the reading public. So much so, that his image was popular outside the stories themselves, much as Pickwick himself is for present day readers. For which of us now is not familiar with an image of Pickwick, on everything from Christmas cards to tins of biscuits? Dickens is often criticised for his "inaccurate" rendering of the cockney accent, and Sam Weller's verancular and that of his father is probably the first time we see this. But read this exchange during a trial, "Do you spell it with a 'V' or a 'W'?" enquired the Judge. "That depends upon the taste and fancy of the speller my lord," replied Sam. "I never had occasion to spell it more than once or twice in my life, but I spells it with a 'V'." Or later, when Mr Weller senior is sorting out probate and dealing with the bank after a will. He is instructed to wait at "a part of the counter above which was a round black board with a large 'W' on it" - the initial letter of the deceased. He says, "There's somethin' wrong here. We's our letter - this won't do." On both these occasions the confusions between the two letters is used to increase the comic effect. I personally think Dickens knew exactly what he was doing. He was well enough acquainted with all walks of life in London not make a "mistake"! The Pickwick Papers in serial form were published at a very eventful period of Dickens' life. During the month issue 2 was published, not only did the illustrator Seymour commit suicide, as mentioned, but Dickens himself married Catherine Hogarth. For issue 11, his first son Charley was born, issue 12 came at the same time as the first instalment of "Oliver Twist" (again in serial form). For issue 13 the couple moved house to Doughty Street, and during April when issue 14 was out, Catherine's sister (with whom it is fairly sure Dickens was in love) died. With this whirlwind of a year Dickens had set a precedent for the way he would live his life. He was a writing phenomenon; a true workaholic. Between his writing and his performances on stage, he eventually worked himself to death. What's more, the basis for his work is all here in "The Pickwick Papers". The love of caricature and the grotesque, the drama and the humour, the sentimentality and the pathos. There is also the social conscience, the indignant portrayal of the absurdity and corruption not only of individuals, but of the machinery held in such esteem by civilised democratic societies. Dickens is never afraid to poke fun at anything, however august and "honourable" the person or the institution. Lawyers, politicians and even some churchmen are portrayed either as pompous figures of ridicule or unscrupulous charlatans. Medical men are "sawbones" who use "secondhand leeches", new "men of science" are gullible fools. The debtors' prison is jampacked with people who have ended up there through no fault of their own, and have no prospect of ever getting out. The beloved "Artful Dodger" of "Oliver Twist" is here in embryonic form, as Sam Weller. Dickens' passion for justice, for seeing everything in its true colours and laughing at it, is here already, and I love him for it. His talent is ripe and just waiting to be developed into some of the greatest novels in the English Language. All this, from an author in his early twenties. For those who think my star rating is generous, that this is one of his weaker "novels", I would say just look at some extracts. Read the episode about the "refractory mare." Or Pickwick's trial. Or the incident with the "lady in yellow curl papers." Or account of the Pickwickians slithering about on the ice. His style for writing farce is already perfect; it could not be improved. Yes, the structure is loose and "The Pickwick Papers" is overlong. The first part of this review explains why. But reading through "The Pickwick Papers" in its entirety provides us with a unique opportunity to follow a piece of history. It started as a minor piece by a relatively unknown young writer, yet in some ways it can be seen as the chronicle of his journey. By the end "The Pickwick Papers" was a huge success, both the work and its author taking Britain by storm. Dickens's life would never be the same again; he achieved celebrity status with this work. Agreed, it is a lesser work compared with the whole canon. But if you have already enjoyed reading any Dickens, then please do not miss out on the true gems in this remarkable collection.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    “what was over couldn't be begun, and what couldn't be cured must be endured;” ― Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers This book morphed a couple times in my brain. It started off a bit uneven, filled with vignettes and sketches that seemed to anticipate the later genius of Dickens and even presented several shadows of future books and stories. After 100 pages I figured I would have another 700 pages of various Pickwick club digressions. There would be interesting characters (Sam Weller, Alfred “what was over couldn't be begun, and what couldn't be cured must be endured;” ― Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers This book morphed a couple times in my brain. It started off a bit uneven, filled with vignettes and sketches that seemed to anticipate the later genius of Dickens and even presented several shadows of future books and stories. After 100 pages I figured I would have another 700 pages of various Pickwick club digressions. There would be interesting characters (Sam Weller, Alfred Jingle, etc). The narrative started to bog down, however, during the next couple hundred pages. The book had little velocity and the digressions seemed to have stalled, but then something happened. Dickens absolutely found his genius. It is interesting to behold a great author find his voice. I'm not just talking about any author or any voice. It is amazing to see Dickens find that genius balance between characters, plot, social commentary/satire, and humor. It was like watching a bird hatch, a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis. More than the story, which ended very well, the book is worth the effort for what it shows about Dickens. This isn't the first Dickens I'd read, but after you've read a bunch of Dickens, I'd definitely read this just to soak in Dickens growth and his views on friendship, marriage, lawyers, and debt.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Baba

    The well penned chronicles of the members of the Pickwick Club… a steady stream of comedy, intrigue, dalliances, crime, debtors prisons and love… a truly astounding feat for a first novel, but Charles Dickens did go on to write so much more, so just a Three Star read for me. 5 out of 12. I was probably disadvantaged having read the likes of Little Dorrit and Nicholas Nickleby amongst others, prior to reading this. The well penned chronicles of the members of the Pickwick Club… a steady stream of comedy, intrigue, dalliances, crime, debtors prisons and love… a truly astounding feat for a first novel, but Charles Dickens did go on to write so much more, so just a Three Star read for me. 5 out of 12. I was probably disadvantaged having read the likes of Little Dorrit and Nicholas Nickleby amongst others, prior to reading this.

  8. 5 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    The middle classes in this country still aspire to some half-baked bucolic idyll—renting a farmhouse, living off the land, swinging on a hammock reading Balzac while buxom farmlasses frolic in the Devonshire sun. The reality? The work involved in milking cows, shearing sheep, fattening chickens requires the brawny pluck of a youngster, not the snoozy disregard of the doddery, and those farmhouse repairs won’t repair themselves, those bills won’t pay themselves . . . until the call of the one-bed The middle classes in this country still aspire to some half-baked bucolic idyll—renting a farmhouse, living off the land, swinging on a hammock reading Balzac while buxom farmlasses frolic in the Devonshire sun. The reality? The work involved in milking cows, shearing sheep, fattening chickens requires the brawny pluck of a youngster, not the snoozy disregard of the doddery, and those farmhouse repairs won’t repair themselves, those bills won’t pay themselves . . . until the call of the one-bedroom flat in the city becomes impossible to ignore. Unless you’re rich enough to hire lackeys, in which case, the vida loca awaits! This is a rambling and rambunctious comedic debut from the soon-to-be Bard of Blighty, rich in top-flight farce, whip-smart satire, and politely scabrous social comment. All very tame and steeped in the Fielding and Smollett tradition, but absolutely engaging from page one to page seven-and-twenty (depending on your edition), and full of marvellous set-pieces, among them the courtroom farce scene, which remains unbettered in modern satire (no, Liar Liar doesn’t count, as fetching as Amanda Donohoe is), and the subsequent imprisonment of Mr. Pickwick for being caught in flagrante consoling his housekeeper. The touching bromance between Samuel and Pickwick, the hilarious Mr. Jingle’s frantic shorthand dialogue, and the indefatigable amiability of this bucolic idyll (and occasional dark turns) make this novel essential for even the most casual of Dickens admirers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    I read this out in the garden, of the small house my parents bought before buying an even smaller one in a moderately more expensive street, anyhow I sat in a broad bottomed wicker chair beneath a flowering jasmine bush(view spoiler)[ which had grown to dominate the garden, we had it propped up on a trellis so we could see out the kitchen window and the cat would climb through it to reach the upper floor (hide spoiler)] , one summer many years ago. It was the first book by Dickens that I enjoyed I read this out in the garden, of the small house my parents bought before buying an even smaller one in a moderately more expensive street, anyhow I sat in a broad bottomed wicker chair beneath a flowering jasmine bush(view spoiler)[ which had grown to dominate the garden, we had it propped up on a trellis so we could see out the kitchen window and the cat would climb through it to reach the upper floor (hide spoiler)] , one summer many years ago. It was the first book by Dickens that I enjoyed reading. While out on my morning walk through the fog (view spoiler)[ not I felt a proper pea souper, personally I prefer my pea soup far thicker, but definitely a dick dog (hide spoiler)] my thoughts fell into my climbing pace and I noticed that this is a model for a transition to novel writing - a loose series of episodes linked by a common cast of characters, who travel about the map having typical English adventures - a cricket match, an election day (view spoiler)[ these are much drier affairs today (hide spoiler)] , a picnic, allowing Dickens to move from writing newspaper sketches to a novel without having to worry much about plot, it struck me that anyone could perhaps try to write a novel like that even me(view spoiler)[ but immediately I felt given my tendency to digress that my characters wouldn't even get out of the car park (view spoiler)[ in fact they wouldn't even get into the car (view spoiler)[ when I start to think about all the digressions from waking up onwards - the shower (view spoiler)[ I'm thinking now of a comedy bathroom I saw in a flat in Seal - an isosceles triangle in shape with the toilet in the sharp corner and the bath going into the right-angle , the overflow from the expansion tank was positioned conveniently, if idiosyncratically, over the bath, promising random showers (hide spoiler)] , the kitchen (view spoiler)[ the same flat had a timber kitchen built out on stilts over a park car like a modern crannog , but without the stone-age charm (hide spoiler)] - the coffee, it seemed far more likely that my character would be best off staying in bed and dreaming (view spoiler)[ and dreams have no end of curious digressions, well mine tend to (hide spoiler)] the whole thing instead (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)] the flood of digressions almost made me smile as much as the flock of Sunday School children who had blocked my path the day before, leaving me to smile with half my face as their coffee cup wielding supervisors strove to shepherd them across a road. Don Quixote no doubt would have read this as a melancholy company of prisoners of war being marched to some grim camp and challenged their guardians to trial by battle, but I have a peaceful disposition. These early books by Dickens were the ones which were translated in to French and then went on to influence European literature in the early nineteenth century with its broad humour of odd characters and mixing social classes in comic situations although I suppose Cervantes is the ultimate model for that coming down to shape Dickens via Smolett among others, since I tend to pronounce 'th' as 'f' (view spoiler)[ perhaps this gives a Kliestian cast to my thinking with words wrestling each other into sentences (hide spoiler)] in a lasting tribute to my early sauf London upbringing I was interested in Dickens' rendering of the Wellers speech patterns. I don't know, it is nice to see a nod to distinctive speech patterns , but it establishes a hierarchy of language at the same time those whose words are spelt correctly, speak correctly, but luckily for me no one can hear me type this.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jonfaith

    The Pickwick Papers promised heft. Weighing in at 900 pages and larded with indices and erudite observations, the project promised muscle training, if nothing else. The serial natural of the narrative and general zany approach was also apprehended. I simply wasn't prepared, however, for Sam Weller. Oh lord, he may be my favorite character in recent memory. I wasn't prepared for such. I was expecting tales of the idle and curious confronting rural and proletarian situations, if only for hilarity The Pickwick Papers promised heft. Weighing in at 900 pages and larded with indices and erudite observations, the project promised muscle training, if nothing else. The serial natural of the narrative and general zany approach was also apprehended. I simply wasn't prepared, however, for Sam Weller. Oh lord, he may be my favorite character in recent memory. I wasn't prepared for such. I was expecting tales of the idle and curious confronting rural and proletarian situations, if only for hilarity and general misunderstanding to ensue. I didn't expect the wit and loyalty of young Weller, especially as the novel takes a rather dark turn and visits the black humors of Dickens' past. Along the journey, politicans, journalists, bankers and lawyers submit to tar-and-feathering: we are all the better for such. There's a surfeit of humiliation, but few are actually mean, as such. Yes, the final fifth met the approval standards of its period. There are a slew of marriage plots to be resolved. Somehow that struck me as an addendum for decorum's sake. The novel becomes a meditation on friendship; between Pickwick and Weller, Sam and his father, the reader and Dickens. I'm looking forward to reading all of Dickens this year; The Pickwick Papers was a marvelous inaugeration.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Newton

    I'm sure that nothing I say here has not already been said, but here goes. This is the most light-hearted Dickens' I've read thus far, although there are hints and glimpses of his social activism to be found. This is his first novel, and you can see the seeds of who he will become already sprouting. It is amazing to read this and realize that he wrote this when he was 24. 24!!! Besides his youth, the method of writing is very limiting--he writes this in serial form, so each installment leaves hi I'm sure that nothing I say here has not already been said, but here goes. This is the most light-hearted Dickens' I've read thus far, although there are hints and glimpses of his social activism to be found. This is his first novel, and you can see the seeds of who he will become already sprouting. It is amazing to read this and realize that he wrote this when he was 24. 24!!! Besides his youth, the method of writing is very limiting--he writes this in serial form, so each installment leaves his hands to be published and cannot be edited. How many novelists can work under the pressure of being unable to make changes in their work? Not to mention that he begins the serial presentation of Oliver Twist while still producing The Pickwick Papers. Such a schedule had to have been grueling for the young writer. His talent for satire and caricature are already on display here as he introduces us to a procession of comic characters as the Pickwickians bumble from one adventure to the next. My favorite characters were Mr. Jingle, a sly con-artist who manages to get the best of the Pickwickians in several instances before getting his comeuppance, and the Wellers, both father and son. Their comical exchanges frequently brought a smile to my face. Sam, as Mr. Pickwick's faithful manservant, brings some much-needed common sense and street-smarts to the credulous quartet. We can see where Sam acquires his rather cynical view of humanity when we are introduced to his father, the career coachman whose household felicity is being sabotaged by a hypocritical "shepherd" who has the gullible Mrs. Weller in thrall. There are far too many characters who make their brief but impressionable appearances in these pages to acknowledge, but Dickens' genius for creating these images, both grotesque and farcical, of people we can recognize and identify with is already apparent, although it will continue to develop in each successive venture. This is a must-read for any ardent Dickens fan, or for someone looking to become one (which, in my opinion, should be everyone)!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Perry

    It's over, and can't be helped,...as they always say in Turkey when they cut the wrong man's head off." “She dotes on poetry, sir. She adores it; I may say that her whole soul and mind are wound up, and entwined with it. She has produced some delightful pieces, herself, sir. You may have met with her 'Ode to an Expiring Frog,' sir.” “Can I view thee panting, lying On thy stomach, without sighing; Can I unmoved see thee dying On a log Expiring frog!” I agree generally with my Goodreads friends' rev It's over, and can't be helped,...as they always say in Turkey when they cut the wrong man's head off." “She dotes on poetry, sir. She adores it; I may say that her whole soul and mind are wound up, and entwined with it. She has produced some delightful pieces, herself, sir. You may have met with her 'Ode to an Expiring Frog,' sir.” “Can I view thee panting, lying On thy stomach, without sighing; Can I unmoved see thee dying On a log Expiring frog!” I agree generally with my Goodreads friends' reviews that Dickens' first novel (published serially in 1836 and 1837), does not really hit its stride until after a couple hundred pages. This boost coincides with the introduction of Dickens' first humorous character, Samuel (Sam) Weller, Mr. Pickwick's personal servant and companion, and his hilarious cockney accent (who pronounces his surname as "Veller," with nearly all beginning W's and V's used interchangeably) and humorous sayings, such as "It's over, and can't be helped, and that's one consolation, as they always say in Turkey when they cut the wrong man's head off." The novel primarily provides a sequence of loosely related comic adventures (much like Don Quixote), though it also contains Dickens' first blasts of sharp social satire, here directed at greedy lawyers and specious lawsuits. I enjoyed it when considering it was Dickens' first and gave way to many more memorable characters and superior stories, such as those in David Copperfield and Great Expectations.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barry Pierce

    Who needs a plot when you have wit?! This is less a novel more a series of continued vignettes disguised as a narrative, and I really liked it. It's essentially "Three Men in a Boat" but 950 pages long. Who needs a plot when you have wit?! This is less a novel more a series of continued vignettes disguised as a narrative, and I really liked it. It's essentially "Three Men in a Boat" but 950 pages long.

  14. 5 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    Gorgeous writing lifts 'The Pickwick Papers' into an upper stratosphere! It isn't often a farce gets five stars from me. This may be Charles Dickens' first novel, built out of a newspaper serial, but there is nothing here to indicate to me that Dickens was struggling to find his voice! He comes out of the gate full speed! Everything which has most critics adoring his later books is here: social satire, a comprehensive set of lively and memorable contemporary 19th-century comical and lovable char Gorgeous writing lifts 'The Pickwick Papers' into an upper stratosphere! It isn't often a farce gets five stars from me. This may be Charles Dickens' first novel, built out of a newspaper serial, but there is nothing here to indicate to me that Dickens was struggling to find his voice! He comes out of the gate full speed! Everything which has most critics adoring his later books is here: social satire, a comprehensive set of lively and memorable contemporary 19th-century comical and lovable characters representing all sectors of society - lawyers, doctors, politically-connected newspaper owners, military soldiers, wealthy educated gentry, the working poor and the middle-class from small farming communities and the slums of London struggling to earn whatever coin they can find whether by legal or illegal means. Also, a ridiculous legal judgement imposed on Samuel Pickwick, the main character whom most of the book follows on several journeys around London and in various adventures in surrounding country inns gives Dickens the opportunity to describe a famous prison where people who could not pay their bills were incarcerated, very likely based on the actual imprisonment of Dicken’s father. The first chapter opens with a formal proclamation being announced to society of an assignment being given to the most highly respected member of an association, along with other friends: 'That the said proposal has received the sanction and approval of this Association. 'That the Corresponding Society of the Pickwick Club is therefore hereby constituted; and that Samuel Pickwick, Esq., G.C.M.P.C., Tracy Tupman, Esq., M.P.C., Augustus Snodgrass, Esq., M.P.C., and Nathaniel Winkle, Esq., M.P.C., are hereby nominated and appointed members of the same; and that they be requested to forward, from time to time, authenticated accounts of their journeys and investigations, of their observations of character and manners, and of the whole of their adventures, together with all tales and papers to which local scenery or associations may give rise, to the Pickwick Club, stationed in London. Dickens, Charles (2007-09-18). Works of Charles Dickens (200+ Works) The Adventures of Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, David Copperfield & more (mobi) (Kindle Locations 161029-161033). MobileReference. Kindle Edition. The meeting does not occur quite as smoothly as this proclamation suggests; there is almost a fistfight among members because of, perhaps, misunderstandings and insults. In any case, the 2-year exploratory set of journeys is begun. Adventures great and small (mostly small) are told in many chapters, and many peculiar individuals cross the path of Pickwick and his friends as they travel in search of edifying experiences with which they hope to educate themselves about their world. Although humorous accidents and failures of judgement cause much trouble and consternation for the intrepid travelers, there is also enlightenment, love, dinner parties, dancing and best of all, lots of good strong ale! Despite some misadventures, the travelers find much that they enjoy: “In plain commonplace matter-of-fact, then, it was a fine morning--so fine that you would scarcely have believed that the few months of an English summer had yet flown by. Hedges, fields, and trees, hill and moorland, presented to the eye their ever-varying shades of deep rich green; scarce a leaf had fallen, scarce a sprinkle of yellow mingled with the hues of summer, warned you that autumn had begun. The sky was cloudless; the sun shone out bright and warm; the songs of birds, the hum of myriads of summer insects, filled the air; and the cottage gardens, crowded with flowers of every rich and beautiful tint, sparkled, in the heavy dew, like beds of glittering jewels. Everything bore the stamp of summer, and none of its beautiful colour had yet faded from the die.” Dickens, Charles (2007-09-18). Works of Charles Dickens (200+ Works) The Adventures of Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, David Copperfield & more (mobi) (Kindle Locations 164672-164678). MobileReference. Kindle Edition. ‘The Pickwick Papers’ is entirely made of beautiful colors!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    4.5 Stars My second novel this year by Dickens, the first was David Copperfield, and I've also read three short stories. For a guy who spent his life scared to even try a novel written by Dickens, I've read a bunch over the last few years. I hope to live long enough to read all of his works. As for Pickwick, I enjoyed it, a lot. I may just be me and again It haven't read all of his work, but it seems that he was testing the waters for future plots and characters. Anyway this was a great way to fin 4.5 Stars My second novel this year by Dickens, the first was David Copperfield, and I've also read three short stories. For a guy who spent his life scared to even try a novel written by Dickens, I've read a bunch over the last few years. I hope to live long enough to read all of his works. As for Pickwick, I enjoyed it, a lot. I may just be me and again It haven't read all of his work, but it seems that he was testing the waters for future plots and characters. Anyway this was a great way to finish off the year 2020. An easy recommendation!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Manray9

    It has been quite some time since a book made me laugh out loud. Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, or more properly The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, did so again and again. The book arose from Dickens' engagement to provide descriptions to accompany a series of comic prints in the popular genre of the picture novel. Dickens' captions grew into serialized articles which appeared in nineteen installments over twenty months during 1836-37. They were then compiled into his first novel and It has been quite some time since a book made me laugh out loud. Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, or more properly The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, did so again and again. The book arose from Dickens' engagement to provide descriptions to accompany a series of comic prints in the popular genre of the picture novel. Dickens' captions grew into serialized articles which appeared in nineteen installments over twenty months during 1836-37. They were then compiled into his first novel and published in 1837 to great public acclaim. The novel exemplifies the early picaresque period of Dickens' writing. The story traces the escapades of Mr. Pickwick, his small group of friends, and his waggish but devoted servant as they travel about England and encounter a menagerie of eccentric characters. The members of the Pickwick Club collect amusing tales in the various locales they visit. While the tales are entertaining and often contain a supernatural element, the Pickwickians themselves are indelible figures and their misadventures are richer in comedy and more colorful than the stories they collect. Due to the original serialization, the novel is episodic. The separations between the installments are easily recognizable. This does not detract from the book in any meaningful manner. Classics are considered such for good reasons and Pickwick Papers serves as a sterling example. As Steven Marcus noted in his Afterword to this Signet Classics edition: ...Pickwick Papers persists as a 'classic' entirely on its own merits; it does not, like so much of our greatest literature, have to be kept alive by schools or colleges. Nor does it have to be rediscovered. Charles Dickens' jewel of a first novel is certainly worthy of a Five Star rating in my library.

  17. 5 out of 5

    ·Karen·

    I found this while clearing out the cellar. The price inside the front cover is one pound seventy five, and there's a card inside from an antiquarian bookshop in St Andrews. I have zero recall of buying it, although I do remember visits to St Andrews, and losing one daughter in the haar at the beach. Luckily it was the sensible daughter, not inclined to panic. "The Biographical Edition, edited by Arthur Waugh, father of Evelyn Waugh, with his introduction in each volume. Waugh had been appointed I found this while clearing out the cellar. The price inside the front cover is one pound seventy five, and there's a card inside from an antiquarian bookshop in St Andrews. I have zero recall of buying it, although I do remember visits to St Andrews, and losing one daughter in the haar at the beach. Luckily it was the sensible daughter, not inclined to panic. "The Biographical Edition, edited by Arthur Waugh, father of Evelyn Waugh, with his introduction in each volume. Waugh had been appointed managing director of Chapman and Hall in 1902 and wasted no time in capitalizing on the firm’s most famous asset. Original 19 volume set, was supplemented with two additional volumes “Miscellaneous Papers” and “Life of Charles Dickens” by John Forster all in uniform green buckram binding with gilt lettering on spine and gold crest on front cover." That's the one! Green binding with gold lettering and crest! Unfortunately it has not aged well, at least not as a physical object. Paper: yellow and too thin, allowing the print on the reverse to shimmer through, and a curiously hard-on-the-eyes typeface. This is partly what slowed me down - there are not enough lamps in the whole of IKEA to make it easy on the peepers. So this is the one that changed everything. This is the one that proved it possible to actually make money from writing. Chapman & Hall rubbed their hands with glee all the way to the bank, and when the original contract for 20 monthly numbers finished in October 1837, they understandably wanted to continue their lucrative partnership with Boz. They had managed to keep their rising star sweet by giving him bonuses, but now they had to re-negotiate the monthly payments. In April 1836, when Dickens started Pickwick, he was paid 20 pounds a month. For Nicholas Nickleby he was offered (dramatic pause) one hundred and fifty. Per month. At a time when an annual income of 100 pounds qualified you into respectability. Incredible really. And although it's chortlingly funny in places and although Mr Pickwick himself is quite adorable, it's a teeny bit hard to understand the hold he had over the reading public of 1836. To some extent its spectacular sales have to be ascribed to a kind of desperation, a starvation. The growing lower middle classes must have been crying out for good stories to read - any other form of entertainment was usually not quite respectable. The only cheap books available were those that were out of copyright - in other words old. New books were beyond the ornery family's means. Affordable alternatives were the 'blood and thunders' - the cheap, nasty, low form of publication that all Dickens's friends warned him against. He would ruin his reputation by associating himself with this kind of weekly or monthly stuff that revolved around Gothic horror, violent crime and sex. So the revolution was not serial publication itself, but the fact that Dickens took this cheap format and went up market with it. A shilling a shot, at a time when a skilled worker in London was earning 30s a week, and his shilling could buy him two pounds of meat. Not cheap. But worth it for several hours of entertainment, and, crucially perhaps, entertainment that you could take home and allow your wife, your daughter and even the serving maid to read. There's nothing here to make a lady blush or corrupt the lower orders either. Good clean fun. And he doesn't make it too obvious that he's filling pages for the money. I mean he doesn't just stuff it with pages and pages of dialogue - nice short lines you see, fills the page nice and quick. He doesn't do that. It's value for money that he offers. Maybe no longer the sort of thing that will clear the streets while everyone reads the latest installment. But a phenomenon nonetheless.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Avery America

    I'm not yet finished with this book, but I can say with certitude that it's one of my favorite works by Dickens. Everything in the book - the hustle and bustle of 19th-century English life, the silly adventures experienced by the company, and the close-knit friendships between the characters, is so artfully done for a first novel that it makes for wonderful reading again and again. I find the four Pickwickians to be so closely intertwined in their escapades that it warms one's heart just to read I'm not yet finished with this book, but I can say with certitude that it's one of my favorite works by Dickens. Everything in the book - the hustle and bustle of 19th-century English life, the silly adventures experienced by the company, and the close-knit friendships between the characters, is so artfully done for a first novel that it makes for wonderful reading again and again. I find the four Pickwickians to be so closely intertwined in their escapades that it warms one's heart just to read of them. From their very first encounter with Jingle, to Mr. Winkle's untimely infatuation, to how much they feared for Mr. Tupman, who the company were convinced would "commit suicide in a fit of romantic despair", as per the commentary upon the novel. And of course, how could I forget Sam Weller..! The relationship between Sam and Mr. Pickwick is such an endearing one. Though it has ofttimes been compared to that between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, there's a very similar dynamic to be found in many of Jules Verne's works, whether Fogg and Passepartout or Arronax and Conseil. I find it so incredibly sweet that Sam is always willing to step up for Mr. Pickwick and aid him in any manner necessary; even though Mr. Pickwick outweighs him with his decades of life experience, he is so profoundly innocent that he simply cannot be without his manservant. Throughout the story, the two develop almost a father-son relationship, which is beautifully complemented by Sam's relationship with his own father, Tony Weller - although the latter did leave his son to run the streets in his youth, it is obvious he cares a great deal about his son and enjoys advising him whenever possible. I would recommend this book for anybody who would enjoy a lighthearted and cozy story about low-key friendship and adventure in the heart of the English countryside and beyond. I daresay it's become one of my personal favorites in my time reading it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    Dickens' first novel shows his comic gift and knack for character development. Really a string of connected episodes rather than a complex novel as he later created, this is still an enjoyable romp. My generic comment about Charles Dickens: First of all, although I am a partisan of Dickens' writing and have read and relished most his works, I concede to three flaws in his oeuvre that are not insignificant. First, while he seemed to develop an almost endless variety of male social types, his female Dickens' first novel shows his comic gift and knack for character development. Really a string of connected episodes rather than a complex novel as he later created, this is still an enjoyable romp. My generic comment about Charles Dickens: First of all, although I am a partisan of Dickens' writing and have read and relished most his works, I concede to three flaws in his oeuvre that are not insignificant. First, while he seemed to develop an almost endless variety of male social types, his female characters are much less well developed. Second, although he portrayed the stark brutality of economic and class inequality with unparalleled clarity, his diagnosis of what needs to be done is flaccidly liberal, suggesting that the wealthy should simply be nicer and more generous to the poor(yet his writings did propitiate structural changes, e.g. to the Poor Laws, in his lifetime). Third, in tying up the loose threads of his extremely complex plots, he often pushes this reader past the boundary of the reasonable suspension of disbelief. Some readers also object to his sentimentalism or to his grotesque characters but I find these extremes create a dynamism in combination with his social criticism. These caveats aside, I deeply enjoy reading Dickens for a number of reasons. He exhibits stratospheric gifts of imagination in portraying extremes of human character in extreme situations. His idiosyncratic characters each have an unmistakable and unforgettable voice. His highly crafted language is endlessly inventive and evocative. Finally, he created a parade of some of the funniest, evilest, and most pathetic characters one will ever encounter and although extreme, they also ring true to equivalent characters from any time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Blaine DeSantis

    I loved this book and am now proud to proclaim myself a Pickwickian!! For years I shied away from Dickens and his novels. But a few years ago I began with A Tale of Two Cities and loved it, despite its overuse of commas and semi-colons! So I decided to give Dickens a try and bought the first five of his novels in paperback form and his entire collection on Kindle. For a year the books just sat on the shelf and stared at me, as did books by Victor Hugo and Dumas. I kept saying I was going to star I loved this book and am now proud to proclaim myself a Pickwickian!! For years I shied away from Dickens and his novels. But a few years ago I began with A Tale of Two Cities and loved it, despite its overuse of commas and semi-colons! So I decided to give Dickens a try and bought the first five of his novels in paperback form and his entire collection on Kindle. For a year the books just sat on the shelf and stared at me, as did books by Victor Hugo and Dumas. I kept saying I was going to start reading Dickens and finally the time came. The Pickwick Papers became my summer reading, as it is a easy book to put down and read others in between, but as time wore on Pickwick's adventures claimed more of my time until about 4 days ago I decided the time had come to finish it before Autumn began and I have accomplished that!! This is Dickens first novel and you can really see the serialized nature of the book as 2-3 chapters were published in his monthly paper. It is a humorous book with many passages causing me to laugh out loud. His characters are great and they are an oddball variety of people who either go with or whom he meets on his two-year trek to discover England. Pickwick had been a rather unwordly person, and who sees the world though almost child-like eyes. Good-hearted and always ready to see the best in everyone, this book is a collection of events during his travels. It is early Dickens but you can already see the keen eye he casts upon so many aspects of British life and society. You can see his disdain for lawyers, his shocking descriptions of debtors prison, his portrayal of doctors all in this book. Yet, wherever he goes he finds an adventure. Probably the weakest parts of the book, for me, is when he throws in totally unrelated tales that he hears of things that have absolutely nothing to do with the book. Some are good but many are just so-so and I could have done without. My favorite of these stories was of the Goblins that stole a Sexton and was related on Christmas Eve. Good story. There are loads of fun and funny characters, there are many scenes that make you just want to laugh out loud until the very last page where we are left with an elderly Pickwick now living in London. It was with a tear that I finished this book, as I felt I had made friends with Mr. Pickwick and his fellow travelers and companions. But it also put me in a mood to read more Dickens, including A Christmas Carol which I have yet to read in my 63 years here on earth. And so I come to the end of this review and give a hale and hearty cheer to my good friend Samuel Pickwick, I will never forget you or your adventures and you have kindled in my heart and spirit a feeling of goodness and revelry that has been missing for the past few years. Farewell Pickwick, we part as friends and say goodbye all the while knowing that you have added one more loyal and dedicated member to The Pickwick Society. Friends and Pickwickians to the end!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Utterly delightful! I knew nothing about this book except it was about something called The Pickwick Club, and is alluded to in other books, like The Hiding Place and Little Women. But I recently decided that I should really read Dickens' other books, since I do enjoy Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol so much! There's not really a plot here, but what there is is a gentleman traveling around England, making friends and enemies, and giving us a look into English society at the time: lawsuit Utterly delightful! I knew nothing about this book except it was about something called The Pickwick Club, and is alluded to in other books, like The Hiding Place and Little Women. But I recently decided that I should really read Dickens' other books, since I do enjoy Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol so much! There's not really a plot here, but what there is is a gentleman traveling around England, making friends and enemies, and giving us a look into English society at the time: lawsuits, elopements, house parties, stagecoach travel, elections, politicians in general, hunting, picnics, spinster aunts, traveling players, debtors prisons and their sad inhabitants. In short, Dickens gives us a very thorough picture of The Life and Times, and it is fascinating!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    I wish I had gotten around to reading Charles Dickens before my English teacher did, because I have spent most of my life erroneously believing that I loathed the author, only to force myself recently into reading through his work in chronological order and discovering that I LOVE Charles Dickens. Seriously, this book is terrible on a technical level, having a plot which wanders all over the place, characters doing a lot of mundane things like eating, going hunting, telling stories which have not I wish I had gotten around to reading Charles Dickens before my English teacher did, because I have spent most of my life erroneously believing that I loathed the author, only to force myself recently into reading through his work in chronological order and discovering that I LOVE Charles Dickens. Seriously, this book is terrible on a technical level, having a plot which wanders all over the place, characters doing a lot of mundane things like eating, going hunting, telling stories which have nothing to do with the plot, etc., but the characters and the writing style are so fun that you forget that the whole thing is just one big shaggy dog ramble. I wouldn't normally be tempted to give 5 stars to something like that, but Dickens made it work for me somehow. When I was young, I think to a certain extent I believed that Dickens was a horror writer. The ghosts from Christmas Carol terrified me when I was a small child, and later in English class, we read the scene from Great Expectations where Pip meets Miss Havisham, and the description of Miss Havisham left me with the impression that she was much like the Cryptkeeper from Tales From the Crypt in a wedding gown. Everything I was exposed to about Dickens when I was young left me with the impression that he was a wordy, depressing bore, or just too scary for me. It probably does not help that English teachers everywhere seem to be enamored of his later "serious books" (read: heavy, depressing tragedies). They are also guilty of burdening what work we do study with obtuse discussions of symbolism, Jungian psychology, and all the other usual methods that teachers use to foster an "appreciation" (read: strong hatred) of classic literature. But here's the thing: you need to make reading FUN if you want to win over new converts to the Church of Dickens or Shakespeare or anyone else, guys. His early novels may be silly fun, and sometimes read as though they were written by a Victorian J.K. Rowling, but that is actually a STRONG point in Dickens' favor! The early Harry Potter books were much the same way - silly, fluffy - but reading those first prepares the reader to accept the darker, more serious tone of the latter books, because we are already in love with the author and therefore care about what happens to the author's characters. I believe this is the crucial point as to why Dickens was so loved and sold wildly with his original Victorian audience, but later generations perceive him as depressing school drudgework, an author you HAVE to read, but really don't want to. He was introduced to the Victorians by books like Pickwick Papers and Sketches by Boz, not by Bleak House. (ugh, the name alone sounds like a chore to read) If you've ever stalled out with Dickens by starting with his later books, I encourage you to give him a try in chronological order of publication. I'm personally looking forward to the later books now, because I have become a Dickensian convert by the persuasive power of this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    I began reading this hilariously comical,slapstick,humorous book just after 1am New Years day. (I had been chomping at the bit to start it and it didn't disappoint.) All month I have read every day 2 chapters and made notes of what happened in most, and nearly every day I have had a smile on my face. The first day I was taken by a description of Mr Pickwicks apparel...I love this description in the opening few pages that "Pickwicks tights and gaiters if they had been on an ordinary man' would have I began reading this hilariously comical,slapstick,humorous book just after 1am New Years day. (I had been chomping at the bit to start it and it didn't disappoint.) All month I have read every day 2 chapters and made notes of what happened in most, and nearly every day I have had a smile on my face. The first day I was taken by a description of Mr Pickwicks apparel...I love this description in the opening few pages that "Pickwicks tights and gaiters if they had been on an ordinary man' would have passed without observation but when Pickwick 'clothed them' they inspired involuntary awe and respect." As well as Mr Pickwick we are introduced to Mr Winkle (sportsman?) Mr Tupman (Ladiesman?) and Mr Snodgrass (poet?). These said gentlemen are the Pickwick club and go with Mr Pickwick on his travels around the country. About a quarter of the way into the book we are introduced to "Samivel Sam Weller" who is the cockniest cokney I have ever 'heard' !! and I admit on occasion I had to double back to check what was being said but I bet this way of writing worked brilliantly when it was read aloud as I assume it would have been to many people on its release and how excited they must have been to get the next part so eagerly waited for and bought by many to share. Sam turns out to be a wonderful and very loyal servant to Mr P so much so that he finds a way to be in Fleet debtors prison with him when he is accused of breach of promise by an ambitious widow. Mr Pickwick is saddened to see Messrs Jingle and Trotter in the "poor" side of the prison half starved and very sorry. These 2 reprobates had caused so much trouble for the "Pickwickians" on there travels around the country eloping with a lady who had to be saved, a pair of conmen but even then Pickwick found it in his heart to forgive them. In between the main story are others told by minor characters of which my favorite is "The Bagmans Uncle" a spooky story about the mail coaches which i will re read on its own. There is a plethora of adventures, misadventures, marriages,parties,elopements, and even an election within the pages of this book and it was a great pleasure to have joined them over my month of reading about them. A final quote from Mr Dickens that felt like I was leaving old friends, "It is the fate of men who mingle with the world and attain even the prime of life,to make many real friends and lose them in the course of nature.It is the fate of all authors or chroniclers to create imaginary friends and lose them in the course of art" I add to this that.. "It is the fate of all readers to find friends within the pages of a book and to have to leave them at the close"

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roy Lotz

    “It’s always best on these occasions to do what the mobs do.” “But suppose there are two mobs?” suggested Mr. Snodgrass. “Shout with the largest,” replied Mr. Pickwick. This is a tough book to review, because it doesn’t seem to need one. The Pickwick Papers is, for the most part, a silly, uncomplicated, and enjoyable novel. His first book, Charles Dickens wrote it at the ripe old age of twenty-four, when most of us are hardly prepared to read a book of this length, much less write one. Dickens “It’s always best on these occasions to do what the mobs do.” “But suppose there are two mobs?” suggested Mr. Snodgrass. “Shout with the largest,” replied Mr. Pickwick. This is a tough book to review, because it doesn’t seem to need one. The Pickwick Papers is, for the most part, a silly, uncomplicated, and enjoyable novel. His first book, Charles Dickens wrote it at the ripe old age of twenty-four, when most of us are hardly prepared to read a book of this length, much less write one. Dickens was originally asked simply to provide short descriptions to accompany comedic drawings; but Dickens’s ambition quickly grew, and the unfortunate illustrator meanwhile shot himself, which led to the young author taking over the project. The plot follows the peregrinations of Mr. Pickwick, esquire, as well as his fellow Pickwikians, Mr. Snodgrass, Mr. Winkle, and Mr. Tupman, and his servant, the jolly and oblique Mr. Samuel Weller. Misadventures are had, mistakes are made, misunderstandings are rampant, a few men end up having to chase their hats, there are a few marriages and imprisonments en route, and everything ends well. This book is, however, fascinating in one special respect. As he typically did, Dickens wrote this book in installments; and thus it is possible to see the young author developing before our very eyes, from the front page to the last. The beginning is, although full of good fun, a bit shaky and scatterbrained; but by three-fourths of the way through, the full Dickens has emerged. We have exaggerated personalities, sentimental love-stories, biting social satire, silly names aplenty, a neat plot resolution, and a happily-ever-after. It is a brilliant beginning to a brilliant career.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    Okay, so I have a confession to make. I have never really read any Dickens. Some of my family were big into him, but I never got around to it. I may have read A Christmas Carol some time, but don't think that counts. At any rate, one of my projects consists of always reading some Chesterton, and as it happened, I am now reading Chesterton's collection of pieces on Dickens. So Chesterton convinced me that I needed to read some Dickens, and so I chose Pickwick. I enjoyed it as I went, and by the e Okay, so I have a confession to make. I have never really read any Dickens. Some of my family were big into him, but I never got around to it. I may have read A Christmas Carol some time, but don't think that counts. At any rate, one of my projects consists of always reading some Chesterton, and as it happened, I am now reading Chesterton's collection of pieces on Dickens. So Chesterton convinced me that I needed to read some Dickens, and so I chose Pickwick. I enjoyed it as I went, and by the end found it curiously satisfying.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    great humerous portrait of victorian society, not a book if you're in your 20s but if you're in your 40s you will definitely enjoy this great classic. No other author can set his characters better in scene, I had to laugh about the names of the characters and the adventures they faced... magnificent, afterwards, please to to London... great humerous portrait of victorian society, not a book if you're in your 20s but if you're in your 40s you will definitely enjoy this great classic. No other author can set his characters better in scene, I had to laugh about the names of the characters and the adventures they faced... magnificent, afterwards, please to to London...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Wolf

    Done, finally! I've been on a mission to read more Dickens, and ended up reading Pickwick Papers with my book group this year. Parts are quite funny, and overall it's silly and endearing, but it lacks the deeper impact of some of his masterpieces. Done, finally! I've been on a mission to read more Dickens, and ended up reading Pickwick Papers with my book group this year. Parts are quite funny, and overall it's silly and endearing, but it lacks the deeper impact of some of his masterpieces.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul Secor

    I'm not sure what I expected when I began reading The Pickwick Papers. It turned out to be a rambling series of adventures involving a multitude of characters. It was originally published in a periodical over a period of twenty months. I decided to read it that fashion, though I only spent nine months reading it. While reading it, I had the feeling that there were points at which Dickens could have reasonably ended the novel by tying things up. He didn't and wrote it out to the ending which was r I'm not sure what I expected when I began reading The Pickwick Papers. It turned out to be a rambling series of adventures involving a multitude of characters. It was originally published in a periodical over a period of twenty months. I decided to read it that fashion, though I only spent nine months reading it. While reading it, I had the feeling that there were points at which Dickens could have reasonably ended the novel by tying things up. He didn't and wrote it out to the ending which was right for him. Similarly, there were points where I felt that my reading had come to a point where I reasonably could have stopped. I didn't and I read it out until I came to the ending which Dickens had chosen. For my part, I'm glad that I did.

  29. 4 out of 5

    El

    Charles Dickens was in his mid-20s when he wrote The Pickwick Papers. I'm in my mid-30s and I think just going to work in the morning makes me pretty successful. Don't go into reading this as a linear novel. These are loosely-connected stories surrounding the members of the Pickwick Club. In fact, the actual title of the book is The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club containing a faithful record of the perambulations, perils, travels, adventures and sporting transactions of the corresponding Charles Dickens was in his mid-20s when he wrote The Pickwick Papers. I'm in my mid-30s and I think just going to work in the morning makes me pretty successful. Don't go into reading this as a linear novel. These are loosely-connected stories surrounding the members of the Pickwick Club. In fact, the actual title of the book is The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club containing a faithful record of the perambulations, perils, travels, adventures and sporting transactions of the corresponding members. Yeah. All of that. Dickens came through in those areas - there is a little of everything, and that's what makes this book fun. It's sort of clunky and slapsticky, just like the members themselves, who find themselves in all sorts of fantastic situations. The best is the relationship between Samuel Pickwick and his servant, Sam Weller. I won't be the first (and certainly not the last) to compare them to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. There are similarities there, and their interactions can be just as hilarious as the Spanish originals. But Dickens has a lot of filler. A lot of filler. I never think his books need to be nearly as long as they are, and this one was no exception. We see Dickens taking his first writerly steps with this novel, and that's fun to see. You can see him grow throughout the book and you can see themes and motifs emerge that are familiar to readers of his later books. And then, much to my surprise, there's an entire chapter involving goblins. Goblins. Fantastic. Not necessary, but fantastic. I am glad to have read it, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Dickens. While the chapters are relatively short and read pretty quickly because of the fun antics the Pickwickians get into, I found myself easily distracted. If for no other reason, read this book for an example of the author's characterizations. Man could write exciting characters better than many.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    The Pickwick Papers is the first published work by Charles Dickens. Its' success skyrocketed Dickens to the forefront of English Literature at a time when England was hungry for new authors. It was originally serialized as monthly installments, with the first coming out in March of 1836, and the last completing in late 1837. At the time of publication society in England was at a bit of an intellectual impasse, they wanted new literature, but they weren’t quite ready for anything difficult, they w The Pickwick Papers is the first published work by Charles Dickens. Its' success skyrocketed Dickens to the forefront of English Literature at a time when England was hungry for new authors. It was originally serialized as monthly installments, with the first coming out in March of 1836, and the last completing in late 1837. At the time of publication society in England was at a bit of an intellectual impasse, they wanted new literature, but they weren’t quite ready for anything difficult, they wanted something comforting and relatable, hence the decision made by publishers to create a monthly serial of stories surrounding a “nimrod” gentlemen's club in England. It would be something to look forward to, something that readers would relish returning to. But with that being said, Dickens had to be careful to slip in his on political and social agenda without overwhelming the reader (Especially in the beginning stages, as new readers are typically as fickle as newborn babies). Later, with his readers trust cemented, Dickens could more brashly dip his toes into subjects that deeply distressed him Dickens didn’t dream of The Pickwick Papers being a novel until the work was well under way, and as such the beginning half of the work reads as a miscellany of non linear stories. It isn’t until halfway when Dickens finally begins to thread together a tale with a common event - Bardell v. Pickwick. This is a work that wears many hats. It is at times a farce, a comedy, a satire, a scathing reproach of english ideals, a drama, a love story (in as much as a love story can be written by an inexperienced young man), a gentleman’s club, a coming of age story, an adventure, a supernatural ghost story, a fantasy, a philosophical ramble and a fever dream. Dickens tries them all on, and interchanges them as he likes. He tries on different motifs and twists them to his will, endlessly surprising readers of old and of new. This was a great beginning for Dickens because it allowed him to try on various styles, themes and genres, often at the same time. We could begin a chapter on a note of innocent farce and end on a note of humble introspection. TPWP was where he found himself as a writer, what worked and didn't work. The Pickwick Papers was originally presented as an archive of actual stories from an actual club, edited by a narrator named Boz (a pen name chosen by Dickens, and first used in his “Sketches by Boz” that originally turned the progenitors of TPWP to Dickens). Englanders were enticed by these seemingly ~real~ fictional events. The mystique behind what was true and what was false allowed Dickens to really satirize his readers without causing offense, instead it incited a desire for change. In fact, many things did change from the time of the first chapters publication to the last chapters culmination. We get the beginnings here of things we come now to recognize as “Dickensian”; Ie, a focus on social injustices through satire and other lenses, the horror of debtors prisons (look up Marshalsea & The Fleet if you want a deep dive into this), and the incongruous nature of the legal system. All of these topics come up again at some point in his other works. We also get to see inklings of his works to come, such as a chapter so similar to A Christmas Carol and his other Christmas works that I hesitate to reveal much (i’ll just say that if you’re in a Christmas mood, please return to chapter 27 & 28). We get to see phrases that we associate now with Dickens such as “humbug”used as an insult to Mr. Pickwick in chapter one. Many of the events in TPWP were influenced by Dickens on life. His time growing up in a debtors prison reflects Pickwick's experience in The Fleet Prison. We see a lot of Dickens in his characters, chiefly in Pickwick, the perpetual recorder– Dickens spent most of his own early life as a journalist recording other people's adventures (And oftener misadventures.) These experiences shaped him and culminated in his fierce reprisal towards social injustices. There is a reason Dickens and Pickwick are still celebrated today. TPWP is an honest look at 1800’s England, a study of both culture, landscapes and history. Many of the jokes within are lost on readers today, and require the use of footnotes, but at the time they were both amusing as they were intelligent. Though a success, it had its struggles: The original illustrator killed himself, the replacement illustrator had production issues, a death in Dickens' family delayed publication and sales diminished during these hardships. In the introduction to my edition of The Pickwick Papers, the editor calls it a "messy masterpiece" and I think I have to agree with that statement. Like many early successes, Dickens came to regret the cult following TPWP gained in England, as he had long since moved on to more thematically deep and structurally sound works. TPWP felt immature to him in comparison. As such, in subsequent editions Dickens made copious changes and added to his ever growing list of errata. In my edition, many of Dickens' errata have been reverted. Conclusion For my own experience, I have to admit that I at times felt like reading this was a slog. But I lend that more to the speed at which i read it, compared to the speed that I should have read it. I would recommend taking your time reading this one, and if possible reading it along the original publication schedule. The pacing can be inconsistent, and especially in the beginning the chapters can feel disjointed. Certain characters all but disappear, possibly due to Dickens' losing interest (Where exactly did Tupman and Snodgrass get off to?) Women were only in the book as objects of romantic conquest and seemed to do little more than look pretty and faint frequently. Though, I do have to admit to having a guilty pleasure for jokes about predatory widows now thanks to Mr. Weller. At the same time, I did find this to become a cozy read, and I was sad to close it when it was over. I spent many a cozy evening falling asleep with TPWP in my hands. I did enjoy these characters and their ridiculous antics, and this window into 1800 England felt like stepping through to another world. Dickens is masterful at turning motifs upside down and his fantastical chapters were my favorite (see chapters 14, 22, 28, 48). If you want to read about chairs turning into men, goblins chastising drunks in cemeteries, and old mail carts coming alive at night, look no further than these chapters. I genuinely laughed out loud in almost every chapter at some shenanigan or other, and for that I really have to commend Dickens. And as Pickwick says at the end, reflecting both the author and the readers thoughts: "I shall never regret having devoted the greater part of two years to mixing with different varieties and shades of human character, frivolous as my pursuit of novelty may have appeared to many." "Let us leave our old friend in one of those moments of unmixed happiness, of which, if we seek them, there are ever some to cheer our transitory existence here. There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. Some men, like bats or owls, have better eyes for the darkness than for the light; we, who have no such optical powers, are better pleased to take our last parting look at the visionary companions of many solitary hours, when the brief sunshine of the world is blazing full upon them." "It is the fate of most men who mingle with the world and attain even the prime of life, to make many real friends, and lose them in the course of nature. It is the fate of all authors or chroniclers to create imaginary friends, and lose them in the course of art." References: Dickens by Peter Ackroyd

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.