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The Diary of a Nobody

The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith
By: (1847-1912)

Grossmith’s comic novel unveils the daily chronicles of the pompous and clumsy middle-aged clerk Charles Pooter, who has just moved to the London suburb of Holloway with his wife Carrie. Nonetheless, the family’s fresh start is not quite what they had in mind. Set in the late Victorian era, the diary accurately documents the manners, customs, trends and experiences of the time.

First appearing in Punch magazine through the years 1888-89, The Diary of a Nobody was first published in book form in 1892 and has entertained readers ever since. Written as diary entries, the novel records the daily mishaps and follows the humiliations of the Pooter family. Life in the Pooter household consists of busy interactions, endless renovations and mundane chores, giving the impression of an ordinary functioning family. However, it is this simplicity that ignites humor as the scenarios are played out. The social ladder is of key importance in the novel, as the Pooters high social aspirations are depicted through their humorous attempts to conceal their lower middle class status. Unsurprisingly, their attempts backfire and only make them look more ridiculous in the eyes of their acquaintances. Pooter’s obliviousness and pretentious behavior is often the core of his minor feuds and public acts of humiliation. Moreover, fuel is added to the fire when the reckless Lupin suddenly appears at his parent’s doorstep and merely sheds more light and embarrassment on the household. Throughout the satire, Pooter is nothing less than a magnet for trouble and must face the never ending cycle of social gatherings, home renovations and finding solutions to work and family differences.

Victorian society, social class and self-importance are just some of the themes explored in these humorous, yet strikingly familiar everyday situations. The wits and creativity with which Grossmith cautiously illustrates Victorian society and its synthetic values throughout the novel, is what truly marks the novel as a work of genius. For it is the empty vessels that make the most sound.Grossmith’s comic novel unveils the daily chronicles of the pompous and clumsy middle-aged clerk Charles Pooter, who has just moved to the London suburb of Holloway with his wife Carrie. Nonetheless, the family’s fresh start is not quite what they had in mind. Set in the late Victorian era, the diary accurately documents the manners, customs, trends and experiences of the time.

First appearing in Punch magazine through the years 1888-89, The Diary of a Nobody was first published in book form in 1892 and has entertained readers ever since. Written as diary entries, the novel records the daily mishaps and follows the humiliations of the Pooter family. Life in the Pooter household consists of busy interactions, endless renovations and mundane chores, giving the impression of an ordinary functioning family. However, it is this simplicity that ignites humor as the scenarios are played out. The social ladder is of key importance in the novel, as the Pooters high social aspirations are depicted through their humorous attempts to conceal their lower middle class status. Unsurprisingly, their attempts backfire and only make them look more ridiculous in the eyes of their acquaintances. Pooter’s obliviousness and pretentious behavior is often the core of his minor feuds and public acts of humiliation. Moreover, fuel is added to the fire when the reckless Lupin suddenly appears at his parent’s doorstep and merely sheds more light and embarrassment on the household. Throughout the satire, Pooter is nothing less than a magnet for trouble and must face the never ending cycle of social gatherings, home renovations and finding solutions to work and family differences.

Victorian society, social class and self-importance are just some of the themes explored in these humorous, yet strikingly familiar everyday situations. The wits and creativity with which Grossmith cautiously illustrates Victorian society and its synthetic values throughout the novel, is what truly marks the novel as a work of genius. For it is the empty vessels that make the most sound.


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 11 reviews)

Reviewer: - September 23, 2016
Subject: Book
I didn't know what to expect when I decided to open this book. I was VERY surprised! I thought this book was a hoot! The reader was spot on!
Reviewer: - April 29, 2016
Subject: Reader is superb
This is a very funny book, especially if you like dry humor. The reader was really excellent and perfect for the part. ThIs was very professional sounding, which was quite a pleasant surprise because it is not often the case on free audiobooks. Wish he would record more!
December 21, 2015
Delightfull and amusing read, love the satirical portrayel of the characters.
Reviewer: - September 10, 2015
The reader was excellent but I was bored.
Reviewer: - July 25, 2015
Subject: Reader / Book
Well i was not sure what the book was going to be worth it. However with this reader with the voice he has makes this book come to life and very well worth the time. I enjoyed the book and i think the reader made this possible. I am glad you have found this reader. Thanks for the Entertainment.
Reviewer: - April 4, 2014
Subject: good laugh
Subtle, not silly, reader was excellent-just the right low-keyed tone.
Reviewer: - March 21, 2014
Subject: Comedy
This is a very hilarious book I recommend this book.
Reviewer: - January 14, 2014
Subject: Lovely little story
Excellent and light hearted story with a great reader! Thanks!!!
Reviewer: - July 23, 2013
Subject: Very fun
This is a light-hearted and very fun read. The reader was perfect.
Reviewer: - July 14, 2013
Subject: Ditto to all
What a total delight. The story is fascinating, charming, and full of character while remaining understated and suave. Martin Clifton is a masterful narrator, and I notice his stories have been selected as favorites. Listening to this book was a wonderful experience.
Reviewer: - March 1, 2013
Subject: Fantastic
Delivered just right. Martin Clifton to me felt like Mr. Pooter him self.


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