Read The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens David Timson Online


The Pickwick Papers, Dickens's first novel, is a delightful romp through the pre-Reform Bill England of 1827. Samuel Pickwick and the rest of the Pickwickians are some of the most memorable of all Dickens's creations, and it is a joy to hear of their adventures in search of 'interesting scenes and characters', and the repeated efforts of the quick-witted Sam Weller to rescThe Pickwick Papers, Dickens's first novel, is a delightful romp through the pre-Reform Bill England of 1827. Samuel Pickwick and the rest of the Pickwickians are some of the most memorable of all Dickens's creations, and it is a joy to hear of their adventures in search of 'interesting scenes and characters', and the repeated efforts of the quick-witted Sam Weller to rescue them all from disaster....

Title : The Pickwick Papers
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ISBN : 9781843795551
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 25 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Pickwick Papers Reviews

  • Pouting Always
    2019-06-08 08:20

    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.

  • Darwin8u
    2019-06-16 07:22

    “what was over couldn't be begun, and what couldn't be cured must be endured;” ― Charles Dickens, The Pickwick PapersThis 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.

  • Jean
    2019-06-10 04:07

    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.

  • MJ Nicholls
    2019-06-01 03:28

    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.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-06-10 07:11

    The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, Charles Dickens The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (also known as 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 (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 after the original illustrator Robert Seymour had committed suicide. Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely related adventures. The action is given as occurring 1827–8, though critics have noted some seeming anachronisms. It has been stated that Dickens satirized the case of George Norton suing Lord Melbourne in The Pickwick Papers. 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).تاریخ نخستین خوانش: پانزدهم ماه ژوئن سال 1987 میلادیعنوان: ماجراهای آقای پیک ویک؛ مترجم: محمدتقی دانیا؛عنوان: یادداشتهای پیک ویک؛ مترجم: پرویز همتیان بروجنی؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1394؛ در دو جلد؛ شابک دوره: 9786002295095؛ شابک جلد 1: 9786002295101؛ شابک جلد 2: 9786002295118؛ موضوع: داستانهای کلاسیک از نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 19 ماقای پیک ویک نجیب زاده پولداری ست که اهل پژوهش است و باشگاهی دارد که اعضای باشگاه باهم دوست هستند و ماجراهایی مختلفی میافرینند که تا حدودی طنزآمیز است. ماجراها: خرابکاری در مهمانی، حاضر شدن در دادگاه و .... رخدادها برای چند رفیق با اخلاقهای ویژه؛ یادداشت‌های پیک ویک را چالز دیکنز در بیست و چهارسالگی نوشت و نخستین اثر داستانی ایشان نیز به شمار است. پیش از آن مجموعه ای از یادداشتهای مطبوعاتی خود را که رنگ و بوی روایی نیز داشتند در مطبوعات منتشر کرده بود. موفقیت همان یادداشتها باعث شد ناشر پیشنهاد نوشتن داستانی دنباله دار به دیکنز بدهد که حاصل آن یادداشتهای پیک ویک شد. یادداشتهای پیک ویک چنان بر داستایفسکی تأثیر میگذارد که به اعتراف خود ایشان شخصیت اصلی رمان معروفش ابله را با الهام و تاثیرپذیری از آقای پیک ویک و دن کیشوت شکل میدهد. ا. شربیانی

  • Jan-Maat
    2019-05-29 04:17

    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 park(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.

  • Jonfaith
    2019-05-31 05:31

    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 proltarian 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.

  • Cindy Newton
    2019-06-09 08:10

    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)!

  • Perry
    2019-06-08 05:10

    It's over, and can't be helped, 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, lyingOn thy stomach, without sighing;Can I unmoved see thee dyingOn a logExpiring 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.

  • ·Karen·
    2019-05-31 06:25

    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.

  • Barry Pierce
    2019-06-05 08:14

    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.

  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    2019-05-21 08:15

    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!

  • Brad
    2019-06-06 03:26

    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.

  • lorinbocol
    2019-06-12 05:24

    a dir la verità volevo solo segnare in uìsclist questa nuova, bellissima, irrinunciabile edizione di pickwick appena uscita da einaudi. solo che mannaggia, goodreads fa casino - oppure io non lo so usare, che è possibilissimo - e inserendo questa nuova (bellissima e irrinunciabile e appena uscita) mi ha tolto la vecchia copia tetrastellata di adelphi, nella traduzione del buon lodovico terzi. lodovico con la o, che è classe 1925.ora qualcuno mi dice che scrivendo il commento a una delle due edizioni è possibile poi inserire anche l'altra, e quindi eccomi. aggiungo che marco rossari mi piace discretamente, ha scritto anche di dylan, inteso come bob (o di sè attraverso dylan) e di guccini (o di sè attraverso guccini) e ho un suo sfizioso libello sulle malattie letterarie (se è su di lui anche quello, rossari sta messo peggio di quanto sembri) e voglio credere che nella mia libreria questo dickens finirà accanto al volume di moby-dick ritradotto da ottavio fatica. sezione preferiti di sempre.ho il vizio dei supercoralli, ma giuro che sto cercando di smettere.

  • Manray9
    2019-05-21 03:06

    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 as an edition 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 obviously 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.

  • Roy Lotz
    2019-05-25 05:19

    “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.

  • Duffy Pratt
    2019-05-25 07:13

    This book caused a huge sensation when it first appeared in serialization. I'm at a loss. It makes me wonder whether people in Victorian England had anything to do.I initially tried to read this along the serialization schedule, finishing several chapters a month. That didn't work out. Ordinarily, that plan fails because I can't wait to rush ahead. Here, the problem was that nothing was luring me back to this book, and I happily read other things I found more interesting and entertaining. But, I do want to read all of Dickens (albeit slowly), and here the best solution was to force myself through to the end. That's how I got through the last half.I thought some of it was amusing. But for me, it never got much more than that. And I never got fully engaged with it. In some ways, reading this book reminded me of watching a somewhat dated sitcom from TV. There were some interesting episodes, but the characters never became more than paper thing, and there was pretty much no development at all along the way. Perhaps, when it came out, it served the same function as sitcoms did in the 60s and 70s. But, to me at least, Pickwick seems at least as dated as The Dick Van Dyke, and considerably less fun.The amazing thing is that the Victorians were right about Dickens, and if this book skyrocketed his career, it can't be all bad. And it's really not all bad, or I should say that it's not bad at all. It's just not as fun as I expected.

  • Douglas Wilson
    2019-06-01 03:16

    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.

  • Fábio Martins
    2019-06-11 04:18

    Só por manifesta falta de bom senso poderia presumir que teria alguma coisa a acrescentar às verdadeiras teses que existem acerca desta colecção de fascículos. Digo,por isso, pouco,sobre este livro colossal (em sentido lato e literal) :Pickwick existe. É tão incontornavel quanto inesquecível. Fica comigo,mais que a epopeia pitoresca, a marca de água de uma alma que se vai desenhando devagar,com a firmeza e o vagar das coisas que, de facto, o são.

  • Lucrezia
    2019-06-10 06:24

    Venghino Miss e Mrs (beh adattiamoci al posto dove ci troviamo )qui c' è posto per tutti , la carrozza è spaziosa al interno , e se non ci si sta c' è l' imperiale , o altrimenti qualcuno si siederà a cassetta con il vetturino .... Ma si mettano comodi lor signori! Ci siamo? Siete tutti belli comodi e sistemati, bene si parte !Questo sarà un giro particolare perché vi porterò a conoscere un po di nuovi amici , ma ormai ( dopo circa 877 pagine ) direi quasi di conoscerli da lungo tempo , curiosi compagni di viaggio essi sono, ma cosi adorabili che è impossibile non affezionarglisi , e poi ne abbiamo passate tante insieme.. Sapete? Siamo addirittura finiti in carcere! E ci siamo fatti amici anche lì ... Ma andiamo con ordine inizierò presentandovi il fautore di tutto ciò colui che fondando questa meravigliosa corporazione o associazione , o come diavolo vi salti in mente di definirla , che è il circolo Pickwick ha dato inizio alle nostre peregrinazioni e ai molti accidenti che ci sono capitati... E qual mirabile onore è stato seguire i suoi amici e lui su e giù per l' Inghilterra, fra una locanda e l' altre , fra un temporale e l' altro , fra una casa in campagna ed un altra ,fra una storia e un altra . Ammirate questo austero gentiluomo nel suo portamento e nelle sue maniere , osservate che aura di grandezza gli tiene subito dietro "Salute a lei signor Pickwick!" . Ed ecco! inseparabile dietro di lui il suo fedele servitore ed amico Sam Weller! "Salute signor Weller! Come se la passa?" "Comunque la vada, la va bene, come osservò quel signore quando gli dettero la pensione." "Credo che voi vi troviate al servizio del signor Pickwick. Parlate se non vi dispiace, signor Weller."" Non mi dispiace niente affatto, signore. Io mi trovo al servizio di questo signore qui, e gli è davvero un servizio eccellente.""Poca fatica e molto da buscare, eh?""Oh, molto da buscare, come disse il soldato quando gli ordinarono le trecentocinquanta legnate sul sedere, "E questo era il signor Weller , ma andiamo avanti ,ci sono ancora molte e interessanti personalità ,di cui dobbiamo fare conoscenza ... oh ! Ecco! quei mirabili signori che ci vengono incontro altri non sono che i membri del circolo Pickwick i signori Tupman , Snodgrass, e Winkle. Il signor Winkle è un maestro in ogni tipo di sport , specie nella caccia , il signor Tupman è la più gentile cordiale e sentimentale delle persone , il signor Snodgrass poi è la più galante delle persone ... "I miei ossequi signori ! " Oh ma chi è quel enorme ragazzo cui sembra che i bottoni della camicia stiano per scoppiare? Ma è Joe! "Ehi Joe!" Benedetto ragazzo ! Stava ancora dormendo , ma del resto nella sua vita non fa altro che bere e mangiare ... un attimino signori , ma dove è Joe , deve esseri anche il suo padrone il sognor Wardle ...Oh eccolo là che arriva insieme alle sue figlie e ai suoi amici...Salutiamo anche loro ... Bene direi che adesso è il momento di fermarci per far riposare i cavalli , non sono mica come quelli fantasmi della storia del commesso viaggiatore ... Come?? non sapete di cosa parlo?? Ma no, no , non voglio svelare la sorpresa , andate a prendere il libro ... ;) Qualche nota pratica non comprate per nulla al mondo l' edizione Baldini Castoldi Dalai ( è quella che ho letto io ) è piena zeppa di refusi ; e dei più fastidiosi , frasi ripetute , parole scambiate , e verbi improponibili . Ripiegate sulla Adelphi che è meglio ;)

  • Gwen
    2019-05-30 09:19

    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.

  • Antonia Hall
    2019-05-28 05:24

    If you read much Dickens, you can tell that this tale is not quite as dark as others; without as much gloom and visions of good v evil as in his other works. This is a wonderful story and its most memorable character is the affable Sam Weller who is poor, humble, hardworking and just plain good and fun to listen to especially with his comparison speech and amusing sayings. Timson is a skilled and clever reader with all of the voices and inflections probably just as Dickens would have wanted them.

  • Emily Dybdahl
    2019-06-09 03:09

    Mr. Pickwick is a middle-aged gentleman of considerable means who enjoys life and adventures and wants to share that joy with his best friends. He has taken under his wing several young men, and though he remains a bachelor, he still maintains a "father but also friend" relationship with these other members of the Pickwick Club. The personality of Mr. Pickwick is quixotic but less daft. He loves to party but is very generous and keeps a sharp lookout on the well-being of his friends and those on whom he takes pity. He's also a stubborn man of principle and when an unfair court case determines against him, he decides to go to debtor's prison rather than pay the sleazy lawyers. He might be the main character of the story, but the guy who really stole the show is Sam Weller. (Or is it Veller? Probably Veller, but he interchanges his "w's" and "v's" so it's hard to tell! I've encountered this before in reading Dickens, but usually he has his characters only substitute "w's" for "v's" and not vice versa too...but this is his first big famous novel so maybe he toned it down later in life...All I know is, it mixes me up in reading the rest of the book for awhile and I'm so curious if people really spoke like that? It doesn't make any linguistic sense to me but I'm not an expert.) Anyway, Sam Weller is the prime comedian, prime sidekick, and prime voice of reason-calm, chill in every situation, hilariously but not always consciously offensive, stubborn, fiercely loyal, and discerningly affectionate. He's a better Sancho Panza to Pickwick's Quixote. Nothing fazes him. This book reminded me of Don Quixote too in that it included some stories within the story, and between these often very dark inner stories, and the mostly lighthearted larger story, Dickens showed his anecdotes about society, and I found some of them to be limited to his time period while some were timeless. As one (timeless) example, Mr. Tiggins is a character who is a "reverend" but more so a cult leader of the local temperance society. Mr. Tiggins is that greatly exaggerated person who is a complete hypocrite, being that he is an extreme alcoholic, who has probably decided to lead a temperance society because of his weaselly manipulative nature in conning the ladies into giving him money "for a great cause". "Mr. Stiggins did not desire his hearers to be upon their guard against those false prophets and wretched mockers of religion, who, without sense to expound its first doctrines or hearts to feel its first principles, are more dangerous members of society than the common criminal, imposing, as they necessarily do, upon the weakest and worst informed, casting scorn and contempt on what should be held most sacred and bringing into partial disrepute large bodies of virtuous and well-conducted persons of many excellent sects and persuasions."This novel, like the ones I've read before by Dickens, was light-hearted and entertaining and just a fun read, but was also clever and thought-provoking. I'd recommend to anyone who doesn't mind reading books that are super long.

  • El
    2019-05-20 10:20

    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.

  • Poncho
    2019-05-23 08:17

    Written in a very witty narrative, depicting memorable characters such as Sam Weller, The Pickwick Papers is the announcement of one of the greatest writers ever, who wrote this at the same age of he who is currently writing this deficient intent of a review. If you're in the mood for humour and yet you want to taste the treats of high-quality literature, this book may be what you're looking for. Its characters will surely be impregnated in your heart for ever, as well as some passages and some of Dickens's masterly artistic merits. Far from an encouragement to read this book, I don't have much to say about it.

  • Davide
    2019-05-29 09:14

    Dickens, che aveva scaldato i motori con gli Sketches by Boz, nel marzo 1836 fa partire una serie mensile che nasce dalla richiesta degli editori Chapman & Hall. All'inizio sembra una scelta piuttosto alimentare: scrive alla fidanzata Catherine Hogarth (che il 2 aprile 1836 diventava sua moglie): «the emolument is too tempting to resist». L’idea era di fornire il testo per accompagnare vignette sportive umoristiche disegnate dal popolare artista Robert Seymour, che però si suicida dopo il secondo numero, e le illustrazioni sono portate avanti da Robert William Buss (il terzo numero) e poi soprattutto da Hablot K. Browne (col soprannome di Nemo e poi di Phiz), che rimarrà legato a Dickens per diversi anni. Boz e Phiz, eh sì!Ottenne un grande successo popolare, anche finanziario (le vendite iniziano a crescere dal quarto numero; dalle 400 copie del primo numero si arriverà all’eccezionale tiratura di 40.000 copie del numero 15!). L’edizione in volume esce il 17 novembre 1837.Il primo vero successo di Dickens, insomma. Il fatto è che via via modifica l’idea iniziale e la trasforma in quello che diventa il suo primo romanzo, soprattutto usando il viaggio-vagabondaggio come struttura portante complessiva. Quindi una impalcatura unitaria ma apertissima, che permette incontri con vari tipi di persone, e la possibilità di seguire i diversi legami che instaurano tra loro; e lascia spazio a svariati ritorni. Perché ci si reincontra spesso in queste pagine, inaspettatamente e senza alcun problema di verosimiglianza (in questo è davvero un capolavoro del “romanzesco”). Come già aveva mostrato negli Sketches precedenti, Dickens mette a frutta una straordinaria attenzione per i particolari del teatro del mondo: aspetti e caratteri delle persone incontrate, descrizioni di abiti, comportamenti, modi di parlare.Insomma l’intreccio è assai più delineato rispetto agli Sketches, però anche qui la struttura generale unitaria non impedisce l’emersione di molti racconti nel racconto. Quindi i Pickwick Papers sono anche una di quelle opere (nella lunga tradizione da Apuleio a Boiardo, da Ariosto a Cervantes, ecc.) che inscenano un gran numero di forme di racconto inserito, innescato nei modi più vari: la narrazione del clergyman, il resoconto scritto del pazzo, il racconto nella taverna, The Parish Clerk (ossia una storia raccontata dallo stesso signor Pickwick, quando è costretto a letto dai reumatismi causati da una disavventura notturna), il vecchio esperto di locande che racconta storie macabre e di fantasmi. Trovano spazio per inserirsi anche poesie; un capitolo è totalmente dedicato alla storia del sacrestano rapito dai goblin; e si arriva quasi alla parodia della leggenda eziologica quando Pickwick è a Bath «to drink the waters» e legge su un «little manuscript» la storia del principe Bladud (che è davvero una leggenda britannica, menzionata per la prima volta da Goffredo di Monmouth).Scriveva Mario Praz: «Pullulanti di personaggi, più d’una sessantina, quasi tutti comici, i Pickwick Papers sono uno dei capolavori dell’umorismo inglese.» Ed è certamente così, però non ci sono soltanto momenti ironici ma, come al solito in Dickens, anche alto patetismo e vigorosa denuncia sociale. Ad esempio nella vicenda strappalacrime e terribile - anche questa inserita - di George Heyling, vera novella morale: (view spoiler)[ Finito nella Marshalsea Prison per debiti - sempre la storia familiare che riappare! - vede morire prima il figlio bambino poi la moglie fedelissima, giura di dedicare la sua intera esistenza alla vendetta contro il padre della moglie che li aveva abbandonati alla miseria; diventa improvvisamente ricco e porta a termine la vendetta, lasciando morire il figlio in mare davanti agli occhi del padre e poi togliendogli tutto fino a ridurlo alla miseria e alla morte. (hide spoiler)]Nei primi capitoli Pickwick è spalleggiato dai sodali del suo club (Mr Snodgrass, Mr Tupman, Mr Winkle), ma dal capitolo XII entra con prepotenza in scena Samuel Weller, assunto come servitore da Pickwick: si crea così una coppia che spesso è stata messa in rapporto con quella composta da don Chisciotte e Sancho Panza. Diverse sono le classi sociali di provenienza e quindi, di conseguenza, i comportamenti e la lingua; Samuel è giovane cockney (più avanti compare anche il suo degno padre), dalla parlantina sciolta, piena di battute e similitudini-citazioni strampalate e buffe (molto divertenti, ma spesso non facili da capire per il non madrelingua inglese…)Il capitolo XXXIV (ma non è il solo) mette in mostra tutta l’esperienza di cronista giudiziario del giovane Dickens, con uno sguardo caricaturale e disincantato sul mondo giudiziario: il processo contro Pickwick è attivato dall’accusa della sua padrona di casa di aver rotto una promessa di matrimonio: che non è mai avvenuta, ma il vecchio gentiluomo è comunque condannato, a causa dell’abilità manipolatoria degli avvocati. E visto che si rifiuta risolutamente di pagare ciò che considera ingiusto, finisce in prigione per debiti (ancora una volta! Si rivedono ambienti simili già descritti negli Sketches e nel racconto incastonato che citavo prima).Ne deriva la sarcastica denuncia contro «the just and wholesome law which declares that the sturdy felon shall be feed and clothed, and that the penniless debtors shall be left to die of starvation and nakedness». (si vede come Dickens sa già far risuonare il tono tipico dell’ironia denunciatoria che di lì a poco sarà abbondantemente dispiegato in Oliver Twist).Il finale è da commedia: nozze. Anzi, da commedia moltiplicata, con tutta una serie di matrimoni. Pickwick si ritira dai suoi vagabondaggi conoscitivi e si fa preparare una ricca e confortevole casa nei dintorni di Londra, dove vive assistito dal fedele Samuel, a sua volta accasato, secondo le convenienze sociali, con una cameriera carina.Ancora il maestro Praz: «Mr. Pickwick, l’atticciato vecchio signore calvo e occhialuto, in falde, entra in scena come una caricatura, e via via si muta in uno di quei caratteri verso cui il romanziere si sentiva attratto, un essere fatto di semplicità di cuore e di benevolenza, coi suoi lati deboli – l’alzare talvolta il gomito, il cacciarsi negl’impicci, il divenire preda dei gabbacristiani – che lo rendono più umano e simpatico: alla fine dell’opera il suo cranio calvo e lucido si cinge quasi di un’aureola di santità, quasiché in lui si sublimasse l’essenza spirituale di una borghesia proba e pedestre.» E in effetti colpisce come questo libro scritto da un ventenne metta al centro una visione – certo idealizzata e insieme ironizzata, ma riccamente positiva della vecchiaia.

  • RavenclawReadingRoom
    2019-06-18 06:25

    Trigger warnings: nothing that I can think of, but I also found huge chunks of this INCREDIBLY boring so it's possible I missed something when my eyes glazed over... I knew literally nothing about this when I put it on my Classics Club list back in 2014. And to be honest, I still feel like I know nothing about this. It was Dickens' first novel, and while there are definitely moments of brilliance shining through, I found huge chunks of this to be incredibly dull. It's essentially a series of short stories about the same characters over the course of two years, so there's not a massive amount of plot going on. Some of the characters were standouts and there were definitely moments of Dickens' classic humour shining through. But for the most part? I...just didn't really care.

  • Blaine DeSantis
    2019-05-27 04:24

    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!!

  • Elis
    2019-06-12 06:12

    E’ risaputa la mia stima e la mia ammirazione per Dickens, il mio debole per la sua scrittura e il suo modo di farmi girovagare per la Londra ottocentesca attraverso le sue descrizioni. Amo Dickens principalmente per questo; una cosa che mi mette tuttavia in difficoltà quando devo recensire un suo libro.Nonostante “Il Circolo Pickwick” è considerato uno dei suoi libri più riusciti, ammetto di aver avuto un po’ di difficoltà ad arrivare alla fine. Essendo stato inizialmente una storia pubblicata in capitoli su di un giornale dell’epoca, il flusso narrativo ha risentito parecchio di stacchi, di vuoti e cambiamenti radicali nei personaggi stessi. La storia è incentrata su Pickwick, un aristocratico ormai in pensione che trova il suo modo di passare le giornate in cerca di avventure insieme a tre fedeli amici, Tubman, Winkler e Snoodgrass. L’incontro con vari personaggi tan volta bizzarri e grotteschi, provoca nella vita di Pickwick problemi e preoccupazioni, in parte alleggeriti da una figura che si presenta nella prima metà del libro: Sam Weller. Il servitore fedele che preferirebbe morire piuttosto che tradire il proprio padrone. La fedeltà di costui sarà il pezzo forte di tutta la storia che avanza tra fraintendimenti comici ma anche più pesanti.E’ il caso del lungo periodo vissuto da Pickwick nella prigione per debitori, un periodo in cui si presenta ai suoi occhi lo squallore e la povertà di molti luoghi londinesi. Ma è anche il periodo in cui si manifesta l’animo più generoso e buono del signor Pickwick, che paga la cauzione per la donna che gli aveva causato la prigione prima a lui e poi a sé stessa e per l’uomo che fu causa di molti dei suoi guai, il signor Jingle, ma che riuscirà a perdonare. In tutto il libro è sempre presente quella letizia negli occhi di Pickwick, il sorriso che non manca mai anche nei momenti più difficoltosi, la sua voglia di aiutare i più giovani e coloro che si trovano in difficoltà. Infatti, terminerà le sue avventure con lo scioglimento del Circolo Pickwick e con la felicità di aver concluso quelle sue peregrinazioni facendo del bene. Darò a questo libro 3 stelle, perché non posso dire di averlo adorato dall’inizio alla fine. Sono stata tentata a non leggere molti capitoli, specie quelli in cui vengono narrate avventure di personaggi al di fuori del romanzo. Ma dò 5 stelle a Dickens, darò sempre 5 stelle a Dickens, dò 5 stelle ai suoi personaggi che saranno sempre indimenticabili.Ora saprò di poter contare anche su un certo signor Pickwick.

  • Laura
    2019-06-06 08:06

    Reading online at [email protected] Adelaide, one chapter per day.Some David Perdue's Charles Dickens page background about this book:When artist Robert Seymour proposed to publishers Chapman and Hall a series of engravings featuring Cockney sporting life, with accompanying text published in monthly installments, they readily accepted and set about the task of finding a writer. The publishers were turned down by several writers and finally asked 24-year-old Charles Dickens to provide the text. Dickens accepted and argued successfully that the text should be foremost and the engravings should complement the story. Seymour, an established artist but without recent success, was troubled with the direction the upstart writer was taking his project and with Dickens' suggestions of changes to the illustrations.This is the story of Samuel Pickwick, the founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. In order to enlarge his researches into the British countryside, he suggested that he and the other threes members of the club, the "Pickwickians" should make journeys by coach to remote places and relate their findings to the other remembers of the club. This also provides a memorable description of the old coaching inns of England.Since it was the first book written by Dickens (he wrote it when he was only 24 years old), I must confess that this was not an easy reading.In my opinion, the best part of the book is when Mr Pickwick's attempts to defend a lawsuit brought by his landlady, Mrs Bardell, who (through an apparent misunderstanding on her part) is suing him for the breach of promise to marry her. Another is Mr Pickwick's incarceration at Fleet prison for his stubborn refusal to pay the compensation to her because he doesn't want to give a penny to Mrs Bardell's lawyers, the unscrupulous firm of Messrs. Dodson and Fogg.Recently, BBC Radio 4 Extra presented again the original dramatization which was broadcasted originally in January 2008.