Thursday, August 23, 2007

Diary Of A Nobody by George Grossmith

Rating: 10/10

Published: 1892
Number of pages: 174
ISBN: 0792833278

Started: 21 August 2007
Finished: 21 August 2007

Summary (taken from

'Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see - because I do not happen to be a `Somebody' - why my diary should not be interesting.' The Diary of a Nobody created a cultural icon, an English archetype. Anxious, accident-prone, occasionally waspish, Charles Pooter has come to be seen as the epitome of English suburban life. His diary chronicles encounters with difficult tradesmen, the delights of home improvements, small parties, minor embarrassments, and problems with his troublesome son. The suburban world he inhabits is hilariously and painfully familiar in its small-mindedness and its essential decency.

This is an excellent, light and amusing read. I wouldn't say it's laugh-out-loud funny, but it certainly had me smiling a lot, which is quite a feat.

Charles Pooter is a loveable and slightly old-fashioned, bumbling character, whose diary chronicles his life over the period of a year or so. He's a middle-class man who enjoys a pun (while the puns themselves are not uproariously funny, his reactions and elatedness at thinking them up are pretty amusing).

He (usually) enjoys the company of his friends, Gowing and Cummings (the objects of one of the best puns in the story), but is sometimes indignant at their behaviour, as well as at the behaviour of certain other characters and visitors to the household.

Even the short summaries of the diary entries at the beginning of each chapter are entertaining: 'Make the acquaintance of a Mr Padge. Don't care for him. Mr Burwin-Fosselton becomes a nuisance.'

This is such a good read, and one that I think I'll re-read quite often. I was originally going to give this a rating of 8, but it crept up to 9, and then 10, while I was writing this review and remembering how thoroughly enjoyable it was. Very highly recommended!

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