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The Pickwick Papers

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,804 Ratings  ·  997 Reviews
‘Rising rage & extreme bewilderment had swelled the noble breast of Mr Pickwick, almost to the bursting of his waistcoat’
Few first novels have created as much popular excitement as The Pickwick Papers–-a comic masterpiece that catapulted its 24-year-old author to immediate fame. Readers were captivated by the adventures of the poet Snodgrass, the lover Tupman, the spo
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1837)
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S.n. Jarvis There is no novel in the world like The Pickwick Papers. When you reach the last page, you feel like you have travelled a long way, in the company of…moreThere is no novel in the world like The Pickwick Papers. When you reach the last page, you feel like you have travelled a long way, in the company of Mr Pickwick and his friends, and the beginning of the book seems an eternity ago. No novel I have read has so many characters, and so many varied scenes. It is, in a way, more of a library than a single book. And here is the thing: it is perhaps the only novel in the world that could inspire ANOTHER novel to be written about its extraordinary origins and history. And - ahem! - I am the author of that novel, which will be coming out later this year. If you are interested, check out the website:

Best wishes

Stephen Jarvis(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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 ...more
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
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 ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 a ...more
Mar 23, 2016 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
“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 Ji
Dec 13, 2012 ·Karen· rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mttbr-2012
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
Jun 27, 2007 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
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
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.
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 ...more
Jul 18, 2013 Lucrezia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Douglas Wilson
Oct 06, 2014 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics
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 ...more
Duffy Pratt
Jan 12, 2012 Duffy Pratt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
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
Jun 29, 2012 Gwen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, Charles Dickens
ماجراهای آقای پیک ویک؛ مترجم: محمدتقی دانیا؛
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 م
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
Oct 15, 2015 Poncho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015, english
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 ...more
Jan 27, 2015 Manray9 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
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 then 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 ...more
Dec 15, 2015 Lotz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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 wa
Reading online at eBooks@ 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 acc
Jan 27, 2014 S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful sometimes seems a belittling compliment but I don’t know a better word for this book, which was so funny and buoyant, rich, and also human. Best is, as Dickens’ first book, you see the the seed of much of his later work here: the interminable law suits (Bleak House), the beloved relative in the debtors’ prison (Little Dorrit), the finger-wagging spirits (A Christmas Carol), and more.

This book was the favorite of both Fernando Pessoa and Giuseppe Lampedusa, and such high-brow admirati
Oct 15, 2008 Spiros rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who dote on humbug, using the word in its Pickwickian sense
A very audacious first novel, and a novel which seems to have spun completely out of its author's control. Despite being, along with P.G. Wodehouse, the most gifted humorous writer in the English language (tip of the hat to Vladimir Nabokov), this is Dickens' only comic novel; whereas his later works would prove to be melodramas suffused with brilliant comic situations and characters, this is pure comedy, larded with melodramtic tales that stand outside of the narrative threads. What seems to be ...more
Vit Babenco
Mar 18, 2015 Vit Babenco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 specific sense of humour is inimita
Apr 23, 2008 Carlie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: comedy lovers
The funniest book ever written! I was on the floor, I mean really ROFLMAO. I laughed till I cried, till my diaphragm went into painful spasms. I couldn't see and I couldn't speak. Exquisite writing as usual with Dickens. Sentence composition beyond my wildest dreams. I did not know comedy could be that pleasurable to read. I reccommend this book to the utmost high for a rolling good time. Excuse me while I go laugh myself into silliness just recalling the scene with Pickwick getting jostled in t ...more
Jun 28, 2013 Sketchbook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As Mr Winkle recorded, "An excess of pleasure."
May 17, 2014 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: floor-joists
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
It was interesting to see Dickens' writing style take shape. This is certainly an early book (one would know that even if one didn't know before starting the book). There's a sense of development of the author throughout it.
What comes through clearly is Dickens' ability to write a good character. His females are less developed, being rather 2-dimensional (either purely good or purely bad).
His stance on some aspects of society are here, too. He tackles the
Tempo de Ler
Jan 23, 2013 Tempo de Ler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Não há um meio-termo na minha opinião acerca de Os Cadernos de Pickwick - do início ao fim, o livro é um estrondoso primor. Tanto assim que estou profundamente convencida que cinco estrelas, apenas, não chegam para lhe fazer verdadeira justiça!

Dickens recorreu à sua habitual escrita tão elegante, tão rica e tão cheia de deliciosas segundas intenções para nos trabalhar uma narrativa brilhante, repleta de justificadas críticas à sociedade de então, diálogos geniais e uma caracterização de personag
Laurel Hicks
I had a hard time when I first tried to read this first of Dickens' novels, but now that I have read all the others I thoroughly enjoyed this time through. I loved seeing the germs of all his other novels in this one book. And I could swear that Mr. Micawber did some of the writing! This was my fourteenth Dickens novel for this year. I'll start the fifteenth, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, soon. Then I don't know what I'll do with myself.

This year I plan to read all of D
Sep 23, 2015 J.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Antiquarians & alcoholics
A novel about a man in search of novelty.

Alright, so I was led here by Arthur Machen's book of literary criticism, Hieroglyphics, in which he presents three examples of capital-e Ecstasy in literature. That's what, for him, distinguished "Fine" literature from the rest. He named Don Quixote (which I'd read), The Pickwick Papers (which I've just finished reading), and Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel (which is next on my 'on-the-phone' list), largely because they inspire a sense of wonder, or r
Julie Davis
Aug 13, 2015 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rereading this one as a nice, light summer book. And since I'm rereading I can linger or put it down whenever I want. Unless Dickens begins to pull me through it as fast as possible. Which seems to happen with all his books, even upon rereading.

Original review/comments below.


As I continue my discovery of Charles Dickens I thought it would be interesting to go to the book that brought him original acclaim. This was combined with a desire for light reading, which every commenter agree
Jan 28, 2014 Tracey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and sho ...more
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“Poetry makes life what lights and music do the stage.” 54 likes
“There are very few moments in a man's existence when he experiences so much ludicrous distress, or meets with so little charitable commiseration, as when he is in pursuit of his own hat.” 21 likes
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